Sunday, November 21, 2010

Port: Athens

On Acropolis overlooking the Temple of Zeus and the first modern Olympic stadium
Temple of Athena under Acropolis Museum
I was looking forward to Athens. With the unrest and riots in Athens we were worried that this port would be canceled. We did the shore excursion called "Athens on your own". The plan of this excursion is they drop us off in the middle of the city and then tell us to be back to 4:00 because the bus will be there at 4:15 we get on the bus and we'll leave. If you aren't back by that time, the bus will leave you. We decided to do this one so that we would have time to do all the things we want in the time.
Parthenon 
We had a goal to go to the Acropolis and Acropolis museum, the National Archaeological museum in Athens, then to the Temple of Zeus ruins.We did it all but the Temple of Zeus, but we could see the ruins below while on the Acropolis.
The Acropolis Museum was super cool. Its opened last October (2009) and built on the active archaeological museum of the Temple of Athena/Nike. The floors are clear so you can look down and watch the active site. Also they have taken all the plasters of all the frescoes and statues, put the plasters on the Acropolis and the originals are in the museum.  Also any frescoes or statues that are in the British Museum or the Berlin Museum  there are plasters of them in the Acropolis Museum. Seeing everything at eye level was very cool. Also I think its cool that these artworks are now protected in environmental controlled rooms but without depriving us of seeing them where they belong.
I also enjoyed see the ongoing restoration project of the Parthenon. I wanted a documentary on it before going and to see the work up close (or at least as close as I could get) was a big deal for me. I enjoyed have the opportunity to explain the process to my fellow travelers too. For your information, the process is this, they remove each damaged piece one by one. A plaster cast is created of the missing section. Then a laser cuts the marble to be an exact replica of the plaster cast. The copy is then fused to the original marble piece and they are replaced onto the temple. Since the new marble is so much more white and shinny, its obvious what has been replaced and what is old.
To reach the archaeological museum we walked through one of the main streets. It was crowed and noisy and just like any big city street. The National Archaeological museum wasn't much of a disappointment. It had less of the big stuff in it, but it had a lot of wonderful things to see. I'm grateful we were able to go. There were many of the big famous statues there.
Outside the museum there is a cafe/restaurant. I believe its considered the Museum's cafe. On their menu they had a burger called the "Royal Castle" Burger, the description read "no comment". This was so intriguing to my husband and his brother that they just had to order it. I didn't catch everything that was on it, but it was like a gyro on a bun. Yummy too.

When done at the museum we took Athens' awesome subway system back to the Plaka to rendezvous with our group. We had some gelato while waiting and when the bus came we went back to the ship exhausted. This was the evening we went and sat in the hot tub to sooth our sore legs and feet.

1 comment:

Stewart Family said...

What an awesome adventure! I'm sure you'll have memories that will last a lifetime.