DAY 9 – MONDAY, OCTOBER 14: HALF DAY TOUR OF ATHENS, FREE TIME
Today was another typical Greece sunny day, with highs around 80 again. The visibility from the Acropolis was excellent too! We would spend the entire day in Athens, the capital of Greece.
Our cruise ship pulled into the Piraeus port about 5:30 a.m., just shortly we awoke up. After breakfast, we gathered once more in the lounge area and shortly after departed the ship. Aliki and Apostolos were there to greet us.
Athens – Acropolis
After loading the bus, we drove about 30 minutes to the Acropolis. We read from 2 Corinthians 5 along the way in preparation for the day. As we arrived, we began our climb up past the odeon (small theater that held 5,000) and the Temple of Nike, and through the Propylea (“gate-way” marked with huge pillars today). Reaching the top we saw the Erechtheum (a temple built in 421-406 BC honoring Athena, Poseidon, and Erechtheus a local goddess) and the Parthenon (built between 447-432 BC).
Looking down on the top from the Acropolis in all directions we could see the Temple of Zeus, the Agora (the center of economic and public life) the Stoa of Attilos, and Mt. Lycabetus.
“I always wanted to see where Paul stood in Athens when he delivered his famous speech to the philosophers. Today I actually stood on Mars Hill where it all took place. It was so very special!” -Tour Member-
Leaving the Acropolis we stood at the base of the Rock of Areopagus (“Mar’s Hill) where Paul delivered his testimony. We read this speech he gave (recorded in Acts 17). In the context of the pagan customs and culture of the day, Paul was quite bold in proclaiming Christ here. Praise God for those who heard and responded to Paul’s message that day!
Leaving this area, we boarded back on the bus and enjoyed a brief city tour of Athens. We Past by the Temple of Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, and the old Olympic stadium of Athens (made of all marble and restored for the 1896 Olympic Games).
Free afternoon in Athens
From here we drove to our hotel for the next two days. We enjoyed a free afternoon. Many went to the Archaeological Museum (featuring the famous golden masks of the Mycenaean King Agamemnon among many other artifacts). Many also walked to the Plaka, Athen’s market/shopping place. Some even checked out the Agora.
We all returned for dinner at 7 p.m. followed by a free evening.