We arrived with much anticipation at Athens, ready to see it in all its glory. It was a hot sunny day as we boarded the tour bus after walking off the Nautica. The bus angled its way down narrow crowded streets 8 km into Athens. It was a long long drive delayed by heavy traffic and congestion. We recall it took most of an hour. Finally we arrived at the Acropolis. It was very very crowded! You had to really pay attention and watch your step on the steep stairs going up and down.
Our guide got us tickets and we listened patiently to him giving us much detailed information for what we were about to see. I think though we eventually wandered off among the ruins, eager to see and take photos of one of the most iconic buildings ever, the Parthenon.
Words cannot capture our rapture when we made our way around the site and marveled at the beauty of the Parthenon. Built in the 5 century B.C., it was a symbol of the power, wealth and elevated culture of Athens. It was the largest and most lavish temple the Greek mainland had ever seen. Today, it is one of the most recognized buildings in the world and an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece. An eternal tribute to Athena, the patron deity of Athens. It was severely damaged in 1687 when an Ottoman ammunition dump inside the building was ignited by a Venetian bombardment. You are not allowed to touch any part of it and it is being slowly restored.
We then headed back down to the city to tour the Temple of Zeus. It is a former colossal temple in the centre of Athens. It fell into disuse and was pillaged in an barbarian invasion in 267 AD,
We were then dropped off in the tourist area of town for some sightseeing, shopping and lunch. We had the best Greek salad you could imagine as we were serenaded by a lively group. We soon found our way back to the bus and then in traffic to the ship, ready for relaxing again onboard. Athens is a big busy hot city that we would love to come back to someday for sure.