Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 34: Athens & Piraeus

I didn't have any official plans for the day so after breakfast Daniel, Lacey, Heather and I decided to go out to explore Athens a little more.  The original goal was to take the metro all the way from the port to the northern district of Kifissia.  It is supposedly an "elite" district that is fun to walk around.  The metro was taking quite a long time (it's an older line) so we abandoned the original plan and got off sooner at Monastiraki.  We walked around the Psiri region a bit seeing the Ancient Agora, Hadrian's Arch, Avissinias Square, the Thesseion, and stopping in a few side shops.  After we got our fix of one of the more sketchier regions of Athens we took the metro back to Pireaus and walked to a restaurant that some other SASers had recommended.  The food was very good; I got a dish with lamb wrapped in pita and also tried a bit of ouzo (I'm a sucker for anything black licorice).  After lunch we walked to a recommended pastry shop and loaded up on some baklava before returning to the ship.

Today wasn't the most exciting day but it was a good end to our stay in Greece.  From all the people I've talked to recently, the reactions to Greece are very similar.  I'm not necessarily disappointed but this port was definitely not what I expected.  When you think of Greece, you often imagine a very pristine and beautiful setting.  Hollywood is probably to blame.  Athens is a pretty rough city; I probably wouldn't use "pristine" or "beautiful" to describe it.  After you've seen the Acropolis and a few other sites, there's not much to do.  The islands are very pretty but there's really not much to do there either (this could just be my dislike of beaches and shopping or our limited time at the islands...many people really enjoyed themselves).  Delphi was a definite highlight.  If (when) I come again I think I'd try to get out of the city a bit more to check out Corinth and Olympia.  Overall, we had an amazing time but it was just a little different than I had imagined.

With the conclusion of Day 33 yesterday we are officially halfway done with the voyage.  I remember sitting around a meal the night before Barcelona talking about how after our first day at port time would just fly by.  It has.  I can't believe it's already been a month; it's so fast paced here it's hard to keep up.   There are no classes tomorrow as is "Turkey day" where we have a bunch of little seminars and activities offering info about Turkey.  I think Istanbul was one of my most anticipated ports; I can't wait to go check it out a bit.  That's all for now, I have a batch of 450 Greek pictures to edit and organize.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ouzo, caffeine, squid...what's happened to my little brother?! Good for you! Enjoy. We miss you tons and think of you and your adventures often and longingly!
Love, Jon, Weezie, Luke, and Baby Girl!