Lynn & David travelling from South Africa to Italy travel blog

Olympia, Greece

Where they light the Olympic flame, Olympia

Lynn on the starting blocks, Olympia

Thursday 16th May 2019

Day 20 Day at sea

Today is our last full day at sea on this cruise. We are heading across the Mediterranean Sea towards the west. In the middle of the day we passed Crete. After breakfast, we went to a lecture about the disembarkation process followed by an extensive talk about Venice. After lunch, a cocktail followed by by our final Italian lesson at which we received a certificate each for our attendance. We enjoyed a very exciting and energetic dance show followed by dinner with our companions, then to bed. Today was quite cool out on the deck, compared to the previous couple of weeks.

Friday 17th May 2019

Day 21 Visit to Olympia from Katakolon, Greece

We were up early this morning for breakfast at 7am prior to our ship bus trip from the port to the ancient Olympia site. We were on the bus by about 8:30am and left the port for a 35 minute drive to the ancient ruins of Olympia, where the Olympic Games were held in ancient times in Greece. It was a fine day about 22C. When we arrived there, the guide told us what we would see and explained the historical significance of the buildings still left. Mostly it was total ruins with very little structure visible, although it was very interesting. We walked through the site and took photos. Some of the buildings were quite vast. We stood on the track in the ‘stadium’ where the races used to take place in ancient times. Olympia is the site where the Temple of Zeus is situated. The Statue of Zeus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and was constructed of gold and ivory (so it is said) and was huge, but all that is left is a ruin of stones that is still being excavated as an archeological dig. Although the site was a ruin, it was interesting as you could see the bare bones of the place. The site was used by athletes from all around the Ancient Greek civilisation and it was used as a training ground for warriors. When the Olympic Games were held, any wars that were underway had a ceasefire for the period of the games and for the time it took for the athletes to get from their homes to the games and back again. All in all, a really interesting excursion. After that we had about an hour or so for shopping in the market near the site, then in the town nearby. Apparently 6 million people a year visit the site, so it’s very popular. We then came back to the ship and set sail to the northwest through the Ionian Sea in fine and sunny weather towards our next port, Kotor in Montenegro. Back on the ship in time for a late lunch then a bit of a rest, cocktail in our seat by the window on deck 7, then the last concert by the opera singers tonight, dinner with our companions then bed.

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