A Travellerspoint blog

ATHENS, GREECE

Beginning of “Black Sea Intrigue”, Segment VI


View MORE SERENITY FOR THE CHAPLAIN AND ME on Swenigale's travel map.

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This amazing itinerary is taking us to ever more exotic places! Look at the route we are taking – I’m not sure I ever even knew where the Black Sea was before!

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This segment started in Athens, actually in Piraeus, which is the nearest port and has been a gateway to the Mediterranean since 482 BC. This is the Old Marble Olympic Stadium, reconstructed in 1896 on the original Roman foundation.

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The remains of the Parthenon crown the Acropolis-from the 5th century BC, when Athens led the way for European civilization.

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Our first day in Athens was Good Friday, and church bells tolled throughout the day and flags were flown at half mast. Greece is more than 95% Orthodox and Church and State are closely intertwined.

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We had a Good Friday service on the ship at 5:15pm. Later in the evening we walked about in Piraeus and watched the Procession of the Epitaph at 9pm. At this large Orthodox church two brass bands accompanied the priests and bearers of a cross and what looks like a flower and electric light- bedecked bier, the Epitaph. It was a solemn, candlelit procession. Very moving.

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We had time on Holy Saturday to wander around in the Plaka, the old, preserved district of Athens at the base of the Acropolis.

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The port of Piraeus is filled with all sizes of ferries with their Greek island destinations.

Posted by Swenigale 21:54

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