Sunday, December 11, 2011

Athens, Greece

Our ship lifted anchor at Santorini about 10 pm and headed on to Piraeus, Athen's main port and one of the most important in the Mediterranean. We got there at 7 am after a leisurely cruise of 123 miles. We booked one of the ship's shore excursions for this stop. As is usually the case, ship sponsored land excursions are always expensive, the groups are often too large and at the end of each tour, you always feel that you missed something that you shouldn't for the money that you paid for.

We never learn our lesson, we just keep doing it time and again LOL. Part of the reason is we just do not want to be bothered searching for better alternatives. It is just so mindlessly easy to book a ship shore excursion and have the assurance that the ship will not sail until their excursionists are back on board.

On our way to the Parthenon, I saw some workers at a distance doing some clean-up work. I zoomed at the group with my point and shoot camera.

The result could be better but I'm happy with the 10X zoom of my pocket camera. Mababaw ang kaligayan ko, photographically speaking LOL.

The Parthenon undergoing some cosmetic (?) work.

I do not know what this is or why I'm here.

I was told this is a significant ruin but if this was in my neighborhood the local powers-that-be will say it is an urban blight and ought to be demolished and replaced with an income generating nonsense.

Everybody was looking and I looked, too, but I do not know what we were supposed to look at, so I just took a picture of them looking and what I thought they were looking at.

I'm glad we arrived before the tourist horde started coming. It was a mess here and I do not know how the parking lot we left behind or what passed for one, looked like. Our bus driver just told us to bail out quickly when we arrived and he'll pick us up at the arranged time and place, give or take a few minutes. Amazingly, we found our bus or the bus driver found us amidst the chaos - a near miracle without a gps or a cell phone.

Street parking Athens-style, any which way you can LOL.

The Panathenaic Stadium, I think.

We're headed to that ruin (like I care) atop that distant hill. After seeing so many ruins and archeological sites in many countries we've visited over the years, I'm getting an overload of them. I'd rather see other things even if they are less historically significant or famous.

I thought taking a pic of this mailbox is a pleasant change from all those ruins.

The glory of the past behind the beauty of the present.

At last we are heading down to the bus and back to the boat! I need a drink!