Saturday, April 27, 2013

Our Costa Cruise: Athens, Greece

Yay, the Acropolis! Another thing to cross of the bucket list!
We arrived in Athens on Thursday morning and disembarked to another gorgeous day.

We got immediately on our tour bus and rode via the scenic coastal route up to the Acropolis. On the way we stopped at the Panathenaic Stadium.
Panathenaic Stadium
The Panathenaic Stadium is the oldest stadium in the world and was where the modern Olympic games was hosted for the first time in 1896. Back in 329BC it was the location of the athletic portion of the Panathenaic Game.

It has since been refurbished... you think?!!!

We drove by this old thing on the way to the Acropolis.
The Acropolis is the ruins of the ancient civilization surrounding the Parthenon and I will quote you a little bit from Wikipedia:

 While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site's most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike.

The backside of the Parthenon

and the other side... shrouded in cranes and scaffolding.
There was tons of restoration going on up there and I understand that it is ongoing. I read somewhere that the crane in the Parthenon has been there for 40 years. Not sure if it's true but I imagine that a lot of work goes into protecting those buildings from the elements and pollution.
Speaking of pollution,  Athens has some of the worst! We managed to hit the city on a gorgeous clear day.  You could see all the way to the port (several miles) from the Acropolis. Vacation kismet, I tell you!
We arrived back at the ship around 4pm and enjoyed a Spritz Aperol (a Venetian aperitif) and then wandered up to the deck to take this nice video to share with you the view of the Athen's port.

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