1.05.2010

mascaras meet the mediterranean, part eight: adventures in athens.

Let's get back into the honeymoon recaps, shall we?  Our next stop after Santorini was Athens.  Unfortunately, this was probably the worst day of our whole trip!  We had booked another excursion to see the Acropolis so we set out for the city in our big bus with blue tinted windows.  As you can see, the blue tint did a little number on the pictures we took on the way there!  This picture still looks pretty cool though.

It took quite awhile to get through the city, as there was a ton of traffic.  Athens is kind of dirty and there is a ton of graffiti everywhere.  It was literally on almost every building we saw.  

We stopped at the Olympic stadium to take some pictures on the way.

After the long battle with traffic, we finally arrived at the Acropolis.  It was at least 90 degrees outside with no shade in sight and the line to climb the steps was insane.  Unfortunately, these were the least of our problems.  Our tour guide was terrible!  For starters, it was really hard to understand her, which mad it kind of difficult to enjoy the tour when no one in our group could follow what she was saying.  We hadn't encountered this problem with any of our guides on our trip so far, so I know it wasn't just us.  Second, she was on her cell phone the entire time!  How could she possibly give a tour while on the phone?  Yeah, she couldn't.  We had to sit there and wait until she finished.  Lastly, with such a huge crowd, it was impossible to stay with the group when she wouldn't hold up the number designating our group!  I think we lost about half of our group by the time we got to the top of the steps.  Another person in our group actually took the sign from her and held it up herself after awhile.  To make things worse, we had wasted so much time waiting for her to get off of her phone that we thought we wouldn't get to see everything!  Since we knew when we had to be back at the bus (and knew how to find the bus) we decided to cut our losses and tour the Acropolis without a guide.  Sadly, we didn't get the history lesson we paid for, which probably didn't help improve our impression of Athens as a whole.  But at least we got to see it...

An ancient theater that is overlooked by the Acropolis.



The view from the top.



Pedestrian traffic jam.  That is NOT our tour guide holding up the sign.



The Propylaea.



The Erecthion.






The Parthenon.






View of the Temple of Zeus.  I love this picture!


About a half hour before we were supposed to be back at the bus, we started back down the steps.  Good thing we left early, because we got stuck in another pedestrian traffic jam and were stopped for about 20 minutes!  We finally made it down and back to the bus, and passed by a few monuments on our way back to the boat.

Hadrian's Arch



The Parliament Building at Constitution Square.  We got to see the guards out front do their little dance!


When our less-than-stellar tour had ended (thank goodness) we decided that Athens was not our favorite honeymoon stop.  Thankfully, the cruise line refunded half of our money for this excursion because so many people (including us) complained about our tour guide.

Though our time in Athens was less than ideal, we were glad we got to see it.  We said goodbye to Greece and boarded the ship to head to our next stop: Croatia!

2 comments:

Tammy said...

Thanks for sharing, what a fantastic stop even though your tour guide was less than desirable - we're taking a transatlantic cruise this spring, and I'm so excited to see the sites!

passport in my pocket said...

great photos!

I did this tour as well back in 2001. Except that I accidentally booked a Spanish tour and my Spanish skills were a little rusty ;)