I have wanted to visit Athens for as long as I can remember, so it was a pleasure to finally explore it with Domingos, Dirk, and Tracy for the first time. I had booked a private car service to take us around the city, and Vassilis met us as soon as we stepped off the ship in the port of Piraeus. He had a lovely BWM X5 that was very plush and comfortable and fit the 4 of us easily. We had a short drive in to Athens, and he immediately took us to the Acropolis to get there before the worst heat of the day. Even with the crowds of people, it was an amazing experience to be there in person.
Next, we went to the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It was so cool to be driving through the city and see ruins that were thousands of years old plunked down among all the modern amenities and structures.
Vassilis said the traffic was much better than he expected, so we made good time throughout the day and really enjoyed just driving around through the different neighborhoods in the city.
We visited the Olympic stadium, and next arrived in perfect time to witness the changing of the guard at the Parliament Building, a very ritualized affair.
Vassilis drove us up a hill that gave us stunning views of the city, and then took us to the Acropolis Museum. It was really well organized, with the entire top floor a replica of the Parthenon, so we got a great feel for the actual size of the structure. We ate lunch at the museum and then continued our drive through Athens.
Vassilis dropped us off near the Plaka to wander for a bit, and he also showed us where to get good baklava. He wasn’t kidding – it was by far the best I’d ever tasted in my life. We drank strong Greek coffee alongside the baklava, and it was served with a weird rose liqueur that none of us really cared for. After driving us by a few more sights, Vassilis took us back to the ship. It was a perfect day of sightseeing together.