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Athens Tips, Suggestions, Examples to Enjoy!

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From visiting Athens for three days in 2006 prior to starting our first cruise, there is much to enjoy here. It is a large city of about four million people. Much of the city is urban, newer growth, so-so and average. BUT, the stars in Athens are superstars!!! Below are some picture examples. I rate the top three as the Parthenon and Acropolis Hill, the Plaka and the National Archilogical Museum. Parthenon construction began in 447BC and was completed in 432BC on the spectacular Athenian Acropolis hill. We had a wonderful retired teacher as our guide there and she gave us great, interesting details on how it was constructed. It is rated as the most important surviving building of Classical Greece. As you can see from the pictures, we had a great, beautiful sunny day there! Wonderfully nice place to see this history and all that is nearby in Athens.

 

We stayed at the nice and highly-rated AVA Hotel that was right nearby in the heart of the highly-enjoyable Plaka. This dining and shopping area is totally full of charm and interest, plus being handy to the Acropolis and other historic areas. The National Archaeological Museum is not right nearby, but it is well worth the trip by subway to get there. It is the most important archaeological museum of Greece and has a very important international collection of antiquities. Its artifacts cover a period of more than 5,000 years, from late Neolithic Age to Roman Greece. You can follow that timeline history and better understand how the Romans "borrowed" the great designs of the Greeks to "share" with the world.

 

You can do much of Athens well in a day or two. On one of our three days there (besides resting up from the long trans-Atlantic flight), we did a day-trip to the Peloponnesian Peninsula seeing Corinith, Nafplio, the Mycenae fortress-town of that Aegean civilization and Epidaurus with its great outdoor theatre with perfect sound. Happy to post more pictures and/or answer questions. It is worth the added time in Athens and nearby.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

 

ParthenonPosing.jpg

 

 

Outdoor theatre adjoining the Parthenon:

 

OutdoorTheatre.jpg

 

 

On Acropolis hill:

 

OnAcrop.jpg

 

Acrop.jpg

 

 

One sample from famed National Archaeological Museum:

 

NatArch.jpg

 

 

At night in Plaka:

 

PlakaNight.jpg

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Don't miss the changing of the guards at the parliment building. Very cool (or as my 5YO niece described "guys carrying guns wearing skirts with pompoms on their shoes -- and the shoes clicked really loud")

 

The National gardens (next to parliment) are also very nice.

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Don't miss the changing of the guards at the parliment building. Very cool (or as my 5YO niece described "guys carrying guns wearing skirts with pompoms on their shoes -- and the shoes clicked really loud")

 

To supplement, the ceremony is every hour on the hour, with a much longer one on Sunday morning.

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We had a truly awful visit to the Acropolis in early October (cruise on Solstice). We were on a (shared) private excursion that day, and I had thought that we would go straight (8am) to the Acropolis, but in the event it was after 11am by the time we arrived there. Even though we had tickets (bought at the first site we visited, the Temple of Zeus) it took almost 30 minutes to trudge up to the top - in step with all the other people doing the climb. It was so crowded and so horrible that we turned straight round and came down.

 

Maybe we hit a bad time - there was at least one other cruise ship in port so you can imagine that there were lots of excursion coaches - but I have a feeling that you need to get there early or late to get a good experience.

 

I'd love to go there again but I think it will have to be in the context of a shore-based trip.

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Thanks for sharing....Awesome pics

 

THANKS for the kind comments and the other suggestions on options while in Athens! Below are a few more visual samples/examples from this charming and historic city. Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

 

A view from our AVA Hotel balacony of Roman relics in Athens:

 

RuinsFromHotel.jpg

 

 

Outdoor dining in the Plaka. Lots of music and fun, plus good food:

 

PlakaDining.jpg

 

 

National Arch. Museum treasures from Greece’s great history:

 

NatMusTreasures.jpg

 

 

 

Night opera performance at outdoor theatre right below the Parthenon:

 

NightOpera.jpg

 

 

A view from below the Parthenon:

 

ArcopHill.jpg

 

 

Mythos is the beer to enjoy while dining outdoors in Plaka:

 

MythosBeer.jpg

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THANKS for the kind comments and the other suggestions on options while in Athens! Below are a few more visual samples/examples from this charming and historic city. Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

 

Night opera performance at outdoor theatre right below the Parthenon:

 

NightOpera.jpg

 

 

 

Hey Terry, how did you arrange to attend the performance at the theater above? That looks like something I'd really enjoy. Did you plan it in advance or did your hotel help arrange it -- please share details!

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Hey Terry, how did you arrange to attend the performance at the theater above? That looks like something I'd really enjoy. Did you plan it in advance or did your hotel help arrange it -- please share details!

