We arrived early to Athens…in fact we slept a little later than we wanted so got off the ship late. The taxi drivers were all on strike due to the license cost going from several thousand dollars to only a few thousand, which meant it would be easier for more people to drive taxi’s…which they felt would impact the amount of money they could make, being more drivers would be on the streets.
We started walking towards what we thought was the city and quickly saw and caught the “hop on, hop off” tourist bus. About 25 minutes later we arrived in the city center and got off at the acropolis.
The acropolis consisted of many building remains from the Greeks…the parthenon(temple), an amphitheater built into the cliff overlooking the city and a few other buildings with huge pillars and detailed sculptures. The ground looked like it was made of solid marble. There were tons of tourists but we worked our way through the crowd…taking pictures and taking in the same views that the ancient Greek society must have experienced long ago.
We walked back down, off the cliff and its remains and over to another hilltop which allowed us to look up at the acropolis from another perspective. The city of Athens below looked huge and these are the type of views one would imagine the Greek gods must have had.
We climbed down from that hilltop and continued on the walk past the cliff and turned off when we saw a huge building with pillars…the walk took us through various other ruins…a gym, housing, statues etc. We weaved our way around the buildings until we got to the massive building we had seen from afar. It was the largest standing building from Greek times…huge pillars and quite impressive.
We continued on the path and ran into a flea market…there were several little vendor shops selling sandals, clothes and other nik- naks. We saw a food stand for gyros and got in line. We ordered a chicken one which came with lettuce, tomato, onion, French fries and a yogurt dressing all wrapped in a pita…it was very good and very cheap.
We made our way through the shopping district…buying olive oil conditioner and soap but really just experiencing the hustle and bustle of the busy area. We found a restaurant and sat for a quick lunch…we couldn’t leave Greece without eating a Greek salad. The salads have bright-colored tomatoes, lettuce, olives, cucumbers and onions served with a huge thick slice of feta cheese…we’re talking at least and inch thick and about 5 inches long, then it is all drizzled in a light olive oil dressing from their local olives…you can feel the healthy nutrients being absorbed as you crunch through each bite. We also ordered stuffed grape leaves, a Greek specialty.
After lunch we wrapped things up…we needed to get back to the ship so saw a couple other things and then caught the bus back.
Once back on the ship, we went straight to the spa…and relaxed our tired feet, drank a hot cup of tea and melted into the heated lounge chairs as the ship drifted away from Greece.
For dinner we ate at the Mexican restaurant which had one of the cheapest cover charges but…don’t be fooled, the food was great. Instead of bread, they serve chips and three types of salsa…peach, regular and crab. For starters we had a spice crusted tuna and a smoked chicken quesadilla, followed by their house specialty, Pope II. It comes out on an iron pan with mixed meat, veggies and pineapple hanging from a hook…sizzling. It is accompanied by sour cream, rice, beans, salsa and shredded cheese…kind of a glorified fajita. We got our dessert to go and went back to our room for the evening…watching a bit of TV and falling asleep after our day in the Greek capital.