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Europe Cruise Day 26
Friday, October 1st
Piraeus (for Athens), Greece

Athens (Day 1)

This is the last time that you will see the maps. Here is the final view of the 2nd cruises map.

Final Day Map

This completes the cruise that by Holland America's count started 24 days ago in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Here is the map of the complete cruise.

Full Cruise Completed Map

Arrival is scheduled for 6:00AM Eastern European Summer Time. Here, for probably the last time, is the clock.

 

The events today all hinge around disembarkation and me joining the post cruise tour extension that I bought called Athens & Delphi. This is a 3 day extension with the first day described as follows:

After your disembarkation from the ship, pass through Athens seeing Hadrian's Arch, the temple of Olympian Zeus as well as the Stadium and Theatre of Dionyssos. Visit the Acropolis and museum before continuing your drive past the National Gardens, Consitution Square and Houses of Parliament among other notable sites. Your tour ends at your hotel for check-in. The afternoon and evening are yours to explore Athens on your own.

The hotel is the ATHENS LEDRA MARRIOTT.

Thus ends the day of arrival in Athens.

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

The blog starts today out like this........

The ship arrived at Piraeus very early to avoid the heavy ferry traffic to and from the Greek Islands that occurs in the early morning of most weekdays.

The last morning on the ship started with an early morning breakfast. The estimated disembarkation time was 8:15AM. The group I was in, Red Group 2, was called off the ship at approximately 8:18AM. There were about 20 and we were taken to a waiting bus for a tour of Athens including the Acropolis this time. This tour did most of the places I had already seen on the previous tour 12 days earlier. It is quite a trip up to the Acropolis and there were several stops along the way. Once there is was an interesting place to see. Yes, it was more ruins but something seemed a bit different about these ones. We were lucky as most of the scaffolding was still off and almost all on the Pantheon was visible. It is an amazing place.

As noted in the blog entry this trip was the duplicate of the one 12 days ago except that the group got to go up the Acropolis. The pictures for this day concentrate on the Acropolis but there are a few others taken either before or after our visit there. The first group below are these ones which will be followed bu the Acropolis pictures. No pictures were taken on or after my return to the hotel.

Here is that first group of pictures.

Athens 1 Athens 2
A street scene in Athens. One of their trams.
Athens 3 Athens 4
Another street scene. The building on the corner is the Hotel Grande Bretagne according to the sign. Athens traffic on a Friday morning at 9:45 AM.
Athens 5
This is the Arch of Hadrian or perhaps more commonly Hadrian's Arch.
It was built in 131 or 132 AD and is 13.5 metres wide and 18 metres high.

Before I get to the pictures of the Acropolis here are some basic facts. The word Acropolis means "high city" in Greek. Apparently the english translation of this is usually "citadel". By definition Castle Rock in Edinburgh, Scotland is an acropolis and there are many other examples around the world. By far the most famous one is the one in Athens and it is usually just called the Acropolis. The description of it is a flat topped rock about 150 metres or about 490 feet above sea level and has an area of about three hectares (almost 7.5 acres).

The most famous building on the Acropolis is the Parthenon. You may have noticed in the blog entry I quoted above I called it the Pantheon. I guess it is not to unusual for the Pantheon in Rome to get mixed up with the Parthenon in Athens. I will try to keep it straight here. The Parthenon is a temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena who the people of Athens considered their virgin patron. Construction started in 447 BC and was mostly completed in 432 BC. Its history sounds a lot like Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. It has been a church for all the conquering peoples of Greece, Christian, Islam, etc. The Ottoman Turks had it as not only a mosque but also an ammunition dump as well. On September 26th, 1687 the Venetians bombarded it and ignited the dump. The damage from this was severe and the building and the many sculptures in it were seriously damaged. The history is long and very complex and this is probably as much as is needed here.

The Parthenon's dimensions are 69.5 by 30.9 metres or 228 by 101 feet. and it is 13.72 metres or 45 feet high.

Here are the pictures as I go up the Acropolis and then the buildings on top.

Acropolis 1 Acropolis 2
I think this is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus with Athens in the background. It is a restored theatre used for concerts these days. Some of the scenery as I worked my way up to the entrance.
Acropolis 3 Acropolis 4
More of Athens. One enters the Acropolis (with hundreds of others)
through the Propylaea.
Acropolis 5 Acropolis 6
The view of the Propylaea after passing through it. The first close up view of the Parthenon.
Acropolis 7 Acropolis 8
You can see how the colour changes when the sun comes out. What the top of the Acropolis looks like.
Acropolis 11 Acropolis 10
Mt. Lycabettus from the Acropolis. The foundations of the Old Temple of Athena with the Erechtheion on the background and Mt. Lycabettus further back right.
Acropolos 14 Acropolis 9
The Erechtheion is another Greek Temple on the Acropolis. Some of the restoration work on the Parthenon. The new white marble comes from the original quarry it came from when it was built. It will gradually change colour to match the original.
Acropolis 12 Acropolis 13
A wider view of the restored north side. I believe this is the front of the Parthenon.
Acropolis 15 Acropolis 16
A wider view of the front. Things got a bit brighter so here is more of the front.
Acropolis 17 Acropolis 18
A corner of the front and the north side. I finally got back far enough to get the whole front and side.
Acropolos 19 Acropolis 20
Part of the roof line. The front and the south side. The south side suffered the worst damage from that ammunition dump explosion in 1687.
Acropolis 21 Acropolis 22
A slightly different view of the front. This is as far back as one can get to take a picture and still be on the Acropolis.
Acropolis 23 Acropolis 24
The Parthenon and the Erechtheum. You can see that the ground here is not too easy to walk on.
Acropolis 25 Acropolis 26
The south side damage from the back of the Parthenon This is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus
with Athens in the background.
Acropolis 27 Acropolis 28
More ruins around the base of the Acropolis. One last parting view of the Parthenon.

It may look like I did not take very many pictures of the city around the Acropolis. Ah but I did and I have made several panoramas of them and here they are.

Athens Panorama 1

This is from the Acropolis looking towards Piraeus harbour and out into the Aegean Sea.

Athens Panorama 2

I think this one is looking to the right of the one above which I think may be south.

Athens Panorana 3a

This one is looking to the left of the top panorama which is likely northeast.
The pictures of the Acropolis and Athens that were taken 12 days ago when the ship sailed from here at the start of the second cruise
would have been taken from the Aegean Sea at a position that would be just about in the centre of this panorama.

Athens Panorama 4a

This panorama is directly to the right of the one immediately above and is likely looking west or southwest.
Yon can see Mt. Lycabettus just right of centre near the top of the image.

From here I thing we toured a bit more of the downtown area of the city and then went to the hotel. The blog concludes this day like this......

This tour took about 4 hours and we were dropped off at the hotel at about 12:30PM. As is often the case the rooms in the hotel would not be ready until 3:00. Many waited and some went to eat. Finally, after some intervention from the Holland America Representatives at the hotel the rooms became available just after 2:00PM and all was well. Not too much more happened this day.

If I remember correctly I just took it easy the rest of this day as there was a long day with a fairly early start scheduled for tomorrow.

Since I am no longer on the cruise, on to Day 27 of the trip (not a cruise now), and Delphi.

Page Created: August 3, 2010
After Trip Update Started: November 17, 2011
After Trip Update Completed: November 20, 2011
Last Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:59 PM

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