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The Ship - Silver Wind

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Sorrento, Italy

Rome, Italy

Athens, Greece


Update 7 March 2015: My DH (Darling Husband) pointed out that we had not posted photos for the travel over to Athens, nor the room. Unfortunately we did not take pictures of the room, but you can look at the Grande Bretagne site or wait for us to go back this year! Pictures are added below for the preparation and the flights!


What can we say! Athens was spectacular. We arrived from San Antonio about 9 am Athens time on the 8th. Flights were easy and customs was a breeze.

Silversea had arranged our transfers and the hotel. A driver was waiting for us outside the customs exit in the airport. He had a smaller size cab and I thought we would not get all the luggage in the trunk. But he made it happen with a bungee cord. Of course, as he drove crazily through the streets of Athens I kept checking to make sure none of the bags fell out! So much for trust!

We arrived at the Hotel Grande Bretagne and headed up the steps to check in. Amazing the security...have to walk through a detector and have your hand luggage checked! What is this all about? There were cops, motorcycle escorts, and men with the earpiece (security/secret service types in dark suits) all around the hotel and across the street. Well, this wasn't here for just us! As it turned out, the hotel was the site for an European Union Security Conference and there were a number of key people visiting and staying the hotel. Thus, the extra security. Needless to say we felt very safe the whole time there!

The room was not ready yet, so we wandered across the street to the park at Syntagma Square and then actually had a quick bite at the McDonald's across the street! That was our only non-European/fast food meal.

Then we walked up to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watch the changing of the guards. We had seen the ceremony in 2012 at early evening and very crowded with visitors. This time it was early afternoon and fewer people so we had a great point of view for the entire ceremony.

Back to the hotel and room was ready! Once to the room, which was beautiful, we unpacked what we needed for a few days and took a short nap. That evening we had our first meal at the rooftop restaurant with a view of the Acropolis. It was as breathtaking as the pictures on their website show and we thoroughly enjoyed the view and the meal.

Friday morning we took a cab (for 5 euros!) from the hotel to the base of the Acropolis. On our visit in 2012 Anna had been our tour guide so we had a very good sense of the site. This time we wanted to wander and read at our lesiure. And we discovered some things we missed. Like the flag stand and lookout on the edge of the hill. From that point you can see all around the area to the hills and out to the sea. There is a placque in Greek that we finally figured out through researching the internet. The Nazi flag had been raised on 27 April 1941 when the Nazis entered Athens. Two greek youths scaled the hill and managed to take down the Nazi flag and replace the Greek flag on the 30th of May 1941. The placque commemorates this event.

After wandering the site and watching the archaeologists place a restored piece into place on the top of the Parthenon, we headed down the hill and walked to the Acropolis Museum. We did not have the opportunity to visit in 2012. We enjoyed the exhibits, carefully reconstructed fascias from the Parthenon, and other treasures and then proceeded to the museum shop to look for our first trip treasure. Just as we entered the shop area an attendant approached and told us that we had to leave. The building was closing. It was very confusing for a few moments until a security guard quietly told Randy that they had a bomb threat and were evacuating the facility! Okay - we will leave for that! We waited for a few minutes outside until the police and security pushed everyone completely out and down the street into the Plaka. We would later learn that a less than favorite politician was in the museum on a tour and the threat was called in due to his presence! Elections were the next day.

Being pushed into the Plaka before we could find a treasure in the museum ended up being the perfect outcome for us. As we walked the streets of the Plaka we found an artist who does beautiful reproductions of pieces in the museums. SJS Designs Ceramic Workshop and Gallery at 5 Vironos Street, Plaka, Greece is the best place to go! The owner was so nice and very helpful. She does exquisite work and the pieces are very reasonably priced. We were thrilled with our Greek urn we now display in our cabinet in the family room.

Wandering some more we passed Scholario, the restaurant where we had lunch at in 2012 with Anna, and finally found our way to Michaello Jewelry and George! This is the same store where Amy and I got our steel rings in 2012. All of the jewelry is handmade and designed by George. We were happily surprised that he was still in business. Of course I still wanted a greek key ring, and George had just the one! We also bought a pair of Alexander cufflinks for Randy. Michaello is located at 109 Adrianou, Plaka, Greece.

After a day of wandering and shopping we enjoyed another realxing dinner at the hotel rooftop, re-packed our bags and got ready to go to the ship the next morning. A bus ride to the port and we were back on the Silver Wind, "home away from home!"


Packed Bags
Clothes waiting to be packed
Bags are packed (and We're ready to go...)
US Airways
Plane to Athens
US Airways Flight 758
At the gate!
Time to Go!
Flight 758 is ready to board!!
Carey - On the plane - Let's Go!
Randy - Im ready!!
Arriving in Greece

Hotel Grande Bretagne viewed from Syntagma Square

Guard at Tomb of Unknown Soldier
Changing Guard

Changing of the Guard

View of Acropolis from hotel
Parliament and Tomb of Unknown Soldier
As the sun sets, the lights come up on the hill
Parthenon at night
Parthenon - scaffolding
View of scaffolding and crane as restored piece is positioned to be re-fitted
Aligning restored piece into place
Checking Fit
Checking fit as piece is placed
Randy watching the re-set
Front of Parthenon
Wildflowers growing amongst stones
Up close view
View of restored columns
Carey at Acropolis site
The Klugs on the Acropolis
Acropolis Hill
Looking up from the road to the museum
Temple of Olympian Zeus viewed from the Acropolis
"New" Acropolis Museum
Model of the Parthenon at museum
View from Grande Bretagne - 9 May 2014



Pre-Cruise Postings

Flag of Athens
Athens Seal


Athens (/ˈæθɨnz/; Modern Greek: Αθήνα, Athína, [aˈθina]; Greek: Ἀθῆναι, Athēnai) is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning around 3,400 years. Classical Athens, as a landlocked location was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, largely due to the impact of its cultural and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BC in later centuries on the rest of the then known European continent.

The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments.

Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament (19th century) and the Athens Trilogy, consisting of the National Library of Greece, the Athens University and the Academy of Athens. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. Athens is home to the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, as well as the new Acropolis Museum. (From Wikipedia)

Piraeus to Athens

Google Earth Image Capture




Update: 16 March 2014

Arriving in Athens in the morning allows us the afternoon of the 8th and all day on the 9th to spend in Athens. A "must repeat" for us is to go back to the Acropolis and just wander at our leisure. We also plan to visit the New Acropolis Museum and wander the streets of the Plaka. We had such a great tour with Anna in 2012 that this trip we will focus on fewer areas with in-depth time. We will definately have our evening meal (or meals!) up on the hotel rooftop. We are very much looking forward to the nightime view of the Acropolis and the hills surrounding Athens. It is quite magical.


Update: 22 September 2013

What We Plan to See:

With the change of cruises, we will fly into Athens a few days before sailing on the Silver Wind. This gives us the opportunity to see a few more areas of interest and even a couple of evenings viewing the city at night. We plan to possibly return to the Acropolis for a longer visit and into the Plaka. Perhaps we will even have lunch at the family restaurant we visited with Anna our tour guide in Athens in 2012!

Our hotel is arranged through Silversea and is located near Syntagma Square and not a far walk from the Plaka and Acropolis.

Hotel Grande Bretagne
Grande Bretagne Rooftop
Pre-Cruise: Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens, Greece
Rooftop Terrace overlooks the Acropolis

Location of Hotel Grande Bretagne

Mount Lycabettus at night




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Page Updated: 7 March 2015

Page Created: 22 September 2013

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