May 17, 2015

Mediterranean Cruise: Day 8 (Athens)

Monday, December 22...

We met for an early breakfast at 7:30, the time we pulled into port, thinking the rush would be over by the time our food was downed and we had collected all of our items. But there was a hold-up from the Greek port authorities, so we actually had to wait a few minutes before disembarking--not too long of a wait, so at least we didn't miss any action! We stubbornly decided we could make our way to the metro station on foot and get to the Acropolis from there, so we hoofed it nearly an HOUR to get to the station. Ugh! The kids were troopers, really. We had Zaden in the stroller and Seanin in the backpack. Poor Grandma had some problems with dizziness, but she felt much better after resting on the train and rehydrating.

From the metro stop it was a few minutes' walk to the Acropolis entrance--up the same road I had ridden on my Segway tour a month earlier! We purchased entrance tickets, hit the restrooms, and checked in the stroller--the Acropolis is NOT stroller-friendly!

It was a beautiful sunny day, if windy--the cold breeze, actually, was quite nippy during our long walk earlier, but in the sun at the top of the city it wasn't bad, especially with all the hiking. We read a little from Rick Steves' guide but mostly puttered around at our own pace.

Next was climbing Mars Hill. Seanin was asleep in the backpack by this point. We were definitely ready for lunch, but we were not ready to pay 9 euro for one gyro, so we took the metro to the stop near the National Archaeological Museum and found a reasonable restaurant for lunch. The fries and gyros were wonderful! Then we began walking again, and I found the place where we had eaten lunch during our girls' trip to Athens the month before, the same day our group had visited that same museum, in fact! But more importantly, across from the cafe is a specialty sweets shop where we purchased our baklava treats. :-) We let the kids each choose a goodie from the Christmas specialties on display, and then we cleared out their stash of baklava (850g, not quite a kilo!).

Onward to the museum! The kids were tired by the time we arrived, but we figured that would be the case and tried to make the most of it. As it turned out, many of the rooms were closed off. But we did go through all the ones that were open, which was great for me, too, since I hadn't seen most of those rooms before. Seanin got pretty frantic, having only napped a short time in the backpack earlier, so it got a bit difficult, but at least it was not very crowded inside. Ted was disappointed not to see so much, but at least we did get to see everything possible.

We sucked it up and paid 60 euro for 2 taxis to drive us directly to the port. Seanin was loudly unhappy about 2/3 of the drive, but at least we weren't retracing the many steps from the morning. We had 45-minute naps, just enough for Seanin to be completely unhappy during most of dinner. Sigh. He went straight to bed afterward, with Charis offering to babysit so I could see the show, an Italian music showcase that I actually really enjoyed. We all went to sleep with the happy thought that we would have no agenda the next day, an at-sea day after 5 very full days in a row!

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