By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises
Even our wondrous small ship cannot sail into Syntagma Square in Athens.
We instead we dock at the port of Piraeus, about 10 traffic-clogged miles from Athens.
Safe travels to guests leaving us here. And welcome aboard to those joining us here for the next leg, from Athens to Venice.
Here’s our plan:
Athens is one of the great cities of the world, and holds a collection of spectacular ancient sites and museums.
The Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, the National Archeological Museum, the National Historical Museum, the Byzantine Museum, and so much more.
If you’ve never been to Athens before, there’s really not much question about what to put at the top of your list: the Acropolis is fully deserving of a spot on anyone’s bucket list.
AN ATHENS ALBUM
The Acropolis was the fortified citadel and the state sanctuary of the ancient city of Athens.
It is perched on a flat-topped rock that rises above what is now the heart of the city of Athens.
And when I say ancient, I’m talking about peoples and civilizations that go back thousands of years before what we consider Classical Greece.
By the middle of the 8th century B.C., at least part of the Acropolis had been redeveloped into the sanctuary of the goddess Athena, the patroness of the city. Athena, as in Athens.
In the 6th century B.C., the first monumental stone, Doric temple of Athena is built on the Acropolis.
Even if you’ve been to Athens before, the Greeks—never mind all of their financial foibles—have done an extraordinary job with the design and construction of the New Acropolis Museum, which opened in June of 2009.
More than four thousand items are on display, including a portion of the frieze of the Parthenon—the part that is not in the British Museum, they will remind you.
In fact, some observers say one of the reasons the museum was created was to put pressure on the British Museum to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece where they could be displayed in their proper setting.
Good luck with that.
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