Tag Archives: Athens; Greece


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…


The family is now in Siena, Italy. So of course I’m going to talk to you about Athens the capital of Greece. The last day in London we went back to Heathrow to fly to Athens. We took a taxi to our hotel in Athens. The hotel was great depending on whose point of view it is. I’ll tell you it was great. Joe, on the other hand, will tell you it’s crap. His bed was right beside the door and on the way to the bathroom for the oldies.

The first day there we went to the Parthenon (the Acropolis for all the haters looking to correct me). Then we went to a nice dinner with lots of cats! Joe was in heaven he just stared at them imagining cuddling with them.

The Parthenon, at the Acropolis

Hadrian’s Gate, built by the Roman Hadrian (of course).

The second day we just walked around the city looking at Parliament, Hadrian’s Gate and all the many ruins in the city of Athens. The same day we went to the Acropolis Museum. Fun fact: Athens supported Mark Anthony and Cleopatra in the Roman civil war.

The third day we went to the hill across from the Acropolis. Are you starting to see a pattern yet? We went to the place where they think the Greece politicians kept Socrates. They also built a statue to the Roman emperor Augustus (they guy that won the Roman civil war, you see why they built it now).

The path to Socrates’ cave.

There are a lot of cats I mean a lot you can’t go a day in Athens with out seeing at least five cats. We saw lots more than five a day but for the sake of the doubters I’ll scale it back to a believe able scale. Then we went to the port, got our ferry tickets and took a trip to Naxos.

Our ferry to the island of Naxos.
Our ferry to the island of Naxos.


This week we spent four days exploring Athens. Glorious weather, and we did it right: explore in the morning, rest in the afternoon, back out for late dinners. We focused on the ruins, as we stayed in Plaka, at the foot of the Acropolis. This was my first visit back to Athens since 1988, when I travelled with Lisa Penner. The city has changed a lot, but mainly it was a much better trip when I had a little bit more money! The wild cats are the same (Jack says “still great”) but there does seem to be less of them. And visiting when it’s maybe 25 degrees is much nicer than visiting when it is about 42 degrees, as it was when I was here in the summer. Much more civilized. Spent the afternoons in Athens catching up on some writing projects, with the ever patient team of co-authors I am currently working with. Thanks again for understanding: Aimee Huff, Miranda Goode, Jodie Whelan, Matt Thomson, and Jeff Rotman. On to Naxos, then Santorini, then Rome!