 

I did some checking ahead on the summer opera website and saw their schedule. Then in the afternoon, I just walked up and got tickets for the evening performance. It was nice to see. People were pretty dressed up for the program. Very classy and nice to experience it in the evening as the sun was setting. It's a big theater. Here are some added notes on what we saw, a website, the theater, etc.

 

Greek National Opera , Othello by Giuseppe Verdi

Conductor: Loukas Karytinos, Directed by Spyros A. Evangelato

http://www.athensinfoguide.com

June 13-15, Giuseppe Verdi’s Othello by Greek National Opera

50 or 65 Euro for seating zone A or B

telephone 011+30 210 9282 900

daily 9-2, 6-9 daily, ticketed 3 weeks out

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is an ancient open-air amphitheater, at the foot of the Acropolis. The 5,000 seat theatre, specially designed for musical and dramatic performances in 161 AD, was commissioned by the wealthy Roman benefactor, Herodes Atticus, in memory of his late wife. Decorated in marble and monumental in size, it has served as a vital part of Greek culture since ancient times when musicians, dancers, dramatists and poets performed in festivals for the favor of the gods.

 

Does this help?

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

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I did some checking ahead on the summer opera website and saw their schedule. Then in the afternoon, I just walked up and got tickets for the evening performance. It was nice to see. People were pretty dressed up for the program. Very classy and nice to experience it in the evening as the sun was setting. It's a big theater. Here are some added notes on what we saw, a website, the theater, etc.

 

Greek National Opera , Othello by Giuseppe Verdi

Conductor: Loukas Karytinos, Directed by Spyros A. Evangelato

www.athensinfoguide.com

June 13-15, Giuseppe Verdi’s Othello by Greek National Opera

50 or 65 Euro for seating zone A or B

telephone 011+30 210 9282 900

daily 9-2, 6-9 daily, ticketed 3 weeks out

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is an ancient open-air amphitheater, at the foot of the Acropolis. The 5,000 seat theatre, specially designed for musical and dramatic performances in 161 AD, was commissioned by the wealthy Roman benefactor, Herodes Atticus, in memory of his late wife. Decorated in marble and monumental in size, it has served as a vital part of Greek culture since ancient times when musicians, dancers, dramatists and poets performed in festivals for the favor of the gods.

 

Does this help?

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

That's great, thanks so much for the info. I'm tentatively starting to plan a land trip to Greece with some time in Athens and I know I would really love to do this.

 

:)

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That's great, thanks so much for the info. I'm tentatively starting to plan a land trip to Greece with some time in Athens and I know I would really love to do this. :)

 

Appreciate the kind comments. That

http://www.athensinfoguide.com

website only now has event posted up till the spring of 2010. You might have to wait till within a month or two of your visit in order to see a full listing of what is schedule while you are there.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

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Do you know what time they do the changing of the guards?

 

Every hour on the hour, with a longer very extensive ceremony on Sunday morning around 10:30 or 11 AM. (Sorry I do not remember which because I have not been in Athens on a Sunday yet.)

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Appreciate the kind comments. That

http://www.athensinfoguide.com

website only now has event posted up till the spring of 2010. You might have to wait till within a month or two of your visit in order to see a full listing of what is schedule while you are there.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Terry your pictures and enthusiasm have kick started mine planning for our upcoming May8th to 22 NCL Gem cruise.

 

Could you offer some first hand advice? We arrive in Pireaus at 7am set sail at 6pm, could you offer me a plan? We are early 50's good shape and love photography. Thanks Karen

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Terry your pictures and enthusiasm have kick started mine planning for our upcoming May8th to 22 NCL Gem cruise.

Could you offer some first hand advice? We arrive in Pireaus at 7am set sail at 6pm, could you offer me a plan? We are early 50's good shape and love photography. Thanks Karen

 

THANKS, Karen, for the nice and kind comments! Without knowing your exact budget and travel interests/style, I will offer a couple of general suggestions. At the start of this thread are more details. I'd arrive in port and take a cab to the Acropolis Hill area. Get a personal guide you hire there on site to take you around up there and see the wonderful Parthenon. You'll learning lots of interesting details on how it was built, etc. Then I would walk to the Plaka that is right next door. Maybe have lunch there at one of the outdoor cafes, etc. If you're into history and art, the National Archaeological Museum might involve another cab ride from the Plaka. Some will say you can take public transit to get around in Athens and that you need to be careful on how some cab drivers will charge you. YES, that's true, but there is also the "time-efficiency" factor to consider. You could also get a personal driver who can take you around Athens and/or nearby to see some of the other sites. The new Parthenon Museum is now open and has lots of nice options to see. Tell us more on your interests, budget and "style" for such a visit to Athens. It is a big, big city, but in my view the Arcopolis and Plaka are the two must-see's and they are very close and handy to each other. Does this help? Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

