A dash across the Aegean Sea, towards this, the busiest and largest of the Greek ports. Our harbour is used for Cruise ships and Ferries, while a larger, Commercial port lies to the west. It is always with some reservation that I enter here, for the area (and other Greek ports incidentally) are notorious for their local winds. Piraeus has a narrow entrance, between 2 breakwaters and when its blowing, one has to use a higher speed to counteract the effect and then, once inside, slam on the brakes.
No such challenges this time, a beautiful, sunny morning and little wind, it was positively enjoyable. We docked in the ‘old’ terminal, one we have used for many years, except last year it was being used to house immigrants who had made their way across the Aegean and had reached Greek shores. They had been re-located and now we had the place to ourselves. It is vital that one times arrival to a ‘window of opportunity’; ferries have priority and there are several leaving and departing throughout the day and night. I had asked for and received a schedule, so I timed our arrival for 8 a.m., a ferry was due to depart at 7:30 and another arrive at 8:30, that was the window and it worked very nicely. As is the norm, the pilot, after shaking hands, settled back and left us to it, just the job 🙂
Some time to pop ashore, our destination, the hop-on, hop-off bus, departing from the terminal, these buses take tourists around the city, one can get off and then catch another later, very convenient. Our destination was the Acropolis. An ancient citadel located on an extremely rocky outcrop above the city, it contains the remains of several ancient buildings, the most famous being the Parthenon.
Although I have been here several times I have never actually climbed up to it. The reason? The Parthenon had always been shrouded in scaffolding as restoration work took place. This time there was little scaffold, however there were some large cranes within the interior of the building, but far better than previously. Judicious use of the camera negated much of the ‘modern’ machinery 🙂
Back on the bus, it was difficult to take photos, although the commentary was excellent. Driving past several historic sites, there were just too many lamp-posts and wires in my viewfinder, I must be becoming very fussy :-). I managed this though, a clear uninterrupted view, yes!!
We leave this afternoon for Nafplion, a short journey away. We then have 2 more Greek ports after that. Originally, our itinerary had Istanbul as a call, however HAL and several other lines, have taken it out of the schedule, until normality arrives, of course. Hence an alteration to compensate.