Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ruined?

Travel Diary Day 11
Monday, November 2

I hate to say it, but I was disappointed with Athens.

Our tour took us to the Acropolis, or "High City," home of the Parthenon and the ruins of several other ancient buildings. We had to climb up the hill to get to it, a rough and rocky trek, and it was really cold and windy. We had a crappy guide, a lecturer rather than a storyteller, and her voice through the headsets was almost unintelligible. And most of the ruins were covered with scaffolding because there's restoration in progress.

I was upset to find out that the remaining statues on the Acropolis are copies because the originals were all taken to other countries centuries ago. Apparently Greece hasn't had any luck in attempts to recover them. Sad.

The city itself was a jumble
of buildings and traffic. The dark, dreary day didn't do anything for it, although I must say the view from the top of the ship was impressive, with tree-covered mountains thrusting up between the populated areas crowded with pale-colored buildings. And the harbor at Piraeus buzzed with ferries and jet boats, tankers and tugs-- all kinds of interesting water traffic.

After visiting Rome and Ephesus, Athens was no biggie. But the drink of the day was an Olympic Torch, rum and fruit punch, so that helped, along with a bottle of wine with dinner.

Nothing like going to bed happy.

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