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THANKS, Karen, for the nice and kind comments! Without knowing your exact budget and travel interests/style, I will offer a couple of general suggestions. At the start of this thread are more details. I'd arrive in port and take a cab to the Acropolis Hill area. Get a personal guide you hire there on site to take you around up there and see the wonderful Parthenon. You'll learning lots of interesting details on how it was built, etc. Then I would walk to the Plaka that is right next door. Maybe have lunch there at one of the outdoor cafes, etc. If you're into history and art, the National Archaeological Museum might involve another cab ride from the Plaka. Some will say you can take public transit to get around in Athens and that you need to be careful on how some cab drivers will charge you. YES, that's true, but there is also the "time-efficiency" factor to consider. You could also get a personal driver who can take you around Athens and/or nearby to see some of the other sites. The new Parthenon Museum is now open and has lots of nice options to see. Tell us more on your interests, budget and "style" for such a visit to Athens. It is a big, big city, but in my view the Arcopolis and Plaka are the two must-see's and they are very close and handy to each other. Does this help? Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Terry I hate to admit I am not a "real history buff" but really enjoy looking at beautiful things for just that their beauty not necessarily why they are, or how they became that way. So I am looking to enjoy many aspects of Athens, not just running from museum to museum. We love photography and that includes buildings and people. We also love to have a meal or drinks in places we visit. We love the independence of doing it on our own and usually save tours for places that are far from port or maybe safer by doing an excursions.

 

Thanks again for any and all ideas. Karen

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Terry I hate to admit I am not a "real history buff" but really enjoy looking at beautiful things for just that their beauty not necessarily why they are, or how they became that way. So I am looking to enjoy many aspects of Athens, not just running from museum to museum. We love photography and that includes buildings and people. We also love to have a meal or drinks in places we visit. We love the independence of doing it on our own and usually save tours for places that are far from port or maybe safer by doing an excursions. Thanks again for any and all ideas. Karen

 

THANKS, Karen, for the added info! Nothing wrong with loving "beauty" versus history! My top three would still stay that same on "beauty" to see and enjoy in Athens. You can't go wrong with Acropolis, Plaka and National Museum. That museum is just that, BUT its collection has such a nice range of good-looking stuff, you can't go wrong. It usually is not that crowded as it is at a little distance from the Acropolis/Plaka. I would suggest checking at a nearby library or bookstore for their Eyewitness books on Athens. Look at the pictures! See what hits your eye, interests and heart for the most "beauty" and charm in Athens. The Plaka has lots of great outdoor eating places, shops, people activities, music playing, etc.

 

Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

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Terry I hate to admit I am not a "real history buff" but really enjoy looking at beautiful things for just that their beauty not necessarily why they are, or how they became that way. So I am looking to enjoy many aspects of Athens, not just running from museum to museum. We love photography and that includes buildings and people. We also love to have a meal or drinks in places we visit. We love the independence of doing it on our own and usually save tours for places that are far from port or maybe safer by doing an excursions. . .

 

I'm with Karen on this -- much of what is beautiful in Athens is related to the history. The Acropolis area is gorgeous -- lots of details to photograph, great views from the top of the hill of the rest of the city. Be certain to take the time to explore the acroplis area below the hill (the area around the Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereuse).

 

Much of the marbles and other stuff in the museums are also beautiful (even when ignoring the history :) )

 

Also, behind the Tomb of the Unknown solder on Amalias street, at the top of Syntagma Square is the National Garden (fka "Kings Garden"). It is beautiful and peaceful.

Edited by Onessa

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There is a little red train that leaves from the front of the New Museum and does a circuit through the city. PLEASE BE WARNED ;), we asked how long the circuit would take and were told 1 hour - wrong - it took 1 1/2 hours which meant the 1/2 hour we had up our sleeve had gone :( and we had to catch a E20 taxi to be sure of being back at the ship on time. The train ride was not expensive, can't recall exactly how much, but we thoroughly enjoyed the overview of the city or did until anxiety set in :eek: as we watched the time ticking by. Apart from that it is an incredible city and we loved our visit there.

Have fun, Misty

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I'd arrive in port and take a cab to the Acropolis Hill area. Get a personal guide you hire there on site to take you around up there and see the wonderful Parthenon. You'll learning lots of interesting details on how it was built, etc. Then I would walk to the Plaka that is right next door. Maybe have lunch there at one of the outdoor cafes, etc.

 

This is exactly what we are considering doing for out port time in March. What is the price range for the guides that we will encounter there?

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This is exactly what we are considering doing for out port time in March. What is the price range for the guides that we will encounter there?

