Monday, April 7 – Day 8
We sailed back towards Athens during the night and arrive around 6 a.m. Following breakfast, we disembarked at Pireaus, Athen’s harbor. When we left the ship, it was raining while we toured by bus the modern city of Athens. We saw the Olympic stadium (1896), the Parliamentary building, and Constitution Square.
By the time we arrived at the Acropolis, it stopped raining and was quite pleasant. After getting our tickets, we first climbed Mars Hill where the Apostle Paul delivered a powerful testimony. We read this narrative from Acts 17. It was special to be here in this place, knowing that Paul’s boldness in proclaiming Christ led to the conversion of two individuals by name (Dionysus and Daramis), and “a number of others.” From Mars Hill we can look up to the Acropolis.
While ascending to Acropolis, Costas (our outstanding Greek guide) shared many details about the 4 structures that can be seen – the Nike Temple (on the way up), the Propylaia, the Erechtheion, the of course the grand Parthenon (the greatest of the four structures built 2,500 years ago). We spent 45 minutes on top, admiring the massive columns. It was a huge feat of engineering for these structures to be built. Since 1983, the Parthenon continues to be reconstructed (hence all the scaffolding).
Around noon, we enjoyed a leisurely walk down to the plaka at the base of the Acropolis. Before boarding the bus, we visited Hadrian’s Arch (2nd c AD) and the Temple of Zeus, the ruins of which can also be seen from the top. From here we had an early check-in to our rooms. The afternoon was free, allowing us to either explore more of Athens on our own, or rest.
We ate dinner at 7 p.m., followed by an optional walk to the Liccabetus, Athen’s highest mountain. It was another great day here in Greece.
Tuesday, April 8 – Day 9
We plan to visit Corinth and an extra site – Mycenae before driving to the airport for out 7 p.m flight to Rome, Italy.