Our guide for this Road Scholar program is named Athena, and she is very knowledgeable, organized and funny. For example, she told us that when someone from Greece doesn't understand something from a different language or culture, they will say, "It's Chinese to me!" She has also warned us to be careful, since although she wants us to enjoy the sights of this area, she would prefer it if we do not get to visit the hospital or the jail.
We had a huge plated dinner last night (Wed. Nov. 6), and once again, John & I were glad that we had arrived early. Many folks in the group had just gotten off the plane, and could barely keep their eyes open past the first two courses. The food was excellent, and tonight was just as notable. These evening meals are in sharp contrast to the buffet breakfast. We are at the Divani Palace Acropolis and even though it is listed as a 5-star hotel, it doesn't measure up to other nice places we have stayed, both on this trip as well as on others. Everything at the breakfast buffet was cold, and the milk was warm. No fresh fruit either. My bed is very saggy, and it hurts my back. The desk chair is lumpy, and the bathroom fixtures need updating. But we do have a view of the Acropolis from our balcony.
This morning we left the hotel at 8:30 to walk up to the Acropolis. The weather all day was in the 70s, with sunshine and a nice breeze. It's a bit of a hike up the hill, but the group went slowly and we had several breaks for mini-lectures along the way. John & I were the only ones with two hiking poles, and we were really glad we took them along. Since it was still fairly early, a lot of the marble and stone surfaces were moist and very slippery. We saw at least two people fall.
The views from the top are gorgeous (see photos above), especially since the air is clear, surprising for a large city. There were hoards of other tourists around: groups from cruise ships, lots of teenagers on a field trip, younger kids scampering up the inclines, and families.
Afterwards we visited the new Acropolis Museum - my favorite part was the videos showing how they are doing the restoration of the Parthenon - they've been working on it for over 30 years, and it will take decades longer. After that, we had a very large Greek lunch. We had the rest of the afternoon free, and I wandered around a bit, shopping but not buying.