 

I don't remember the exact cost. These guides are licensed and have to meet very specific requirements. My recollection was something like $60-80 for the two of us. Not cheap. I think we negotiated a little. Was it worth it? Absolutely! We learned lots, got all of our questions answered and she was able to take a great picture of us. How often in your life do you get to one of the most famous places in the whole world? After you have spent lots and lots for your cruise, airfare, etc., don't pinch pennies too much at a great site like this where you want to really understand that history, how it was built, etc.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

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I don't remember the exact cost. These guides are licensed and have to meet very specific requirements. My recollection was something like $60-80 for the two of us. Not cheap. I think we negotiated a little. Was it worth it? Absolutely! We learned lots, got all of our questions answered and she was able to take a great picture of us. How often in your life do you get to one of the most famous places in the whole world? After you have spent lots and lots for your cruise, airfare, etc., don't pinch pennies too much at a great site like this where you want to really understand that history, how it was built, etc.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

That's not too bad. Thanks for the info!

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I don't remember the exact cost. These guides are licensed and have to meet very specific requirements. My recollection was something like $60-80 for the two of us. Not cheap. I think we negotiated a little. Was it worth it? Absolutely! We learned lots, got all of our questions answered and she was able to take a great picture of us. How often in your life do you get to one of the most famous places in the whole world? After you have spent lots and lots for your cruise, airfare, etc., don't pinch pennies too much at a great site like this where you want to really understand that history, how it was built, etc.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Terry how long was your tour? Thanks Karen

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Terry how long was your tour? Thanks Karen

 

It was about two hours. I went back and checked my photo file where it has the times recorded on when each photo was taken. Handy thing to be able to go back and check! A nice feature that many digital does as you shoot each picture. This included going through with her the Arcopolis Museum that was on the hilltop then in 2006. It's now in its new location from which you can look up to the Parthenon. She was a wonderful guide with great insights and helpful background.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

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It was about two hours. I went back and checked my photo file where it has the times recorded on when each photo was taken. Handy thing to be able to go back and check! A nice feature that many digital does as you shoot each picture. This included going through with her the Arcopolis Museum that was on the hilltop then in 2006. It's now in its new location from which you can look up to the Parthenon. She was a wonderful guide with great insights and helpful background.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Thanks. Speaking of Digital Cameras your pics are so beautiful what do you shoot with? Thanks Karen

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I think he use a Nikon D50 camera :p (if you want see the exif properties of an image use this website: http://regex.info/exif.cgi -copy paste the image url in form)

 

Hi to all members. My name is Makis, I'm from Greece (Athens) and I can help you with any information you need about Greek ports and places. I've go 14 cruises at Greek islands and Turkey with various ships.

 

Welcome Makis, I can see you just joined cruise critic.

 

If you were arriving from Piraeus and only had 8 hours to explore Athens what would you do and how? Thanks so much

 

We are also going to Santorini, Mykonos, Iraklion, Crete and Corfu so any ideas for those ports would be helpful.

 

Thanks again and Happy New Year to all, Karen

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Thanks. Speaking of Digital Cameras your pics are so beautiful what do you shoot with? Thanks Karen

 

THANKS, Karen, for the nice comments! As Makis noted, I have a Nikon D50 SLR camera. Not that fancy or that much at the super pro, high end.

 

Photo secrets? It's a little more than just the "camera". Lots of people have cameras at and near that quality or comparable. These days, the digital technology has improved so much that nearly everyone can take good to great pictures. Here are some of my tips, secrets and suggestions to share. I found taking cruise and travel pictures is fun, plus cheaper than shopping for souvenirs.

 

1. ZOOM/FRAMING: Fill the frame and make it interesting. Use your feet. Move closer. Zoom in or out. Make it tighter in the picture frame, etc. People don't want to be bored with a key subject or highlight being only in the middle 15% of the picture frame.

 

2. LENS: Many of the nice pictures in certain famed palaces and churches in Russia, etc., were taken in 2008 with a new 10-20 mm lens that gives a wider angle view than average. That really helped create some picture "drama" without being too wide and distorted as can happen with a fish-eye lens. There are cases where that longer lens (have a 70-300 mm zoom) can really help. In many cases, my basic 18-55 mm zoom covers the basic middle range. It's nice to have one lens that covers all needs, but then you lose some in the desired picture quality.

 

3. LOTS OF PICTURES: With digital, it is much easier and cheaper to take lots of pictures, see what you have, take more pictures, try different angles, etc. In the old 35 mm film days, you could not take as many different pictures and you were always guessing and hoping on exposure, what you really captured, etc. Then you need to be checking as you go on what you just shot, blow off the duds, etc. It's great instant feed-back on what's working and what's not. As you are riding on a bus, waiting in line, that picture checking is a good way to both pass the time and monitor your picture progress/success (or failure).

 

4. STEADY HOLD: I mostly use the eyepiece viewer, not the back of camera viewing screen. That keeps the camera closer to my body and makes it more stable. Use your elbows against your body to brace the camera. I'll lean against walls or doorframes when taking certain inside pictures in low light situations to improve . . . stability! You don't want blurred and shaky pictures. Set the camera on walls, chairs, etc. Stability! Some think that if they push the button faster to take the picture, then it will be better. WRONG! Gently S-Q-U-E-E-Z-E that shutter button, slowly! It makes a major difference in picture quality.

