Athens!

Well, sort of Athens and Athens-adjacent. Our first day in Greece we tooled around Pireaus.

The second day, while I took my students to the Corinth area, Joe and Dan went to Poseiden’s Temple, which is on the coast south and east of Athens. It looks gorgeous from the pictures they took, but it was very cold and blustery. 

Poseiden’s Temple

Every morning before we left the ship, everyone had to take rapid antigen tests. We continue to see very small numbers of positive cases (2 or 3 a day out of maybe 500 people), and those people and their close contacts are isolated or quarantined quickly. It feels quite safe here, which is odd for a close living situation. But the testing is well-done and efficient, N95 masks are required, and there are capacity limits everywhere there should be on the ship.

For the final couple of days we took the metro into Athens. After strolling through the sights, like the Agora and Hadrian’s Arch, we made our way past the Acropolis. Our apartment had a partial Parthenon view, which was pretty day or night. We had an amazing lunch and generally great food the whole visit.

Wine at lunch for us, excellent smoothie for Joe!

The first day Dan and I climbed up the Acropolis. Winter is definitely the time to come to Athens! It was sunny and cool, but hardly any people. Of course, COVID is an issue, but I generally think the cold weather (for Greece) kept people away too. So awesome for us. 

Our final day we all went to the Acropolis Museum. Joe was last there when he was 9, but doesn’t really recall a lot of the details. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. After a touristy but delicious final meal in the Plaka area, we made our way circuitously back to the metro and back to the port of Pireaus. I had heard from the guide on the student trip that a church near the port was really worth an inside visit, so we did that on the way back to the ship. And it was indeed a spectacular Eastern Christian (aka Greek Orthodox) church.

Greek Orthodox Church in Pireaus, devoted to St. Nicholas (yes, that one), who is also the patron saint of sailors

I am posting this from Cyprus, which will be the subject of a later post. But on the way, we sailed very close to the Greek islands of Naxos, Mykonos, Delios, Santorini, and finally Rhodes.

We also saw a beautiful “moon-set” as we waited for the sunrise. And a gorgeous rainbow, as the weather (and the colors) change constantly at sea. As I write this, we are heading to Cyprus and the nearest mainland is Turkey. More soon…

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