2023 Europe – Day 18 – Athens’ National Archaeological Museum


Saturday, 20 May

Our tour guide, Ioanna, cracked the whip today. Dolora and I were up for breakfast at 6:30. Breakfast was only slightly smaller than yesterday, corn flakes with milk, orange juice, warm vegetable juice, coffee, cinnamon cake, a soft boiled egg and yogurt. If that was not enough, there was a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. The best two breakfasts in Greece were at Hotel Mistal. Then it was over to the other hotel at 7:00 to meet the rest of the group for our walk to the dock. We boarded a 300 person catamaran for the two hour trip to Athens. There was one stop at another island before arriving at Piraeus, Athens port city. The boat ride was incredibly smooth.

Traffic was light on a Saturday morning as we arrived at Athens’ National Archaeological Museum to meet our guide, Mama Faye, who had given the tour of the Acropolis when we first arrived in Athens. The museum tour was amazing. It contains artifacts from all over Greece arranged in chronological order. Some of the site museums we visited contained copies while the artifacts are displayed in Athens. It was noted that gold was not that important. Bronze was much more useful. There are frescoes and mosaics. You can see how the forms of the statues evolved over time. Aphrodite, Pan and Eros is a kind of fun statue. The god Aphrodite is swatting Pan, half man – half goat, with a sandal to fend off his advances while Eros, Cupid, comes to her aid.

Dolora and I were lucky enough to have our room available for early check in after our museum tour. We unpacked found a place for lunch in the less touristy direction. Kebobs for lunch. Then we visited the nearby laundromat. I took a walk through town in search of an Ion dark chocolate bar with espresso. I picked one up earlier on the trip and it is finished. I was hoping to bring one home. No luck. I plan to resume my search tomorrow.

Tonight was our farewell dinner at Mani Mani. The food was delicious and just kept coming. When we sat down there was bread, olives and olive oil on the table. Then three kinds of spreads tzatziki, one with fish roe and chili oil and one with fava beans followed by lentil salad and a green salad with an orange dressing. Next, omelet on bread, and finally our entrees, pork for Dolora and seafood orzo for me. Desserts were orange pie and a chocolate tart topped with ice cream. It was a good thing the hotel is only a two minute walk.

We had some farewells at the restaurant and more back in the hotel lobby before turning in for the night. This ends the tour part of our trip. Tomorrow evening a flight to Portugal for the final stage.

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