 

5. PEOPLE: Having people as a part of the picture gives it context, interest, etc. Lots of "just the place" pictures are nice, but I have found that the ones with some human involvement and/or connection look and work better.

 

Does this help a little? A warm welcome to Makis in joining these CC Boards. Loved Athens and Greece during our 2006 visit there. Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

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THANKS, Karen, for the nice comments! As Makis noted, I have a Nikon D50 SLR camera. Not that fancy or that much at the super pro, high end.

 

Photo secrets? It's a little more than just the "camera". Lots of people have cameras at and near that quality or comparable. These days, the digital technology has improved so much that nearly everyone can take good to great pictures. Here are some of my tips, secrets and suggestions to share. I found taking cruise and travel pictures is fun, plus cheaper than shopping for souvenirs.

 

1. ZOOM/FRAMING: Fill the frame and make it interesting. Use your feet. Move closer. Zoom in or out. Make it tighter in the picture frame, etc. People don't want to be bored with a key subject or highlight being only in the middle 15% of the picture frame.

 

2. LENS: Many of the nice pictures in certain famed palaces and churches in Russia, etc., were taken in 2008 with a new 10-20 mm lens that gives a wider angle view than average. That really helped create some picture "drama" without being too wide and distorted as can happen with a fish-eye lens. There are cases where that longer lens (have a 70-300 mm zoom) can really help. In many cases, my basic 18-55 mm zoom covers the basic middle range. It's nice to have one lens that covers all needs, but then you lose some in the desired picture quality.

 

3. LOTS OF PICTURES: With digital, it is much easier and cheaper to take lots of pictures, see what you have, take more pictures, try different angles, etc. In the old 35 mm film days, you could not take as many different pictures and you were always guessing and hoping on exposure, what you really captured, etc. Then you need to be checking as you go on what you just shot, blow off the duds, etc. It's great instant feed-back on what's working and what's not. As you are riding on a bus, waiting in line, that picture checking is a good way to both pass the time and monitor your picture progress/success (or failure).

 

4. STEADY HOLD: I mostly use the eyepiece viewer, not the back of camera viewing screen. That keeps the camera closer to my body and makes it more stable. Use your elbows against your body to brace the camera. I'll lean against walls or doorframes when taking certain inside pictures in low light situations to improve . . . stability! You don't want blurred and shaky pictures. Set the camera on walls, chairs, etc. Stability! Some think that if they push the button faster to take the picture, then it will be better. WRONG! Gently S-Q-U-E-E-Z-E that shutter button, slowly! It makes a major difference in picture quality.

 

5. PEOPLE: Having people as a part of the picture gives it context, interest, etc. Lots of "just the place" pictures are nice, but I have found that the ones with some human involvement and/or connection look and work better.

 

Does this help a little? A warm welcome to Makis in joining these CC Boards. Loved Athens and Greece during our 2006 visit there. Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Great Hints Terry.

 

I use an Olympus E510 and my DH an E30 as well I use a Great little point and shoot Canon D10 waterproof camera for the beach and river walking ect. The best pics have one thing in common ... they tell a story.

 

Karen

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Great Hints Terry.

I use an Olympus E510 and my DH an E30 as well I use a Great little point and shoot Canon D10 waterproof camera for the beach and river walking ect. The best pics have one thing in common ... they tell a story. Karen

 

THANKS, Karen! Agree that "tell a story" is a very vital aspect as per the viewpoint of the late producer and inventor of CBS' 60 Minutes TV news magazine. BUT, even if you tell a story and the pictures are blurry, technically poor, poorly composed, etc., then the audience will not be happy, nor stay involved very long. Great pictures need . . . BOTH . . . to look good AND tell an interesting story. You need both qualities.

 

Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

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Originally, I had only post twelve pictures on this thread from Athens. That's clearly, totally unfair for the Greek capital and its wonderful history and sights. Had questions from some on others boards.

 

Below are a few more to share, plus some things nearby that also worth exploring as a day-trip from Athens. This summer season, it seems that things are more back to "normal" after ALL that they have gone through during their recent economic challenges. I have followed those issues closely. It's been tough there. We won't get into politics and those questions, but this is such a great country with its unique history, great art and architecture, wonderful food, etc.

