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Europe Cruise Day 13
Saturday, September 18th
Katákolon, Greece

With things happening in Greece the way they are these days, it is hard to know whether or not anything planned for this country will happen or not. Here is the map showing where the ship is now. Ancient Olympia is not too far inland from here.

Day 13 Map

The time zone has changed. Here is the clock from timeanddate.com to show the present time in Greece.

 

The time zone shown here, either EEST or EET, stands for Eastern European Summer Time (our daylight time) or Eastern European Time (our standard time).

The ship is scheduled to arrive at 8:00AM. Holland America's port description for Katákolon goes like this.

Gateway to Olympus, site of the original Olympic Stadium and host to some games of the 2004 Olympiad.

The shore excursion I have booked called Ancient Olympia & the Museum is scheduled to leave at 8:00AM as well. Here is the description for this shore excursion.

The small fishing village of Katákolon is your gateway to the mystical site of ancient Olympia, 25 miles to the east. The sanctuary of Olympia has the appearance of a park, and as you step back 2,000 years into the past, imagine the area crowded with athletes, orators, merchants and philosophers surrounding the Temple of Zeus with its forty-foot statue of the god, the ruins of which you will see today. It’s easy to imagine the roar of the spectators as the athletes took their marks on the marble starting blocks, and to picture the temples, treasuries, porticoes and statues as they were. After your visit to Olympia, you will take the short walk to the newly renovated museum. The exhibits here are findings from the excavations at the site. The most prized exhibit is a 4th century Parian marble statue of Hermes of Praxitelis, a masterpiece of classical sculpture from the Temple of Hera. Other exhibits to visit are a sculptured head of Hera and the pediments and metopes from the Temple of Zeus.

The excursion is scheduled to last approximately 4 hours.

The ship is scheduled to depart at 4:00PM heading for the port of Piraeus and for at least some passengers Athens.

How it actually happened!!!
(written October, 2011)

To begin, from the blog....

Starting where I left off last, the next day was Katákolon, Greece for Olympia. As with all the others the arrival was on time, the weather was sunny with no clouds in the sky and a temperature in the high 70’s F or mid 20’s C. It does get boring doesn’t it.

The shore excursion called “Ancient Olympia and the Museum” left just slightly late and headed for Olympia which is about a 35 minute drive away.

Here are some pictures as the coach headed for Olympia.

To Olympia 1 To Olympia 2
A town along the way. Would you believe olive trees?
To Olympia 3 To Olympia 4
More of the rolling hills of this part of Greece. The coach I was on arriving at Olympia.

From Sign 1

This is a picture of the Olympia Site taken from a sign at the entrance to the site.

From the blog.....

Olympia is an incredibly important area historically but it is not all that exciting to see.

Here are some pictures. As I have said on previous pages, since it is now over a year since I took this trip I am unable to specifically label some of these pictures. I will label the ones I think I have a chance of being correct about.

Olympia 1 Olympia 2
Some of the first ruins one sees when one enters. The group I was with as we toured the site.
Olympia 3 Olympia 4
This may be the Kronion Thermae from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD. This may be more of the Kronion Thermae.
Olympia 5 Olympia 6
This may be one side of the Temple of Zeus. Not sure though. One of the few columns still standing with anything on top.
Olympia 7 Olympia 8
I do not think that these are wheels. I think these are column segments laying on their sides.
Olympia 9 Olympia 10
Many of the buildings here were damaged by a major earthquake that occurred in the third century A.D...
Olympia Panorama
A small panorama showing the site with a shadow of me thrown in for good measure (just so you know I was really there).
Olympia 11 Olympia 12
This is either the top (most likely)
or the bottom of a rather large column.
Columns laying on their sides.
Olympia 13 Olympia 16
A lonely standing column amongst the other ruins. You can see how the weather takes is toll on the very old stone.
Olympia 14 Olympia 15
More ruins! I think this is the single column in the picture above left.
Olympia 17 Olympia 18
These ruins are in a bit better shape than some of the others. The group as we continued through the site.
Olympia 19 Olympia 20
The base of Paeonios Victory from the 5th century B. C.. I believe that this is the Temple of Zeus from 470-457 B. C..

From the blog.....

