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.

There were two formal nights on the cruise and I always feel silly in a suit. A little bit of alcohol usually fixes that.
There were two formal nights on the cruise and I always feel silly in a suit. A little bit of alcohol usually fixes that.

The Erechtheion at the Acropolis of Athens.
The Erechtheion at the Acropolis of Athens.

Acropolis, not surprisingly, turned out to be a popular and crowded place.
Acropolis, not surprisingly, turned out to be a popular and crowded place.

Pillars on the South West side of the Erechtheion. Tee hee.
Pillars on the South West side of the Erechtheion. Tee hee.

Panathinaiko Stadium in the background, but I’m not sure what’s in the foreground.
Panathinaiko Stadium in the background, but I’m not sure what’s in the foreground.

Where’s Waldo?
Where’s Waldo?

The Parthenon of the Acropolis of Athens.
The Parthenon of the Acropolis of Athens.

Athens as seen from Acropolis.
Athens as seen from Acropolis.

We spent a lot of time sunbathing on the deck during the cruise and I always feel silly wearing almost nothing. A little bit of alcohol usually fixes that.
We spent a lot of time sunbathing on the deck during the cruise and I always feel silly wearing almost nothing. A little bit of alcohol usually fixes that.

Captain Claus A. Andersen. Captain at Royal Caribbean International since 1998. Charmed every English speaking passenger with his Norwegian accent. Even though you might think this is a cardboard figure of him, it’s not. He’s just got an impressively static portrait face.
Captain Claus A. Andersen. Captain at Royal Caribbean International since 1998. Charmed every English speaking passenger with his Norwegian accent. Even though you might think this is a cardboard figure of him, it’s not. He’s just got an impressively static portrait face.

A tug boat was always close by when the Navigator of the Seas docked or departed. If the engines fail there are a lot of tonnage that has to be stopped.
A tug boat was always close by when the Navigator of the Seas docked or departed. If the engines fail there are a lot of tonnage that has to be stopped.

MS Splendour of the Seas turns around to depart from Athens.
MS Splendour of the Seas turns around to depart from Athens.

No cruise ship is complete without its very own ice skating rink.
No cruise ship is complete without its very own ice skating rink.