 

For those who have not yet visited Greece, the good news is that the wonderful Plaka is right handy and next door to the famed Acropolis area. That makes things so much easier. On going up the hill, be careful as the stone steps can be slick in areas. And you will be looking up and forgetting to watch where and how you are stepping. It's well worth the effort getting there to the top. It is amazing history and architecture!! Also, we had a private guide to help us on this spectacular site. It's not cheap, but it was well worth it to know more on what you are seeing and why it is so important.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 98,900 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

 

On top adjoining the Parthenon is Erechtheion, a small temple built between 421 and 405 BC.. All of the female statues that serve as columns in the porch of the Erechtheion are replicas. Five of the originals were removed for display in the Acropolis Museum to protect them from the air pollution of Athens. The sixth was "borrowed" (or looted) by Elgin for display in London. on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens in Greece. Its name is dedicated to the Greek hero Erichthonius, mythological early ruler of ancient Athens who born of the soil or Earth and raised by the goddess Athena.:

 

TempleOnAcrHill.jpg

 

 

From Acropolis Hill, a view towards the old Olympic Stadium in Athens, other Roman ruins. This includes at the bottom, Hadrian's Arch, a monumental gateway resembling a Roman triumphal arch.:

 

AthOlymStadium.jpg

 

 

From the Parthenon, a view of Athens and the Temple of Hephaestus. This is a well-preserved Greek temple that remains standing largely as built. It is a Doric peripteral temple located at the northwest side of the Agora of Athens. It dates back to the seventh century BC, but was finally and officially inaugurated in 416-415 BC. Its design/style inspired the Vermont Statehouse (1857–59) in Montpelier and other buildings.:

 

AcrHillView3.jpg

 

 

From the balcony of the AVA Hotel where we stayed, here are two views you can easily see. To the right, the Acropolis Hill towering over its neighboring Plaka neighborhood and this hotel location. To the left, the Roman ruin called Hadrian's Arch. It is a monumental gateway resembling a Roman triumphal arch. It spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens, to the complex of structures on the eastern side of the city that included the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It has been proposed that the arch was built to celebrate the arrival of Roman Emperor Hadrian to honor his many benefactions to the city and the dedication occasion of a nearby temple complex in 131 or 132 AD It doesn’t get much better for being so close to real history than being here at this hotel location in Athens.:

 

AthensHotelViewAcropolis.jpg

 

 

AthensHotelViewRomRuins.jpg

 

 

Nearby to our hotel in the Plaka is this cute shop with a wide variety of statutes and other reproductions reflecting the great Greek artistic traditions. My wife is pictured with the shop owners. They were very helpful and had a wide selection of options. We bought a couple of nice items that are in our home daily as a reminder of our wonderful visit to Greece.:

 

AthensRelicShopStatutes.jpg

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To twist the words of the famed TV cartoon series, "Is that all there is folks?". No! Here's more. So much to see and love in Athens and Greece.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 98,900 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

 

Here are more samplings from Athens’ very historic National Archaeological Museum featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities. We loved this great range of art and history, as they showed how the evolution from Greek design and craft skill were "borrowed" and shifted to the Roman periods, etc.:

 

AthMusHorse.jpg

 

 

AthMusMarble.jpg

 

 

AthMusGold.jpg

 

 

AthMusScult.jpg

 

 

AthMusStatutes.jpg

 

 

AthMusGoldCups.jpg

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Just a few more and then we will shift gears, literally, to what we saw in doing a day-trip from Athens to the Peloponnesian Peninsula. Hope these are not too many to help people prepare for visiting Greece and/or relieving the memories from there.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 98,900 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

Here are two views of the Tower of the Winds in Athens. First is a night view of it on the left with the Parthenon and its historic hill/walls lighted in the higher background. This octagonal Pentelic marble clock tower is in the Roman agora in Athens. Second, you can see some of the design details at the top. The structure features a combination of sundials, a water clock and a wind vane. According to Wikipedia, it was supposedly built by Andronicus of Cyrrhus around 50 BC, but according to other sources might have been constructed in the 2nd century BC before the rest of the forum. In early Christian times, the building was used as the bell-tower of a Byzantine Church. Under Ottoman rule, it became a tekke and was used by whirling dervishes. The design of the 18th-century Radcliffe Observatory in Oxford, England, is based on this Tower of the Winds:

 

AthensRomanTowerAcropWallsNight.jpg

 

 

AthensRomanTowerTopDesigns.jpg

 

 

Examining relics with our guide (very skilled and a former teacher) near the Parthenon:

 

AropWithGuide.jpg

 

 

 

Here are two more examples from the National Archaeological Museum in Athens:

 

AthWallSculp.jpg

 

 

AthMusMen.jpg

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During our three days in Athens before boarding our cruise to the Greek Isles, Turkish Coast and Istanbul, we wanted to sample on one of the days a little of the countrysides of Greece. Here's part one for what was our viewing as we circled the Peloponnesian Peninsula. Lots of great sights, history, etc. We debated whether to head in the direction of Delphi or do this loop around the Peloponnesian Peninsula. Did we choose wisely? Or, do we need Delphi at the top of the must-do list for the next visit to Greece?

