April 18, 2016
That's how our guide Ava from Olympic Tours described Athens.
Athens has a population of 9.5 million. Greece's entire population is about 11 million so most of them live in Athens. It seems most people live in apartments. And there is a lot of graffiti.
We did a bit of a drive of the downtown to see some of the sites. I wouldn't describe Athens as pretty. There's a lot of concrete. And did I mention the graffiti? There are three types of graffiti - sports related, political and artistic.
We saw some of the buildings that were built for the 2004 Olympic Games. They have an extensive metro system now thanks to the 2004 games. When they were digging for the metro they uncovered a bunch of artifacts. Of course in any of these countries if you dig down you will find relics of an older civilization. The artifacts are on display in some of the metro systems. We didn't take the metro but our guide told us it is beautiful.
The modern olympics began again in 1896 and we visited the site of the first modern games. This is also where the Athens marathon ends every year in November. While we were at the site our bus got hit by a woman in a smart car. I'm not sure how the chain reaction happened but we got to witness a fight between a young Greek woman and a man driving another car. They were standing about 2 cm apart yelling at each other and the woman was pushing the man. I guess tempers flare while driving in Athens. They should have taken the metro.
Today was some sort of special day...I think it was called monument to world heritage. Maybe? Anyhow we didn't have to pay to get in to the Acropolis. We only had to pay €5 to get in to the museum. We saved €20 so we can definitely go to happy hour later.
The museum was open in 2006 and it is really nice. It houses many of the artifacts recovered from the Acropolis and Parthenon. Of course they want the remaining marble pieces back from the British museum. They also found artifacts when digging the museum so there are glass floors all around to see the excavation work and what has been uncovered. Fascinating!
It is about 28 degrees today and sunny so the hike up the Acropolis was a bit of a challenge. Not like Great Wall of China challenge, but a challenge. The site is incredible. It was built in the 6th century BC and the engineering and craftsmanship is amazing.
We had a short break which included baklava before heading back to the ship. Now we are getting ready to sail toward Turkey. Yes, as if today we are going to Turkey.