Mediterranean Cruise 2004:
Day 9 - Athens, Greece


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Mediterranean Cruise 2004: [Day 1 - Barcelona] [Day 2 - Monaco/Nice] [Day 3 - Pisa] [Day 4 - Rome] [Day 5 - Naples] [Day 6 - At Sea] [Day 7 - Mykonos] [Day 8 - Santorini] [Day 9 - Athens] [Day 10 - At Sea] [Day 11 - Dubrovnik] [Day 12 - Venice]

Sunday, July 4, 2004: We docked in Piraeus, just a few miles from Athens.

We started our tour by driving through Athens, and Tom was determined to photograph every single stadium which will be used for the 2004 Olympics. I don't know what each of them are, but here is the first.
Here's another one.
And another one.
And another. This is the only one we can name: Karaiskaki soccer stadium. There are close to 30 venues, if we recall correctly. Sorry we couldn't get them all for you, faithful reader.
That night was the Euro 2004 soccer (football) final game, featuring Greece and Portugal. The Greeks were very excited and proud, and the Greek flag was everywhere, on buildings, on cars, and even on the front of motorcycles.
This is what we came to see, and what a view it was. We didn't make the hike to the top to see the Parthenon up close, since temperatures were in the 90s, but enjoyed the view from below instead.
Next, we visited the old Olympic stadium which is constructed of marble and will be used in the 2004 Olympics later in the summer. The Olympic rings are visible at the back of the stadium in the larger version of this photo.
From the stadium, the Parthenon is visible in the distance.
What luck! We caught the changing of the guard as we passed the Presidential Palace. It turns out that the changing of the guard takes place every hour and lasts for nearly 10 minutes, so your chances of seeing it are excellent.
Hey, there's a ruin, right next to this brand spanking new sidewalk!
Here's Parliament House, where the other changing of the guard is held.
Here's another schmancy building. We hope you weren't looking for actual building names on this site.
This is the Hotel Grande Bretagne (the British Hotel). Yeah, we cheated a bit on this one, since the name is right on the front.
Next, we spent several hours shopping and relaxing in the Plaka, a tourist-oriented shopping area with outdoor cafes and lovely scenery.
At a square at one end of the Plaka, the Parthenon was visible on the hill in the distance.
We returned to our lovely ship, the Celebrity Millennium.
The sun went down over the port of Piraeus ...
... and Greeks everywhere settled in for a night of watching soccer. Look for the Greek flags flying in this residential area, visible from our ship.
Hooray! Greece won! We were able to watch the match from our cabin. Since our ship's captain and officers were predominantly Greek, we were happy for them.

We left Piraeus nearly an hour earlier, but we were still able to see the Greek shore. As soon as the match was over, fireworks and red flares filled the sky as the people celebrated their victory.

Day 10>


Mediterranean Cruise 2004: [Day 1 - Barcelona] [Day 2 - Monaco/Nice] [Day 3 - Pisa] [Day 4 - Rome] [Day 5 - Naples] [Day 6 - At Sea] [Day 7 - Mykonos] [Day 8 - Santorini] [Day 9 - Athens] [Day 10 - At Sea] [Day 11 - Dubrovnik] [Day 12 - Venice]

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