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Ancient Athens

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Published: June 21st 2017

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Geo: 37.9792, 23.7167

We are docked in Piraeus by the time we wake up. I venture onto the balcony and see we are docked close to where we docked on Splendour a few years ago. This is good as we intend to walk to the Metro station later and I have a rough idea where it is in relation to Cruise Terminal A.

After Peter has got the morning Cappuccinos from Al Bacio and his breakfast tea we shower and head to San Marco for breakfast again. It’s very good. We are arriving back at our room to find Dennis our stateroom attendant emerging with good news. My luggage has been delivered, only 5 days later than anticipated. We spend some time unpacking again before heading out into Athens.

We walk to the Metro station at Piraeus. It’s takes longer than expected. Mainly because we miss it and walk on for another 10 minutes before realising this. We turn back and retrace some of ours steps until we find it. It’s only 10am but the sun is already very hot. We are glad of the bottles of water we picked up before leaving the ship.

We purchase our metro tickets and quickly board one

of the waiting trains at the station. There is only one line here so we can’t get on the wrong train. At 10.35 we depart Piraeus and head toward the centre of Athens and Monastiraki the station we will get off at. The train is really busy by the time we reach our destination. We emerge from the station into the shadow of the Acropolis on the hill above us. We can already see people milling about its ancients ruins like little ants even at this hour. We visited the Acropolis last time we were in Athens and so today we intend to visit The Plaka which is the very old part of the city.

We make our way up Ermou Street which is a little like Oxford Street in London. Full of shops and cafes. There seems to be a lot of stray dogs about, either wandering around nears cafes or lolling in the sunshine. At the top of Ermou we arrive in Syntagma Square where the Parliament building also sits. We take photos with the famous skirt wearing Pom Pom shoed guards before heading down Mitripolous street and into the Plaka proper.

It’s like a small city within a

city. Small narrow streets crowded with tavernas and souvenir shops selling all manner of goods. Proprietors all trying to entice you in to see their wares. We stop at a small taverna for a beer and wifi but decide to order a cold platter of foods as it is almost midday. The platter is delicious and filled with meats, cheeses, Dolmathes and tomatoes. After this we wander along Andreou Street deeper into the Plaka. There are even prettier tavernas here which are now getting very crowded with hungry tourists. We locate a bar called Brettos which is famous for distilling sweet liqueurs. The brightly coloured bottles adorn the shelves behind the bar and the oak vats, which look extremely old, are stacked one atop the other on the far side. We opt for some wine rather than the liqueurs before heading back out.

We navigate back through the narrow streets and around the ancient Roman Agora where we see a team of people excavating and renovating the ruins in the harsh mid day sun. They must be very dedicated. We soon find ourselves back at Monastiraki station and hop on the first train back to the port. We slowly make our

way back to the ship, with a refreshment stop on the way. We note a lot of the shops here sell nautical apparel which is not surprising considering how many ships and boats use this port.

Back on Connie we dump our things and head to Bistro on 5 for lunch. We have an excellent Turkey Club Sandwich each and two milkshakes. It’s very quiet onboard as I expect most guests are still ashore. We send the remainder of the afternoon on our balcony watching the many boats and ships leave the harbour as they make their way out into the Saronic Sea and too the many Greek Islands destination.

Connie slips her moorings around 6pm and slowly manoeuvres out of Piraues as we head south easterly toward Santorino. We dress smartly this evening as we are dining in Ocean Liners which is the premium restaurant onboard the ship. Before that we head to the sunset bar just as the sun is setting although not as good as the previous two due to the high mountains around Athens. Next stop is the Martini Bar, we were developing a routine I think.
We get to Ocean Liners at 8.30 and are given a

table by the window. Not much to see at this hour except some lights from other ships or small towns cuddling the rocky shoreline in the distance. The atmosphere in the restaurant is very formal. Elegantly dressed waiters are busily serving smartly dressed guests (well most anyway, there is one person in polo and jeans, I didn’t look at his feet as trainers would have sent me over the edge).

We are served a small soup (small as in tiny) of potato and roe to ‘open up our palate’, it’s very nice I have to say. We order our water and wine. Pellegrini & Bezinger and then our food. I opt for the Caprese Salad & Dover Sole. Peter orders Smoked Salmon/avocado Terrine and Veal Tenderloin. My Dover Sole is prepared and deboned at the table. It is excellent. Peter enjoys his Veal. We share a mixture of small tasty desserts before enjoying a cheese plate. All in all Ocean Liners was an excellent experience. Food was not too pretentious as I feared and the service very good.

We head up to the pool deck next where a strictly type dance party is in full swing. A very good live band

takes over after that followed by a DJ at midnight. We bop under the stars until 1am before heading back to our cabin.


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Tot: 0.636s; Tpl: 0.19s; cc: 7; qc: 23; dbt: 0.2938s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 7; ; mem: 1.2mb

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