Mediterranean Cruise – Part 2

This is day #3 of our Mediterranean Cruise.  To read since the start click here.

2012, July 3rd (Sunday)

Everyone on board was pretty excited as this would be the first time we would be able to get to the shore since our departure from Civitavecchia.

Celebrity Equinox was scheduled to arrive in Athens the next Thursday but the Captain decided on changing Port of Calls’ order,  due to a strike that was planned to occur in Athens. So… instead of going to Crete, the Captain went straight to Athens and Crete will be visited next Thursday.

Athens doesn’t look “so special”  when viewed from the ship, but we were aware that the main attraction (The Parthenon) is located 12 km away from Piraeus (Port of Athens).
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Going to visit Athens on a ship’s excursion

This is the bus that carried us for our  Athens excursion. We bought this excursion through the ship. The girl wearing the green shirt was our guide (a very good guide, by the way)

We booked the 3 hours tour along Athens.  There were other options but we preferred to stick with the city sightseeing plus stopping at the base of the Parthenon for pictures.  (This was also the cheapest excursion offered by the ship!)

We were fortunate enough to arrive in Athens on a Sunday!  Although shoppers could have been  disappointed, I was not!  There were almost no cars and buses on the streets and we could get to the attractions sooner than expected.

Along the way the guide told us facts about  the Greek history and of Athens in particular.

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Panathenaic Stadium

Our first stop was at the Panathenaic Stadium (also known as the Kallimarmaro, meaning beautifully marbled).  This is an  athletic stadium where the first modern Olympic Games occured in 1896.

This stadium was reconstructed in the same place of an ancient Greek stadium.

From the Panathenaic Stadium we were taken to the Parthenon. Along the way we were able to see beautiful constructions and monuments.

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Beautiful monuments on our way to The Parthenon

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The Parthenon viewed from the parking lot

Our bus parked and everyone was supposed to stay around and take pictures of the Acropolis (don’t forget our excursion was the less expensive one, so the walk up all the way to the top was not included).   As there was no traffic jam, the bus was able to arrive there in a few minutes, contrasting with more than one hour of regular days,  so……..  the two of us and  other three passengers went all way up! 🙂

Of couse we had to walk FAST (whenever it was possible as there were hundreds tourists there and sometimes it was impossible to go just one single step forward!)

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Walking fast on the way to the top

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Anyway,  we rushed between the crowds, got there in a few minutes (everyone was fit, of course! 🙂   After taking many pictures we went down in a super rush.   We did it during the allowed time, so no one in the bus had to wait for the five of us.  
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The Parthenon

 
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Hubby at the Parthenon

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There we are! At the Parthenon! 🙂

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The Erechtheion

 

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It was AWESOME because we did the same thing as other ship excursions did only we paid less than half!   Pretty cool, he?
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We fought the crowds to go back fast to our bus

The Parthenon is located on the  Athens Acropolis, dedicated to Athens, a Greek Godess. The construction started in 447BC and was completed in 438BC.

The Parthenon was used as a Treasury till the 5th Century when it was converted in a Christian Church devoted to the Virgin Mary.   When the Ottoman conquest  Greece, the temple was transformed into a mosque.

Many sculptures that adorned the Parthenon were sold to the British Museum in London, where they can be seen now.

We were told that there is a full replica of the Parthenon in NashvilleTennessee.

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The residencial buildings in Athens werent’t pretty… or maybe the bus didn’t cross the wealthy regions…

Our bus continued on the way to visit a souvenir shop.  Of course, there is a commission going  to the ship, another to the driver and another to the guide so…    I didn’t bother to buy anything as there were only touristy gadgets  with high prices.

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This beach  didn’t appeal to stop by.

The excursion was supposed to spot a beach during 15 minutes but everyone inside the bus (including us) preferred to return straight to the ship! The beach didn’t look appealing…

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Free ice-cream onboard: Always a nice option!

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Time to leave Athens

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Sailing away

Back to the ship, we watched dusk and got dressed for dinner and night attractions onboard.
After watching the sun going down it was time to get dressed and watch the attractions on board!

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Sunset on board

The Hot Glass Show on the ship was one of the best attractions ever.
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Glass Show on Celebrity Equinox

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Corning Museum of Glass onboard glass show

The Corning Museum had a complete set of tools and ovens onboard.

Two guys showed all the process, from beginning to end, of how to make glass objects!

They were very good performing,  and explaining all phases of the process.   It is really tough and it’s necessary a lot of ability to create a vase or even a plate.

I always appreciated  glass objects although I had no idea that they were  so complicate to make.

They had to blow, cut, put inside the oven, blow again, etc.

It was really awesome and in my opinion this was one of the best attractions we have seen onboard of any ship.

After the show we went straight to bed. It was a long and lovely day!

Do you want to check more pictures I took in Athens?  Visit my Flick gallery clicking here

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About CeciliArchitect

World Traveler ~ Photographer ~ Social Media Specialist ~ Tourism Vancouver Certified Specialist ~ Independent Tour Manager and Events Coordinator ~ Blogger ~ Architect & Interior Designer (in my previous life)
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