Cruisin’ Part II: Messina to Athens
After leaving Messina we spent a day at sea while cruising for Athens. One of the reasons we booked this particular cruise was just that; two full days at sea. We’re having an adventure without doing anything, and this suited both me and Anniken quite well. I’m having a great time doing absolutely nothing besides reading a book and Anniken still feels that something is actually happening - we’re on a cruise, after all. A perfect combination for a couple that is basically yin and yang when it comes to the need for something to happen around us.
At 6 in the morning on July 4, The MS Navigator of the Seas docked in Athens. Anniken and I had decided to go to the Acropolis, which I guess is the place to visit when you’re in that particular city. Unfortunately, every single tourist that was in Athens that day had the same idea, and even though we arrived at the Acropolis quite early, it was absolutely packed. If you ever decide to go there yourself, prepare for long queues and bring lots of water with you. And if you suffer from agoraphobia, the Acropolis of Athens is not the place to be.
By the way, if you happen to come from Great Britain, please stop by the British Museum and bring some of the stuff they have there with you to Athens, where it actually belongs. Here’s a quote from the British Museum:
Between 1801 and 1805 Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, of which Athens had been a part for some 350 years, acting with the full knowledge and permission of the Ottoman authorities, removed about half of the remaining sculptures from the fallen ruins and from the building itself. […] These sculptures were acquired from Lord Elgin by the British Museum in 1816 following a Parliamentary Select Committee enquiry which fully investigated and approved the legality of Lord Elgin’s actions.
Well, that’s good and all, but Greece is no longer part of the Ottoman Empire and would like to have their rocks back now, please. That way, they don’t have to excuse themselves, saying “unfortunately, most of the statues you see are imitations, because they are all in the British Museum in London”. Bummer.
Back on the ship, we enjoyed a light lunch and found a good spot in the sun up on deck where we spent a couple of hours. Athens is a busy port for cruise ships and we saw quite a few of them depart while laying in the sun. One of the ships was the MS Splendour of the Seas, which is sailing for the same company as the Navigator. When the Splendour departed, the two giant ships greeted each other with three blows with the ships' whistles. Calling them whistles is a grave understatement, by the way. It was an impressive moment, to be honest. Honk, honk, honk!
In the evening, we went to see the Ice Dancing Spectacular on board the ship. Yes, there was an ice rink on board. It was a great show, as most of the shows we saw during the cruise. Some of the performers were in-house, while others were boarding the ship in one port, then getting off at the next port of call. I went to more shows in a week of cruising than I thought I would in my entire life.
Here are some pictures from our adventures in at sea and in Athens, mostly of old rocks and me enjoying my drinks.