Day 24: Athens,Greece

Posted on Sat 26 May 2012 in Transatlantic Cruise and Europe • 8 min read

Sumner:

Today started off with breakfast and after we had consumed our food we headed out of the ship and hopped on the shuttle to the terminal. There we met our guide and walked to their car. We then rode to the acropolis and parked at a parking lot that was kinda like a valet parking area. She gave the keys to the guy and then we headed off up the acropolis museum so that we could hopefully avoid some of the crowds by doing is before going to the acropolis. Inside we were able to see the many statues that were found in the acropolis area. On the acropolis is a temple to Athena. This temple has some statues with the form of a lady that are used to make the pillars for the temple facade. On one side of the facade he statues have their left leg forward and on the other side they have he right leg forward. Now on the boat there is a hallway that has a little concave opening with statues that are much like he ones on the temple on the acropolis. While at one of the port talks the speaker pointed out that there was one thing wrong with the statues on the boat, this was that the legs on the statues were not different, they were the same. Later that day we were walking past them and saw that they didn't even have either leg forward at all. There were also many other statues in the museum including the statue of a boy that, for art historians, marked the begging of truly realistic statues. The third floor of this museum had the same dimensions as the Parthenon and faced in the same way. What I mean by this is that on the east side of the inside of the museum had the same dimensions as the actual Parthenon and faced in the exact same direction. Now that in and of itself was interesting but the most interesting part was that the facades were removed from the Parthenon and moved to the museum. There they are displayed on the third floor of the building and in the same place that they were originally on the Parthenon. The front and rear facades of the building that were on the triangle thing above all of the pillars were displayed to the greatest extent possible. In some places however, because the pieces were totally destroyed, there is nothing on display. Around the whole building was a relief of a scene where people were taking offerings up to the gods. It started in one corner and went in both directions meeting on the opposite side where the gods were receiving the gifts. We then watched a movie about the acropolis we went out on a deck that was in the third floor and had a great view of the acropolis and then proceeded onward to he acropolis. It was a fair trek up to the top of the hill but not too bad. Once there our guide went to get our tickets and then we entered the acropolis area. From the beginning it was very neat, almost overwhelming. At the entrance there was an arch and after going thought the arch on the right side was a wall maybe ten or so metres high (about 11 yards). This wall was like a retaining wall around the acropolis. On the ground that the wall is hiding in is a small temple. It is unique because it is the only temple on the acropolis that has columns on only the front and back, not on the sides as well. Back to the entrance in general; although it is in ruins now in its prime it must have been extremely spectacular. Even now it's scale is immense. After going through the columns we got our first view of the Parthenon. I was expecting it to be in a very ruinous state but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't that bad considering that it is almost two thousand five hundred years old. They have done a good job restoring it and it is now to he point where you can get a good idea of what the Parthenon looked like. Of course all that you can see are the columns on the outside as well as some of the inside wall that held the statue of Athena. Four of the columns are not completely restored but all of the others are. In most places also the blocks of stone over the columns are in place as well. He friezes on the triangular part of the front of the building are gone. They were taken from Athens to Britain by the Earl of Elgin (he is not popular among the Greeks). Only a few parts remained in Athens and are displayed in the acropolis museum. On the left of the Parthenon about fifty to seventy five metres is the Old Temple of Athena. This temple is the one with the ladies that are columns. From the acropolis we were also able to have a great view of the city of Athens. It is a city that is very flat without many big, tall buildings. From this point also we could see the ocean, this is rare because of the pollution cloud normally hovers above the city of Athens and blocks the view of the sea. We then walked back to our car and got the key back from the buy who had parked the car. Now the key was broken to begin with, it was broken when she had tried to get a copy of the key at a shop, she had the copy though. When she tried to put the broken one it it wouldn't turn. This is because the plastic part of the key was separated from the metal part so she couldn't get any leverage. She honked for he guy and there was a long discussion, then hey tried the other key. It didn't work because it had not been made exactly correctly or something because the car I think could tell that it wasn't made by the car company and it had been copied. It then made it so that the car couldn't start. We stood around for a while and then she told us that we would change our plans a little and let the men around the car fix it while we went to eat. We went to a nice restaurant and had some good food though it was really expensive. When we got back to the car and found that it wasn't fixed she tried frantically to find another car. Eventually we left the car and went and got on a bus that she had gotten for us to ride around in. Now, this bus was one of those fifty person tour busses that we had to go on for a few of our excursions and it was kinda amusing because we had it all to ourselves. Four people in this enormous bus. We kept on joking that we might be in someones way. Of course by this time it was an hour before we wanted to be back at the boat so we didn't get much more touring. We did take a peek at the original modern Olympics stadium, he one that was used when Greece held the first modern Olympic games. Then we went back to the boat and, since I had nothing to do after dinner I caught up on my blog.
    \~Sumner

Hannah:
Yay! Today we got to see the parthenon! I am SO excited! I can't wait!!! We all had a hurried breakfast and headed off the boat. It was just us when we got off (it was also because we went out the front exit instead of the mid-ship exit) We were a little confused at where we were supposed to meet Diana (that was our guide's name) some one FINALLY told us we hadto get on the special "Noordam" bus. (you see, if you do not go on the Noordam bus, you will get on the WRONG bus and go to a different ship. That would be REALLY bad.) we got to the RIGHT terminal and found Diana pretty easily. we got into one of her cars. It was pretty nice. we drovebout town for a while, and made it to the foot of the hill where the PARTHENON stood. We walked up to th parthenon entrance and decided it was too crowded, so we went to the acropolis museum. It was cool, but we could not take pictures so... I will have to just tell y'all about the museum. After the museum, we went to the Parthenon. It was SO cool! Can you believe that I was standing where Paul the Apostle might have stood long ago??? we also got to see Mars' Hill where Paul preached long ago. After the acropolis, we went back to the car. When we got in, the key to start the car was broken. Longstory shot, when Diana went to the car wash yesterday, the man broke the metal part broke the metal part from the plastic part on the key. So he just electric-taped it together. Apparently it broke so Diana called one of her friends to get her spare keys. While the guy went to go get the spare keys, we had lunch on this beautiful terrace where you had a direct view of the acropolis. I had aGreek salad. It had tomato, cucumber, onion, green peppers and feta cheese. Everything was drizzled with a little bit of olive oil. It was REALLY good. After lunch we went back to try getting the car to start. Instead, it just stalled. They tried multiple times, yet it still did not start. We waited for a LONG time while Diana called multiple people for cars, limousine's and buses. Thewhole time I made hearts out of largeish leaves. (Also there was this Greek Orthodocs priest that kept on staring at me. It was kind of awkward but I got used to it and relized he looked a lot like this guy in a book I used to be reading. Though the guy in the book was a Jewish doctor. His name was Mordecai) FINALLY we made it to the port. It was funny, because we ended up being on a HUGE tourist bus. Just us and the guide and the driver. Sadly we only got around a 20% discount in Euros. Well, think positive that at least we got to see the Acropolis! When we got back on the boat, we started blogging until Logan and Eljah scame to ask if we were going swimming. We said no because dinner was basically in 30min. At dinner, Jeff did another trick. And he did another trick with a wine bottle with the stopper in, but the stopper had a toothpick in it. He then had 2 forks and a toothpick all together. He then defied gravity. It was awesome. Weda also gave me an origami butterfly. It is REALLY pretty. After dinner I went up to Club HAL and played bingo until 9:00. And here I am blogging away.

***-Hannah-***