Athens, Greece

On Thursday, our cruise ship docked in the port of the city of Athens.

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus.
A myth explaining how Athens acquired its name was well known among ancient Athenians and even became the theme of the sculpture on the West pediment of the Parthenon. The goddess of wisdom, Athena, and the god of the seas, Poseidon had many disagreements and battles between themselves, and one of these was a race to be the Patron God of the city. In an attempt to compel the people, Poseidon created a salt water spring by striking the ground with his trident, symbolizing naval power. However, when Athena created the olive tree, symbolizing peace and prosperity, the Athenians, under their ruler Cecrops, accepted the olive tree and named the city after Athena.
At the National Garden (Εθνικός Κήπος) which is a public park of 38 acres in the center of the Greek capital, Athens. It is located directly behind the Greek Parliament building (The Old Palace) and continues to the South to the area where the Zappeion is located, across from the Panathenaiko or Kalimarmaro Olympic Stadium of the 1896 Olympic Games.
The Panathinaïkó Stádio, or Kallimarmaro is a multi-purpose stadium in Athens, Greece. One of the main historic attractions of Athens, it’s the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble.
The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on an extremely rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Pantheon.
Standing in front of the Erechtheion, an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis which was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon.
Standing above the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, it’s a stone theatre located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens, Greece. The building was completed in 161 AD.
The Acropolis is located on a flat-topped rock that rises 490 ft above sea level in the city of Athens, with surrounding views of the city. As you can see in my picture, it’s a very large city.
After a day of exploring Acropolis, I stopped in a cafe while I waited for the tour bus and had a Frappé coffee. In Greece, it’s a foam-covered iced coffee drink made from instant coffee (generally, spray-dried Nescafe), water and sugar. It was thick and delicious.
Before heading back to the cruise ship at the end of the day, we spent some time in the “Plaka”, which is a famous area for shopping and eating. I had another gyro at the Taverna Restaurant.

Olympia, Greece

On Tuesday, we docked in the port of Olympia, Greece.

This is our cruise ship, the MSC Musica. It’s a European cruise line with passengers from all over the world. It’s the first cruise I have ever been on.
In Olympia, we visited the ancient Greek archeological site Olympia, a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula. It’s known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times. These are the ruin remains of the Temple of Zeus.
The sanctuary of Olympia and its surrounding area are preserved in almost intact condition, from ancient times till today. In the sacred Altis, Zeus’ sacred forest, the same tree, and plant species are found, as in antiquity. When visiting the archaeological site of Olympia, you can feel the spirituality of the landscape.
The site of Olympia was once the most important religious and athletic center in Greece. It was also home to a 13-meter-tall statue of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which is believed to have been destroyed in a fire.
After leaving the site of the ruins, we walked around the quiet little town and bought souvenirs.
I tasted olives and olive oils at one of the shops.
And of course, I had my first gyro in Greece! I say first because this is only one of many that I ate all over Greece!