Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday, November 19 – Doing Nothing in Athens

We first visited Athens in 2009.  We pre-arranged for Nick, a driver but not a guide, to take us to all of the tourist highlights which he did.  When we met him in the parking lot by the cruise terminal, he “suggested” that we begin our day at the Acropolis, the hill overlooking Athens containing the Parthenon.  He said we would beat the heat and the crowds, and he was right.  We also spent time at the National Archeological Museum [best remembered for the Hall of Naked Men], Hadrian’s Arch, the Temple of Zeus and more modern sites.  The latter included the stadium where the modern Olympic games were introduced; a statue of Lord Byron; the changing of the guard in front of the President’s home; and the highest point in the city from which we could look down on the Acropolis.

When we returned in 2011, we hired Nick again.  D and a friend went to Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus and elsewhere.  MA stayed on board the ship as she under the weather.  Although Nick was not as outgoing as he had been, it was still a good tour.

Since we’ve “done Athens”, we stayed aboard the Rotterdam in Piraeus today.  Piraeus serves as the port for Athens just as Civitavecchia [literally the “old city”] is the port for Rome.  Both Rome and Athens are about an hour’s ride from their respective ports.

We wandered into the cruise terminal in search of free wi-fi but could not connect with the internet.  Our tablets swore they were connected to the terminal’s server, but that was as far as we got.  Others were similarly frustrated and those from the crew who did get on had more patience than we did.  They said it was slow and certainly were not exaggerating.  We went back to the ship.

The rest of the day was similarly quiet.  Trivia, lunch, etc.  The big excitement was another boat drill.  Cruise ships are required to have emergency drills for passengers every 30 days.  The folks who boarded Monday in Rome had theirs that afternoon, but those of us who boarded in Canada or the US had ours today.

TOMORROW – Heading to Malta

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