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- 2022 Italy, Greece and Turkey: Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
- 2022 Italy, Greece and Turkey: Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey
- 2022 Italy, Greece and Turkey: Mykonos, Greece
- 2022 Italy, Greece and Turkey: Thessaloniki, Greece
- 2022 Italy, Greece and Turkey: Piraeus (Athens), Greece
- 2022 Italy, Greece and Turkey: Zakynthos, Greece
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- 2022 Italy, Greece and Turkey: Celebrity Constellation Ship Review
Visiting Athens, including the Acropolis and its Parthenon, were the highlight of this trip. This is something I have dreamed about since grade school while studying ancient Greece and we built a model of the building. Didn’t we all do that at some point?
I was not disappointed as the Acropolis is still an impressive sight even in its ruined state. I have tried to include pictures that both reflect the beauty of the site, but also reflect the larger crowds present there. This is one of those thing you hear about, large crowds diminishing the experience, but it was only a minor annoyance, and we still got to see the incredible architecture and views of the city from this amazing hill.
There are two things that I would have liked to have done that were not included in our tour. First, I would have liked to visit the Acropolis Museum where they have all the statues and artifacts found on the site, and second I would have liked to have visited one of the surrounding hills to see the the Acropolis from an unobstructed distanced perspective. If I ever return to Athens, we will skip the actual Acropolis and do those two things and maybe some food and wine experiences too.
Our tour guide was a second-generation tour guide. You see her in the pictures holding up the #29 sign and there is even a picture of her “Mama” in green dress also leading another tour group at the same time. She was very knowledgeable about this ancient sight and what it meant to people in ancient times. The theater, which is partially restored, is still used for open air concerts, operas and theatrical performances today.
We did have one issue that affected the tour by about a 10 or 15 minute delay. They were finishing up a reconstruction project near the entrance to the acropolis, which meant that they were taking down scaffolding. In order to do this safely, they had to stop all the upgoing and down going traffic, take a piece down, and then let the traffic through. This mean about a 10 to 15 minute wait standing in a line to get back down the hill. It was hot, sunny and humid at this point.
This leads me to my other recommendation, take this tour as early in the morning as you can to avoid crowds, sun and heat.
After the Acropolis we got a panoramic tour of some of the other highlights in Athens including National and Kapodistrian University of Athens with its Greek revival buildings, the National gardens district with the ruined Temple of Olympian Zeus, the honor guards at the Parliament building, and we even drove by the first Modern Olympic Stadium.
Back on the ship, we enjoyed the incredible views of the city and could even spot the acropolis as we sailed away. Unfortunately, Athens has a lot of smog, and you can actually see it being blown out of the city in the very last picture, it’s brownish yellow streak going from left to right and up from the city.My Cruise History