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View 2014 VOYAGE TO ANTIQUITY - AEGEAN & BLACK SEA on hasbeen's travel map.

This is a cruise with a UK company called Voyages to Antiquity aboard their one & only ship - the Aegean Odyssey

They don't only travel in the Aegean, but this cruise will cruise that sea & also the Black Sea.

It is not an all inclusive cruise but almost. First they are going to get me from Ottawa to Montreal which was right on time & Montreal to Athens, ditto.

I had two surprises at Montreal. First up was that I get to sit next to a young beauty from the USA. This is very rare, in my experience, but it did not last long. As soon as the plane reached altitude I switched seats so her equally pretty friend could sit with her. I moved back down the plane & sat with a lady, Laurie, who will actually be on the same cruise as me. That was the second surprise,

Laurie & I spent the next 9 hours talking. Fastest crossing of the Atlantic I have ever done.

Landing at Athens, the immigration is a bit of a shambles. I say goodbye to the two young lovelies & Laurie. Passport in hand, I am approaching the immigration desk when someone jumps the line in front of me. The immigration guy glances at my passport from 4 paces away and waves me passed the jumper. Could not possibly have seen my passport detail, but I am into Greece. Five minutes later my bag is off the carousel & I am looking for the V 2 A representative who is right in front of the line. A short wait for two other passengers & a quick walk to the parking lot & we are on the bus to the hotel.

There are three of us on the transfer to the hotel. The other two are also from Ottawa. About 40 minutes later we pull up at the hotel & the Bell Boy whisks the suitcase away to the room.

A short wait to check in and see the V 2 A Rep who gives me the program for my two night in Athens.

Amazingly efficient & full marks to V 2 A.

The hotel is the King George, almost an annex of the slightly fancier Grande Bretagne next door. It's a strange hotel. No coffee bar or bar on the ground floor. No shop either. The bath is very nice but only a hand held shower. First time I have had a bath in I don't know how long.

This is the view from the terrace of the hotels restaurant ....... some old building on top of a hill spoiling the view ....


The hotel is right in the heart of downtown & after a nap I take a walk around the nearby streets. All crowded with people at 9:00 at night. Pleasant temperature. A nice evening for sitting and watching the street life. I had a chat about football with a barman in a bar where there were lots of single ladies. It occurred to me they may have been hookers but if they were they were very well dressed & not blatant.


V 2 A had laid on an excursion around Athens for the next day & here we are at stop #1 - the Olympic stadium ....

and passing the guards in dresses outside Parliament. Not quite as scary as the Scots in their kilts ..


After a bit of a drive around it's time for the walk to the Acropolis.

As everyone knows, the Acropolis is the building on top of the hill overlooking Athens. At least that is what I always thought.

Not true - The Parthenon & other buildings are on top of the hill called the Acropolis & every little town in Greece has an Acropolis. I now know to avoid any excursion that mentions Acropolis since it translates to " way to many steps for me ".

Half way up ....


On top ....


It is very pretty though ...






but - what goes up, must come down ....

After exhausting myself walking around the Acropolis site we get a bit of a break with a couple of hours around the quite wonderful Acropolis Museum It would be even more wonderful if the Brits would give them back the Elgin Marbles to add to the display. They have a space ready & waiting. Not gonna happen any time soon & that is just not cricket.

But - as the world knows, the Brits can't play cricket either.


Mostly there are no photos allowed in the Museum but this is NIke & it was allowed to take photos in this area.

Hard to believe it's possible to carve something like that out of stone ...



Another shot of the changing of the guard before the guide dropped us off at the hotel.

Later I took the Coastal Tram for over an hour to the end of the line. A lovely little commuter ride to & along the coast. Stops a lot & very crowded. Had a beer at an almost empty beech bar, watching the sun go down & the tram back to town. For old foggies the fare was one Euro 20 return. Not a bad deal.

Spent the rest of the evening wandering the same back streets by the hotel & found a great little music bar which again had lots of ladies. Must be a shortage of men here.

Next day it was just breakfast in the hotel & a stroll around the block, wasting time waiting for the transfer to the ship at Pireaus. There was another museum tour on offer which I passed on.

Again - very efficient on the part of V 2 A

The following day we will leave for the island of Syros.

I finished a cruise in Athens on 2011 & was not impressed. Too grey, too much Graffiti.

Still lots of Graffiti but I left with a much better impression this time.

Posted by hasbeen 02:59 Archived in Greece

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