"Some beautiful paths can't get discovered without getting lost..."
|(The Pathenon, the temple dedicated to the Goddess of Athena)|
Day 05: Monday, 18 April 2016
The ship arrived at the Port of Piraeus in Greece, a distance of 131 nautical miles from Santorini around 6:30 am. Today we did not purchase tickets for any shore excursion so after breakfast we disembarked and took a taxi to the town of Athens to visit some historical sites on our own. With the assistance of the taxi driver we visited some tourist attractions around Athens, the capital city of Greece.
|(Many Tour Operators to choose from)|
Athens has been the center of Greek civilization for some 4,000 years. The capital of modern Greece, it’s still dominated by 5th-century-B.C.E. landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings such as the colonnaded Parthenon temple.
Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament and the Athens Trilogy, consisting of the National Library of Greece, the Athens University and the Academy of Athens. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. Athens is home to the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, as well as the new Acropolis Museum.
|(The changing of flag and guards)|
|(Waiting for the ticket counter to open)|
Acropolis, Parthenon and Propylea
The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.
The entrance to the Acropolis was a monumental gateway called the Propylaea. To the south of the entrance is the tiny Temple of Athena Nike. At the centre of the Acropolis is the Parthenon or Temple of Athena Parthenos. East of the entrance and north of the Parthenon is the temple known as the Erechtheum. South of the platform that forms the top of the Acropolis there are also the remains of an outdoor theatre called Theatre of Dionysus. A few hundred metres away, there is the now partially reconstructed Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
All the valuable ancient artifacts are situated in the Acropolis Museum, which resides on the southern slope of the same rock, 280 metres from the Parthenon.
|(A glimpse of the Temple of Athena Nike)|
|(The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a stone theatre)|
|(Propylaea, the entrance to the Acropolis)|
|(Massive restoration is in progress)|
|(A panoramic view of the capital city)|
|(Capturing the Byzantine and Ottoman periods)|
|(The remains of the Theatre Dionysus)|
|(Broken pillars and columns of Acropolis)|
|(A well restored temple)|
|(The porch of the Caryatids at the Erechtheum)|
|(The few early visitors to the Acropolis)|
|(Another view from the Acropolis)|
|(Erechtheum, an ancient Greek temple dedicated to Poseidon)|
|(Tourists at the monumental gateway)|
Temple of Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a colossal ruined temple in the center of Athens that was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD some 638 years after the project had begun. During the Roman periods it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world.
|(A colossal ruined temple)|
|(The Acropolis viewed from Temple of Zeus)|
|(The Olympieion or Columns of Zeus)|
The Olympic Stadium of Athens is part of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex. It is named after the first modern Olympic marathon race winner in 1896, Spyros Louis. The stadium hosts one of the biggest sport clubs in Greece, AEK Athens.
|(The entrance of Panathenaic stadium)|
|(Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient Greek stadium)|
Today the entrance to Archaeological sites are free and they save us quite a sum of euro. We completed our visit of Athens and embarked on our ship just in time for the safety drill.
|(Arriving at the port just in time)|
|(A 5 Euro token for the casino)|
|(Learning how to use the life jackets)|