Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Athens, Greece

The next morning, we woke up in Piraeus, Greece, which is the port town just six miles from Athens. Despite all the signs being in Greek, we managed to figure out the public bus system - sorority life actually did teach me something! - and it was about a 20 minute ride into town. We wanted to hit the sights early in the morning before it got too hot (Athens made summers in Atlanta feel chilly), so we headed straight to the Acropolis.

Luckily for us, the bus stop dropped us off near the Agora, whereas all the excursions and taxis drop tourists off on the other side of the Acropolis. There is a lesser-known ticket office on the Agora side, so we got our tickets there without waiting in any line. We didn't know it at the time, but had we waited to get them up at the top, we would have stood in about a two hour line just to get tickets. No thanks!

Church of the Holy Apostles

We first climbed up Mars Hill, which is right next to the Acropolis, to get our first real view of the city. It was gorgeous and we couldn't believe how large the city is - it's kinda hard to tell until you're up high enough to see it all.

looking over the Agora from Mars Hill

The climb up the Acropolis really wasn't bad at all - it was just hot. I brought a little battery-operated fan with me and it was a life saver. And like I mentioned before, thankfully we got to skip the massive line and head right in. It was SO crowded. 

The entrance building, the Propylaea

The Propylaea

Temple of Olympian Zeus

The modern theater, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The old theater, the Theater of Dionysus

The Parthenon

The Parthenon

The Erechtheion

The Parthenon

The Porch of Maidens, on the Erechtheion

The Erechtheion

soo many people !

Next we visited the Acropolis Museum. This was probably my favorite museum, which is saying a lot (for not being much of a museum person, it's pretty remarkable how many museums I get dragged into...). The floor of the museum was made of glass so we could see the ancient ruins beneath it, which was just awesome. In the center of the museum, the ramps up to each floor were also made of glass, so even from the top floor of the museum you could still see down to the ground underneath. We thought it was very well designed for that reason. There were also some cool archeological artifacts, but no pictures allowed.

the ground underneath the museum

view of the Parthenon from the Museum

Once we were done sightseeing, we walked around town for a little while and came across a really cute street market.

Our food radar went off when we passed Arcadia, a local Greek restaurant. Everything we had was fantastic.

local beer

eggplant stuffed with {something}


chick pea balls - amazing!

our first glass of ouzo (I hated it, Bo loved it)

absolutely incredible mussels with tomatoes, peppers, ontions and feta

After our late lunch, we headed back into town to board the ship. We both really liked Athens and wished we had more time there - we would definitely go back.

When we got back to port, another Holland America ship was in port - the ms Noordam, which was our honeymoon ship. It was pretty cool to see the only two cruise ships I've been on both in port right next to each other!

Goodbye, Greece....for now.

Later that night, there was a pub crawl on the ship, which we of course attended. This crazy Polish man was the pub crawl director, and for a skinny guy he could drink us all under the table without even catching a buzz. He was very entertaining.

Our first stop was in the Piano Bar, where Bo and I were already considered regulars. We love piano bars, but this guy really wasn't very good. Without many options on a ship, we'll take what we can get!

At each bar we got a different drink, and if the pub crawl director finished his drink before you did and he caught you, he decorated you with toilet paper. I was caught....

Next we went to the pool bar and played a few rounds of flip cup. It was pretty funny to watch people from other countries, and even Americans who are not recent college grads, attempt to play this game. It's not nearly as fun to play with people who are terrible (isn't that true with any competition?!) - shout out to my Chi O's, I missed you girls!

And for our last stop of the night, we literally crawled in...

We didn't get to our next port until 1pm the next day, so we had a partial day at sea - which meant we got to sleep in and not miss anything. :)  Even on vacation, we just can't hang like we used to!!


  1. I'm jealous because that looked awesome. My husband is a huge history buff and would be in seventh heaven in Greece too.

    1. Definitely - Bo loves history and was rambling off all kinds of facts and information. I wish I could remember things as well as he does, but that kind of stuff goes in one ear and right out the other for me!!

  2. Can I come on your next trip?? Seriously.

    1. Absolutely! The more the merrier :)

  3. I agree with Kristin. It looks like you had a beautiful day in Athens... if it had been 20 degrees cooler. The blue sky in the pictures is gorgeous.

    1. 20 degrees cooler would have been amazing!! When we go back to Athens I can guarantee it won't be in the summertime.

  4. amazing! I think that's how I start every comment about your travels. I definitely would love to try to re-create that mussels dish even though I didn't actual have tasty looking! I love that you guys have so much fun together too! And I can't get over how blue the skies were...

    1. We're going to try to recreate the mussels - if we have any success I'll be sure to post about it :)


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