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 98,900 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

 

Historic Roman ruins are in Ancient Corinth, including these example of the Temple of Apollo and the mountains over this site, etc. This historic area is 48 miles southwest of Athens. It was a city-state on the Isthmus of Corinth that joins the Peloponnesus to mainland Greece, roughly halfway between Athens and Sparta. In classical times, Corinth rivaled Athens and Thebes in wealth, based on the Isthmian traffic and trade. Apostle Paul first visited the city around AD 51-52. He lived here for eighteen months, including writing two of his epistles on the difficulties of maintaining a Christian community in such a cosmopolitan city with so much sin and corruption existing in this city.:

 

CorinthHills.jpg

 

 

CorinthRuins.jpg

 

 

Ruins of the Roman baths in Corinth:

 

CorinthRuins2.jpg

 

 

The Corinth Canal is nearby and is a unique engineering job carved through about 260' of rock. The canal is four miles in length, 75' wide and was built between 1881 and 1893:

 

CorinthCanal.jpg

 

 

These Mycene ruins go back 2700 years from a spectacular empire. As a major center of Greek civilization, this military stronghold dominated much of southern Greece. The period of Greek history from about 1600 BC to about 1100 BC is called Mycenaean in reference to Mycenae's power during this "bronze age". Much of the Mycenaean religion survived into classical Greece in their pantheon of Greek deities. Lots of "real" history here!!:

 

MyceneRuins.jpg

 

 

Example of Mycene gold in the museum at this historic site:

 

MyceneGold.jpg

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Finally, we'll finish up and let you take a rest. This is the rest of the "loop" as we circled the Peloponnesian Peninsula. We had lunch in Nafplion.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 98,900 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

 

In the Peloponnesian Peninsula, you can enjoy many countryside views, including of this goat watching over the charming region.:

 

PelPenGoat.jpg

 

 

Looking down upon Nafplion from the historic Palamidi military fortress that overlooks the town and its harbor. This fortress is on the crest of a 216-metre high hill. It was built by the Venetians during their second occupation of the area (1686-1715).:

 

Nap.jpg

 

 

In Nafplion, there is this view of the small fort out in the harbor and the main town. We had lunch overlooking this scenic water site.:

 

NapIslandFort.jpg

 

 

Epidaurus is the famed outdoor theater with super great acoustics. Their local prosperity enabled Epidaurus to construct civic monuments including this huge theater that had dramatic performances, ceremonial programs, etc. It was designed in the 4th century BC. The original 34 rows were extended in Roman times by another 21 rows. As with many Greek theaters (and as opposed to Roman ones), the view on a lush landscape behind the performing areas was an integral part of the design. It seats up to 15,000 people. The acoustics permit almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken word from the proscenium. A 2007 study by Georgia Tech scholars indicates that the amazing acoustic properties are either the result of an accident or the product of advanced design . . . rows of limestone seats filtering out low-frequency sounds and amplify/reflect high-frequency sounds from the stage.:

 

GreekOutThTwo.jpg

 

 

Epidaurus has totally amazing acoustic properties at its location on the Peloponnesian Peninsula. People stood here in the middle, tapped stones, making speeches, etc. It was remarkable to be and hear personally on-site how unique are these acoustic here.:

 

Gr.jpg

 

 

As we finished circling the Peloponnesian Peninsula, this was one of the beautiful coastal views we enjoyed.:

 

PelPenCoastal.jpg

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Appreciate those who have dropped by this thread and checked out some of my "eye-candy" from our visiting and touring in Athens and Greece. Am continuing to follow the "challenges" for their economics, etc., that has been facing this historic nation and its people. We hope for the best in this scenic and very interesting country.

 

To update for those also seeking and interested in other exciting visuals and different locations, we are back safely from four weeks in South Africa, Botswana, etc. Very different from the Caribbean and Amazon River that we did a year ago!!

 

We enjoyed great sights, many safari/animal experiences and wonderful adventure times!! Lots of pictures on my live/blog and this trip detailing can be seen at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

 

Now over 10,300 views for this reporting that includes Cape Town, all along the South Africa coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Delta area with lions, leopards, cape buffalo, elephants, giraffes, hippos, etc., etc.

 

Ohio was not too bad for the time while we traveled below the Equator this year, but the weather for these southern parts of Africa was much warmer and sunnier than what we would have experienced in the Midwest during these challenging winter periods.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 36,807 views for these postings.

Edited by TLCOhio

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From the London/UK Guardian yesterday, they have this headline: "10 of the best hotel, B&Bs and apartments in Athens" with this sub-headline: "Greece’s economy may still be in the doldrums, but Athens’ arts scene and nightlife are flourishing. Combine that with a wave of new affordable places to stay and the capital is no longer just a gateway to the Greek islands"

 

This article highlights many of what they call "neoclassical gems" that they cite as being "ripe for restoration". Many of their ten locations cited are smaller and more boutique-style hotels that offer more charm and character than some of the typical, larger chain/formula hotels. Might be some good options to check out and consider.

