We were the first passengers off the ship this morning at 6:50am. We had a jammed itinerary with lots of distance to cover and many sights to see. Jumped in the van with our driver and guide and headed to Corinth. The guide, Michael, immediately began explaining our options for the day, and how we might have to adjust if traffic became an issue. Basically we had several sites to visit, spread out on both side of Athens. If we were going to see all of it, it would mean reduced time at each of the sites. Everyone seemed ok with it. Michelle, our tour organizer again, had warned us it would be a jam-packed day, and we might possibly have to miss lunch to hit everything.
First stop was the Corinth Canal, a narrow and deep canal connecting the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea. It saved a lot of time for ships traveling from Athens and points eastward to Italy. Apparently, going around the south of Greece in the Roman period, was a dangerous route with reefs and pirates. The Corinth Canal was a huge improvement for the merchants of the age.
Next stop was the ruins of Ancient Corinth, one of the great Greek city/states that competed with Athens for dominance. It’s the site of the Temple of Apollo. It was also the place where the apostle Paul spent a lot time preaching and working to establish Christianity. We walked through the museum first and then headed out into the ruins to visit the actual ruins. One interesting point about the difference between Greek art and Roman art was the statues. Greek statues mostly looked the same (same head/face, etc.) Roman statues displayed identifiable facial characteristics, so the statues were designed so that the heads could be replaced when a new caesar took control. See statues below:
We took a short break, and then loaded up for the long commute to Cape Sounion. It’s the site of the Temple of Poseidon. It’s the southernmost point of Athens, sitting up on a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea. The wind is really whipping today, making it cooler than expected. The views are breathtaking.
Our commute back to the ship is long, and weaves around and up and down along the Greek coast. It’s very scenic, but could create car-sick issues if we weren’t careful. Back on the ship, we grabbed a snack and headed to the cabin to rest. Later, Judy went to the 7:30 evening show, while I began to catch up on my blog writing. When she got back, we went down to Blu for a wonderful dinner. At dinner, we met some wonderful guests from the UK and spent lots of time exchanging stories of our various travel experiences. One of the things we’re finding out is that most of the people we’re meeting have traveled much more than us, and we feel like we’ve travelled quite a bit. We’re trying to get as many travel tips and future destination ideas as possible.