Athens! (Or a lesson in how to save €74 when visiting the Acropolis.) And an evening in beautiful Mykonos:)

21.4.17

Our alarm went off at 6am, quick breakfast and made it to the €4.50 hop on hop off bus stop ready for the first one at 7am from Piraeus Port. Only problem was they don’t start til 1st May. Sadly not mentioned on their website. So much for forward planning.

We asked the B1 bus driver the way to the acropolis. He grumpily waved us away & shut the door. The 843 driver was more helpful and told us we should be on the other side of the road. Bus 843 for 5 stops. There was a ticket booth for a different company hop on & off bus but it doesn’t start til 8am and is €20 each.
5 stops on the 843 turned out to be to the metro station and weirdly there was no charge although I offered money.

Our metro tickets were just €1.40 each. We were on the metro by 7.30am. Its a good few stops from Piraeus stop and change at Monastiraki, onto the red line to Syntagma, then change just one stop to Acropoli.

The Akropoli metro stop brings you to just in front of the Tourist Information point. We were there by 8.15am. The lady in the office explained its €20 each for all sites, or some points at €5 each or a walking route which she kindly marked out for us where you can see all the points from up high. Free.
Of course we walked, we were glad we did as it was a big wide path with lovely trees and views and apart from a few dog walkers it was so peaceful away from tourist groups.

And there it is, fabulous to see it. Although it must be said that the rest of Athens looks grim. It’s cloudy today but not sure the sun could help it look much better.

We decided we should make our way back to Piraeus after our walk. We didn’t want to chance rail strikes, flood, famine or anything else that might involve missing the ship and getting stuck in Athens. Really not a place we would want to be stranded.
Akropoli to Syntagma, to Monastiraki to Piraeus, all over rather than underground. The graffiti is horrendous. Literally every wall is covered, not just tags but huge great coloured areas. And the trains too. Really quite depressing.

We couldn’t resist some delicious sugared doughnut rings from a street stall outside Piraeus station, there were simits -round thin bread, a bit like a bagel, found everwhere in Turkey. I’m so glad our simit sellers don’t sell the doughnuts, no way of resisting.
Piraeus is huge with lots of shops, cafes, sandwich bars and pretty churches. It has a nice vibe.

We stopped for coffee, facebooking and blog uploading before going through security and back on board at 11am. 30 minutes before our deadline.

Lots of people got off here, and lots of new people in the entrance areas. There’s a lifejacket safety drill this morning. We avoided it and went to the bar as it seems a bit daft after being on board for 4 days. Unfortunately the bars weren’t serving as everyone should be at the drill..oops.

We decided to have lunch in the posh buffet because it’s too cold for the other one today which made a nice change and then looked for somewhere to have a drink and ended up in the Horizon bar which we previously thought was the Captains bridge. We wondered why there were so many stools up there.

Fab views from up there.

2 army planes went past, one left side and one right side. Then one coming straight for us. Just a tad scary !

John was absolutely shattered and went for a snooze, I read and dozed but not for long. I snuck back off to the Horizon bar. The coffee is so good on this ship.

John joined me after a while and it was cocktail time before reaching Mykonos. Our ticket included a walking tour around Mykonos. We’re booked on, just us and 40 Turks.

We did a bit of packing first. Our cases have to be packed and ready for collection by midnight.

On arrival at Mykonos we waited as instructed for our guide in the Muses lounge along with everyone else that’s got a guided tour. Absolute noisy mayhem. Hated it.

It was absolutely freezing, it’s been blowing a gale all day.

Mykonos is so incredibly beautiful. Definitely our favourite stop of the trip.

Narrowing down my photos of this stunning island is going to be tricky.

We were surprised at the number of very expensive designer brand shops.

So many beautifil little alleyways of little cafes, bars, shops, art galleries and churches.

Considering it was so grey and cold we were surprised to be blessed with a beautiful sunset backdrop.

Once back we couldn’t resist the a la carte and it was perfect. The planning is excellent, the restaurant opening times are juggled around shore stops.

The food was amazing, and Ouzo cheesecake with Lemoncello sauce was definitely a new experience.
Time for a final Baileys iced coffee in the Muses lounge and get settled for this evenings Cirque Fantastique show. And a last chance of having strawberry daquiris.

The show was fabulous again. Mainly recent pop song covers and some aerial acrobatics.

We went off to bed feeling very sad it was our last night. Packed our cases and left them in the corridor and they will be ready for us ashore in the morning.

Another early start, we arrive in Kusadasi at 7am and need to vacate our rooms then, after that we collect our passports, have breakfast and set off for the 4 hour drive home to Fethiye.
So which is better? Olympia or Nefeli?
On the first day we couldn’t help but compare everything to Olympias baby sister the Nefeli that we went on last year.
Overall it was just as fabulous, our only critisism was the many groups of American and Spanish teens or early twenties groups, incredibly noisy and no awareness of how to behave in lounges and at the table and no consideration to others. We wonder if its because we overlapped with Easter and hoping it never turns into a 18-30’s booze cruise.

Disembarkation was much longer of course as so many more people, and being in a smaller ship without the need for tender boats was better.

I think the food was better on the Olympia but staff not as personal and friendly as on the smaller Nefeli.

It may well be that we will just have to go again to be absolutely certain which we prefer 🙂




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