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.
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!)
Along the way the guide told us facts about the Greek history and of Athens in particular.
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.
From the Panathenaic Stadium we were taken to the Parthenon. Along the way we were able to see beautiful constructions and monuments.
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!)
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 Nashville, Tennessee.
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.
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