One interesting place to see there is the spot where the Olympic flame is lit before each Olympic Games. It is lit there using a mirror that focuses the rays of the sun onto the top of the torch, then taken to Athens. During those very early days, that is around 450 BC, the flame was lit all the time and never extinguished the way it is now.

Olympia 22 Large

The site where the Olympic Flame is lit prior to each Olympic Games.

Olympia 22-1

This photo is of the descriptive sign shown in the picture above and shows the process of the flame being lit..

More pictures......

Olympia 21 Olympia 23
The columns are quite large and still in reasonable shape. I can not remember what this was used for.
Olympia 24 Olympia 25
Lots of column parts, I think, collected here. Hard to see here but there is some writing on the top edge of this.

From the blog.....

The field where the first Olympics were held is interesting. All they did was run dashes in a straight line, none of those oval tracks we have now.

Olympia 26 Olympia 27
The entrance to the stadium. The stadium from the far end.
Olympia 28 Olympia 29
From the far end on the other side. The starting line for the races.
Olympia 30 Olympia 31
The Olympic judges sat here. The entrance/exit closer up.

You may remember a number of years ago there were some major forest fires in Greece. They did not happen in this immediate area but they were not too for away. With the Olympia area's importance the government thought they should try to do something to reduce the risk of fire in this area. In the picture below you can see what look like oil rigs on the hills above the stadium area. These are actually fire suppression towers. If a fire comes near large quantities of water are pumped through these and sprayed on the surrounding vegetation to try to reduce any effect a fire might have on this area.

Olympia 33

After completing the tour of the site there is a museum that houses most of the statues and other valuables found on the site in a protected environment both from the weather and vandals. Here is what I said about it at the time from the blog......

On the site is a museum that shows many of the artifacts that have been found there. It is quite amazing how much there is and how much they know about it. There are some pictures to come which will show some of these items.

Here are some of the pictures taken in the museum.

Museum 2 Museum 3
This is probably called "Terra cotta group of Zeus and Ganymede" from the 5th century B.C. This is likely "The Nike of Paeonios"
Museum 4 Museum 5
The front and back of the same statue. Unfortunately I do not know which one. I have a feeling it is well known though, just not to me.
Museum 1
A group of statues from the frieze of a building I think.

Here is one last view of the area around the site as the excursion headed back to the ship at Katákolon.

Olympia 32

Here is the final entry from the blog about this day.

After the museum visit the excursion group returned to the ship just after noon. The Olympia region of Greece in one of the major olive oil producing regions of the country, not that olive oil is not produced all over Greece. Apparently this is some of the best so I have acquired some both for me and the other person who asked for some. All I need to do is figure out how to get it home. Actually, it was purchased at a duty free store on the pier at Katákolon for about half the price they wanted for it at Olympia. The difference was that fact that it was duty free. Some people were rather annoyed about that!

The rest of the day was spent relaxing.

Some of that "relaxing" mentioned in the blog entry included taking some pictures around the ship. Here are some of those.

Katakolon Panorama 1

This panorama is what it looked like off the starboard (or right) side of the ship from where it was docked.

Katakolon 1

This is a close up of the farthest left side of the panorama above.
It was a colourful little place.

Katakolon Panorama 2

This panorama was the view from the port (or left) side of the ship.

Katakolon 2

This closer view is of the far right side of the panorama above.
The Duty Free shop in the foreground is where the olive oil was purchased.

Ship 1

This image shows the rear Lido deck pool just as the ship was getting ready to sail.

I guess there is one more sentence from the blog that relates to this day. Here it is.....

The ship sailed at 3:50PM heading for Piraeus, Greece on Sunday morning.

After sailing I took a couple of photos of my stateroom (that is what Holland America calls them anyway).

Stateroom 1 Stateroom 2
This was the towel animal (a monkey I think)
from the night before.
Where I found the monkey swinging from.
Stateroom 3

Stateroom 4

 

The desk area of the stateroom with a teddy bear. This fellow was named (by me) Westerbear!

 

So, on to Day 14 (roughly half way through the trip) and the first of two stops on this trip in Athens.

Page Created: August 3, 2010
After Trip Update Started: October 22, 2011
After Trip Update Completed: October 24, 2011
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 6:22 PM

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