 

For location, this article cites, correctly in my view, the beauty and handy location of the "Plaka, Athens’ prettiest and oldest neighborhood".

 

Full story at:

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/jul/24/athens-greece-hotels-bed-breakfast-stays-guesthouses

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 150,479 views for this posting.

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Can someone please comment on what can we do if our cruise ship docks in Athens on Easter Sunday. There are some discussions on our Roll Call, but no conclusion yet as to the solution. Some folks contacted RCCL trying to make them change the day to the next one. Don't really know what happened or what kind of replies they got, I doubt they will agree to it. Any suggestions? Thank you.

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Can someone please comment on what can we do if our cruise ship docks in Athens on Easter Sunday. There are some discussions on our Roll Call, but no conclusion yet as to the solution. Some folks contacted RCCL trying to make them change the day to the next one. Don't really know what happened or what kind of replies they got, I doubt they will agree to it. Any suggestions? Thank you.

 

Appreciate your good question on this challenging situation. If it were me, here is what I would do. I would check out TripAdvisor and/or Google options for private tours and/or guides in Athens. The, I would e-mail them and ask about their options/suggestions and what they could do for that specific day, etc. Maybe also Google and contact the local tourism office there for what attractions are open that day, etc. Per http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/content/hours-and-ticketing

it does show the Acropolis Museum being closed on Easter Sunday. Some on the Acropolis being closed. Good luck!!

 

Clearly the Greek and Athens economies have been challenged in recent years. Many good guides are flexible to help "customers" and do business when it is moving into the peak of the tourism season. See who is available, what would be open and possible for that day, gain their suggestions, etc.

 

Does this help a little?

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 40,694 views for these postings.

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Appreciate your good question on this challenging situation. If it were me, here is what I would do. I would check out TripAdvisor and/or Google options for private tours and/or guides in Athens. The, I would e-mail them and ask about their options/suggestions and what they could do for that specific day, etc. Maybe also Google and contact the local tourism office there for what attractions are open that day, etc. Per http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/content/hours-and-ticketing

it does show the Acropolis Museum being closed on Easter Sunday. Some on the Acropolis being closed. Good luck!!

 

Clearly the Greek and Athens economies have been challenged in recent years. Many good guides are flexible to help "customers" and do business when it is moving into the peak of the tourism season. See who is available, what would be open and possible for that day, gain their suggestions, etc.

 

Does this help a little?

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 40,694 views for these postings.

Thank you so much, Terry. It helps. I will follow your suggestions and investigate. Perhaps something will come up. We have been to Athens in the past and saw all the important sights, but still, it would be good to refresh our memories and at least do a walking tour. If taxis are working, we can just go to town and browse around.

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Can someone please comment on what can we do if our cruise ship docks in Athens on Easter Sunday. There are some discussions on our Roll Call, but no conclusion yet as to the solution. Some folks contacted RCCL trying to make them change the day to the next one. Don't really know what happened or what kind of replies they got, I doubt they will agree to it. Any suggestions? Thank you.

 

I had looked this information up a year or two ago when some friends were also going on a cruise that was in Athens on the Orthodox Easter Sunday. (Why, cruiselines, why???)

 

The news wasn't good. Every significant tourist site and museum will be closed. The Acropolis, Agora, Acropolis Museum, Archaeological Museum -- all closed. Nearly all private museums are also closed.

 

The only thing I could find with certainty that would be open were some of the shops (souvenirs) in the Plaka and also many restaurants. One regular on TripAdvisor has suggested that a few things that one can see by simply walking are your best bets (such as the Panathenaic Stadium); also the changing of the guard at Syntagma should still take place.

 

Good luck with your visit.

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I had looked this information up a year or two ago when some friends were also going on a cruise that was in Athens on the Orthodox Easter Sunday. (Why, cruiselines, why???)

 

The news wasn't good. Every significant tourist site and museum will be closed. The Acropolis, Agora, Acropolis Museum, Archaeological Museum -- all closed. Nearly all private museums are also closed.

 

The only thing I could find with certainty that would be open were some of the shops (souvenirs) in the Plaka and also many restaurants. One regular on TripAdvisor has suggested that a few things that one can see by simply walking are your best bets (such as the Panathenaic Stadium); also the changing of the guard at Syntagma should still take place.

 

Good luck with your visit.

Thank you, Cruisemom. I agree. Don't understand why cruiselines don't plan it better if they know what day is it on a calendar. What I don't understand is, since most of the sights are outside, how can they be closed? Why can't tourists just walk around to sightsee as there is no "formal" entrance, like a museum for example. Anyhow, we'll see what happens. Do you think that there will be taxi or some kind of transport?

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