|Tuesday 27th September 2011 Weather:-24degrees/cool breezes
The port of Piraeus (Athens) was our stop today and we had a nice cool day for it. We had invested in an excursion today as we were not in port for very long, we were here only for 7 hours and the Acropolis is above Athens which is 10 km SE of the port. We were very lucky that we did not try to go there ourselves today AS THE WHOLE CITY WAS IN GRIDLOCK. With all the austerity measures that are trying to be enforced around here in Greece the whole of the public transport system was on strike and all the workers had taken to their cars to get to work. Each time that the tour guide said we are going to do this/that she added “with God’s Help” (we are going to do this/that) I just thought that she was a very religious girl until I realized what she was on about (the strike).
Like many other of the cities that we have only dreamt about the approach to Athens is festooned with graffiti and nothing is done about it, we find it very sad and it makes us realize that we in Australia really need to keep our guard up against it. Do not let the graffiti artists win—it is horrible! The informative guides that we have had while here in Greece have filled us in and reminded us about all the myths and legends that are part of their ancient gods and their culture—Herman’s comments today after hearing some of the tales about Zues was “this leaves the ‘Days of our Lives’ for dead”. Our New Zealand companions from the boat (on their first trip overseas) commented that they thought that New Zealand had a lot of tourist but they were astounded by the steady stream of tourist busses that discharged their cargo at the base of the Acropolis so that all could make a steady climb to the top. The busses then had to go to some further away parking place and return one and a half hours later to pick their charges up. Every place of interest has a lot of traffic wardens keeping the bus drivers from getting into arguments about whose turn it is next to get in or out.
It is marvellous to see all these ancient monuments at first hand, we have done things that we never thought we would do and see (up Close) but I can honestly say that if we had enough money to do/go where ever we liked it would only be in Australia—or maybe an old hilltop town in Italy—but then only if we could take our family with us.