Athens

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     Returning to Athens and dropping off the car, we spent the next several days taking advantage of several opportunities to explore the city. The excellent Athens Walking Tour (http://www.athenswalkingtours.gr/) provided us with a trained archeologist now guide, Kostos, who set a perfect pace and tone for out visit to the Acropolis and Museum. We did an overview with the HOHO bus and my traveling partner took a Segway tour while I spent more time in the Archeological Museum.

    Our hotel was across the street from the Parliament building and had great rooftop views, especially at night, of it and the Parthenon. During the day, we watched the hourly changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We were told that the high stepping moves were to relieve the pressure of standing rigidly for so long. On our last day, I went over and caught a special wreath laying ceremony. The guards were wearing their dress white uniforms that time. The 400 pleats in the kilt are to represent the 400 years of Turkish domination. They take 80 days to make and each soldier has to do his own ironing. 

     The Acropolis museum was a highlight as well as the National Archeological Museum. I could spend weeks in those places. I had seen the Elgin marbles in the British Museum and was eager to see their true home. The Museum display has cleverly filled in the missing pieces between the ones they still have. Seeing them in a replica of the Parthenon made much more sense of what I had seen in London. 

     As we headed out of the port and our sails unfurled to the soundtrack of Vangelis' 1492, there was time for a last reflection on our time there. Athens was much hotter than I expected and my injuries from a recent fall prevented me from fully enjoying the visit but I'd come back. There were just too many things left unseen on my list.

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