May 31 – June 18th, 2014
First off, let me say that I know that it has been a long time since I have posted a blog. It is not that life has been too boring to post, but rather, that I have been taking the time to just enjoy the adventure, rather than worrying about recording it. That being said, THIS adventure really requires blogging……so here I go!
Few of our trips could really be called ‘bucket list’ trips. You know, the feeling that you absolutely MUST go somewhere, or do something, before you ‘kick the bucket’. This trip, however, really fit that description.
I have always been fascinated by Greece, and Athens in particular, as the birthplace of Democracy, Philosophy, and Western Civilization, Athens is old, incredibly old, dating back to 5,000 years BC. And who could not love a country that gave us Plato and Socrates, the Olympics, and the Spartans, as well as “Jason and the Argonauts”, and “Troy” and was the setting for “Mamma Mia”……..not to mention those beautiful blue and white houses of Santorini, and Greek Salad?
So, ‘one day’ morphed into ‘Why not now?’ and we set about making our plans.With a lot of research and some recommendations from Fred’s brother Mike and his wife Pam, we decided on a cruise with Windstar, a 9 day smaller cruise ship experience that would begin in Athens, cruise several of the Greek Isles, then on up the coast of Turkey, ending in Istanbul. Adding on several days for sightseeing on either end, and our trip finally began to take shape.
We began this incredible journey on May 31st with an incredibly LONG flight from Houston to Frankfurt, then on to Athens. We arrived in Athens on June 1st at 5 pm (taking into account an 8 hour forward time change). We settled into our hotel, Athens Gate, with just enough energy left to munch a few snacks for dinner and crash.
June 2nd, 2014 – Our hotel was located right within walking distance of the Acropolis and all the sights that we planned on seeing.
This was the view that greeted us from our balcony that first morning……..
The sun rising over the Temple of Zeus……
And with the light……we could see the Temple of Zeus across the street and the Acropolis in the distance. And, the crazy traffic that Athens has become known for.
This is the view from the roof top dining room. You can see the Acropolis (the word means ‘high place’), the rock upon which was built the Parthenon, and other temples to honor the Goddess Athena. In the foreground is the section of town called ‘the Plaka’. In ancient times, the sacred rock of the Acropolis was the most important religious center of Athens, and the city developed around it, much as the current city clusters around its base. The Acropolis was our destination this morning.
But first, breakfast on the roof top…..and a good cup of coffee!