Black Sea/Mediterranean 2007:
Day 1 - Athens, Greece


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Black Sea/Mediterranean 2007: [Day 1 - Athens] [Day 2 - At Sea] [Day 3 - Istanbul] [Day 4 - Varna] [Day 5 - Odessa] [Day 6 - Sevastopol] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Kusadasi] [Day 9 - Rhodes] [Day 10 - Limassol] [Day 11 - Cairo] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Athens]

Wednesday, May 2: We departed Indianapolis for Athens via JFK airport in New York on Tuesday, and woke up the next morning overlooking the Mediterranean. But where, exactly?
The helpful flight status map on the overhead television showed that we were very close to Athens. In fact, we could see the Corinth canal just to the north of us. "What a nice place to visit," we thought. "Let's go there today."
There's Athens! We landed, got our luggage, and met Spiros, our driver and guide for the day. By shortly after 9:00 AM, we were off to see the sights.
Since we'd visited Athens before, we wanted to see some of the outlying sites of Athens, including the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion and the Corinth Canal. Spiros put together a custom tour for us so we could see them both, located on opposite sides of the Athens area.
We had perfect weather and a beautiful drive along the coast out to Cape Sounion.
In the distance, we could see the Temple of Poseidon on a hill.
It's much more impressive close up, of course.
Debbie is always on the lookout for native plants, so we had to pause to admire this ice plant ...
... and these poppies. We picked a great time to visit, because everything seemed to be in bloom.
But, back to Cape Sounion. Here's the view looking east along the Cape, with the visitor center visible at the left.
Here's Tom at the back of the Temple (or the front, if you're looking at it from the sea).
Here's the view looking back to the west and toward Athens.
After our visit, we enjoyed some strong Greek coffee and cold water in the shade.
Next, we drove a little further east and north along the coast ...
... where we met up with a highway to take us through the Greek countryside to our next stop. This is a lovely little town we passed.
We were craving authentic Greek food for lunch, so Spiros took us to an oceanside cafe west of Athens.
He ordered up a delicious feast of marida (a small fried fish), calamari, tomato and cucumber salad, feta cheese, and bread.
Then we were off to Corinth in Spiros' comfortable Mercedes taxi.
It's hard to believe the Corinth Canal is over 100 years old. It's a marvel to behold; impossibly narrow and deep with aqua water running through it. Here is the view looking northwest ...
... and here is the view (such as it is) looking southeast toward the Mediterranean. The ocean is barely visible beyond the bridges.
A cafe and gift shops are conveniently located nearby, as well as signs advertising canal cruises and bungy jumping. If only we had a few more hours, but we had more to see.
Spiros took us through the modern city of Corinth to the museum and ruins at ancient Corinth, situated on a hill above the city
We're not big museum fans, but this one was pretty amazing.
We'd love to have a stone bust of Zeus in our living room, but we decided to leave this one there.
We can't share the entire museum with you, so here are a few highlights.
This is a Corinthian helmet.
These statues are all headless, which makes for a pretty spooky effect. Apparently they weren't wearing Corinthian helmets.
Behold the Temple of Apollo and Orchy. This is a gorgeous location, surrounded by mountains and sea.
The walls of Acrocorinth were visible at the top of the mountain overlooking Corinth.
As long as we're looking up, what type of tree is this? It had lavender blooms and tiny tan seed pods of some sort. Know what it is? If so, please Contact Us.
From the Temple of Apollo, you stroll through the remains of what was once a lovely city.
In some cases, the buildings are almost completely intact.
This is the spring of Peirene. You can still hear water running along the back.
This broad street with the great view of Acrocorinth is the Lechaion Way. It is massive and in surprisingly good condition, with the remains of shops and buildings along each side.
We left Corinth and headed toward Piraeus, where our Holland America cruise ship, ms Rotterdam, was waiting for us.
Once onboard, the carpets in the elevators conveniently reminded it what day it was. This turned out to be very helpful as we easily lost track of time over the next twelve nights of cruising.
Our cabin was on the Verandah deck, with a balcony overlooking the starboard (right) side of the ship. The thing we love best about taking cruises is that our hotel room doesn't change, but the view from it does.

Roses, champagne, and fresh fruit were waiting for us in our cabin.

Let the adventures begin!

Day 2 >


Black Sea/Mediterranean 2007: [Day 1 - Athens] [Day 2 - At Sea] [Day 3 - Istanbul] [Day 4 - Varna] [Day 5 - Odessa] [Day 6 - Sevastopol] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Kusadasi] [Day 9 - Rhodes] [Day 10 - Limassol] [Day 11 - Cairo] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Athens]

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