European Cruise

Istanbul-Turkey Varna-Bulgaria Odessa-Ukraine Sevastopol-Ukraine
Ephesus-Turkey Rhodes-Greece Limassol-Cyprus Cairo-Egypt
Athens-Greece Kusadasi-Turkey Santorini-Greece Messina-Sicily
Naples-Pompeii-Italy Rome-Italy Monte Carlo-Monaco Marseille-France
Barcelona-Spain Cadiz-Spain Lisbon-Portugal Paris-France
London-England People Ship General Items

Athens, Greece. Athens & The Acropolis.
Timeline for Athens:
3,000 BC: first settlement on the Acropolis
480 BC: All buildings of the Archaic Period were destroyed by the Persians.
432 BC: Construction of the Parthenon
51 AD: St. Paul delivers a sermon
267 AD: Germanic tribe destroys Acropolis
1687 AD: Parthenon damaged by Venetians L
1974 AD: Changed from a monarchy to a democracy
The victor of the civil war in the 1950s torn down many historic buildings and built new office buildings. Our guide was dismayed that so many classical buildings were destroyed.
Greek Orthodox churches can't use statues. Instead, they use paintings and icons.

We are taking a 28-day cruise that is actually two cruises for many people. Thus, about 1,100 people got off the ship today, and are being replaced with people coming on. We heard that the next portion of our cruise (May 14-30) is full.

This morning we took a tour of Athens and the Acropolis. The tour began with the most famous temple of the Ancient City--the Parthenon, dedicated to Athena, the patron goddess of Athens. It's a long walk up a winding path towards the Acropolis (it's great to be here while this walking is easy). The Acropolis stands 230 feet above the city, and comprises a gate with a stone entry and two temples. The Parthenon is the larger of the temples. The paths and buildings of the Acropolis are being reinforced. Iron rods to help support columns are being replaced with titanium rods. Many of the paths and steps are stone or marble, which are sometimes slippery, and are sloped downward, so it is tricky walking on them without feeling that we may slip and fall.

In 1687 AD the Parthenon was used to store gunpowder. During the war between France and Turkey, over who will control Greece, the Parthenon was hit, and the gunpowder exploded, severely damaging the Parthenon. Again, why can't countries let other countries live without being occupied, so these people and historic buildings can continue to exist unharmed?! Over and over on this cruise we have seen the negative results of countries fighting for property, commerce, and wealth.

There are many great views of Athens from the Acropolis. While driving through the city, we saw Constitution Square, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where the soldiers keep watch in their traditional costumes, the Temple of Zeus and the Olympic Stadium.

Photo 691 is an ancient stadium near the Acropolis
Photo 731 is in front of the Parthenon
Photo 738 is the side of the Acropolis hill, with the Parthenon at the top
Photo 770 is the Olympic stadium from numerous years ago.

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