We sailed into the harbor of Piraeus, Greece this morning at 8:00. They made us sit just outside the breakwater, about a 100 yards from our berth, for almost an hour while they let all the ferry boats pass in front of us. Then after we did dock, the local officials made us wait well over another hour before they would give us clearance to go ashore. This long delay made for a very rushed tour of Athens since we started our tours well over an hour late. Then a lot of the people on the bus were very upset because the bus driver was driving way too fast trying to make up some of the time.
I have been to Athens before, but one of the things that I was not able to see last time was the Temple of Poseidon. That was our first stop today. It took over an hour to drive down there. It was a very scenic drive down Attica's rugged western coast to Cape Sounion. The Temple of Poseidon is a majestic marble relic overlooking the Aegean Sea, a fitting monument to the God of the Sea.
The view from up there was equally as impressive.
But we didn't get to enjoy the view for long. I think the most time we were ever given at any place today was about 25 minutes. Below is another picture of the view.
It was about an hours drive into Athens next. Our next stop was lunch. We stopped at a very nice five star resort. It had a very nice view from the terrace and the lunch was equally as good.
We weren't rushed through lunch, it was very enjoyable. Next we made a quick photo stop at the Olympic Stadium.
Next it was up to the Acropolis. It was now mid afternoon, the hottest part of the nearly 100 degree day, and we are climbing up to the acropolis. The ancient Romans didn't put in any escalators. I'm not sure my cardiologist would have approved of this, but I made it. Below is a picture of the Parthenon, the greatest monument to ancient civilization.
On the north side of the Acropolis is the Erectheum, the sacred site where it was decided that Athena would rule the city.
The last time I was here we went up in the morning. The view was much better today because I didn't have to shoot into the sun.
We only had twenty minutes to walk around. Lucky we didn't break our necks rushing around on all that slippery marble. Below is another picture of the view of Athens from the Acropolis.
They also confiscated my video camera before I was allowed to go up. They said professional cameras were not allowed. I made the mistake of taking it out of the bag and just carrying the camera. I didn't want to carry the heavy bag up there. If it was in the bag they never would have noticed. Below is a look at the Temple of Zeus from the Acropolis.
Coming down was a lot easier then going up. We did a quick driving tour around the city next. Below is Hadrian's Arch from the bus window.
Our last stop was Plaka, an historic shopping distract. I had time for some cheesecake gelato. It was then back on the bus and back to the port. They were bringing in the gangways moments after we returned to the ship. I think we were the one of the last ones to get back. Below is a picture as we sailed away.
We are now sailing for the final port of the cruise, Venice. Tomorrow is a sea day as we make our way north. We arrive in Venice on Wednesday around noon. We sail right through the harbor in front of St. Mark's Square on the way to the port. We have the rest of the day to explore Venice as we stay over night.
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