Greece and Turkey 2012


PIRAEUS-ATHENS       9-29-12

We're half way through the cruise and, in some ways, it seems we just started. The ship is great. We're busy and active both on-board and off, but cruising turns out to be quite relaxing at the same time. And, although I love Solana Beach, it is fun to remember that there is a world outside its boundaries and fun to go it check out.

PiraeusPiraeus is a seaport city and the closest port to Athens. Carol and I spent several days in Athens recently and decided to forego still another climb to the Athenian Acropolis. Sleeping in this morning was also an appealing idea. We've been getting up at 6:30 often during the last seven days in order to have breakfast, etc. before the tour of the day starts. We made it to about 8 this morning.

Speaking of the Acropolis, we learned that most Greek cities had one because acropolis simply meant the highest point in the city. Now, like many places in the US, the word acropolis probably should be changed to acropole (acro-pole) because there's usually a pole-based cell tower (or, increasingly in this Mediterranean area, wind turbines) on top of the highest hill.

PiraeusInstead of a trip into Athens, we walked to the downtown area of Piraeus along the waterfront. The waterfront was a lot more developed and clean than we'd expected. It was a good walk for exercise but there was nothing particularly memorable along the way, except in the local market.

Everywhere we go we try to find the equivalent of a farmers' market. Today we happened into one- -an outside market with vegetables, fish, Piraeusand meat. Markets are a standing favorite as they capture the local population going about their daily activities, often in native dress, without regard for the tourists. This market was like many others except that the vendors shouted at each other- -or maybe shouted at nobody or perhaps shouted at everybody on the next street, who knows- - and all the vendors shouted at the same time. There's certainly been lots of animated conversations in markets we've visited around the world, but this market was distinct. Total cacophony but, in its own way, musical and of course so expressively Greek. Maybe it was too early in the day but what we didn't hear was a hearty "Opa".


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