Fast forward to Piraeus the port of Athens, our ship the Minerva is circled in red in the bottom right of the picture.
A symbol of Western Civilization at its most magnificent, Athens boasts an illustrious history that stretches back more than 3,000 years. The city flourished during classical antiquity and was the birthplace of Socrates, Pericles, and Sophocles. More than just a relic of its glorious past, today Athens is a bustling and modern capital city. A completely different vacation experience from the idyllic Greek islands, Athens can feel hectic and crowded but compensates with amazing cultural attractions.
The Acropolis is one of the world’s most breath-taking ancient ruins, and the city’s exceptional archaeology museums display fascinating artefacts uncovered at local sites. Other hidden charms awaiting discovery are the dazzling Byzantine churches found all over the city and the village-like neighbourhoods north of the Acropolis. Tourists will enjoy getting lost in the Plaka district’s narrow pedestrian streets, lined with quaint bougainvillea-draped houses and inviting restaurant terraces.
Few sights in the world compare to Athen’s Acropolis, with its Parthenon temple perched high on a rocky crag keeping watch over centuries of civilization. A reminder of the glory of ancient Athens, the Acropolis was the center of the ancient city and functioned as a citadel in its protected hilltop location. The most emblematic building is the Parthenon, the largest temple of the classical antiquity period dating from 447 BC to 338 BC.
With its monumental rows of Doric columns and stunning sculptural details, the temple is an awe-inspiring sight. In the frieze on the eastern side, reliefs depict the birth of the goddess Athena. Other ruins of the Acropolis include the Erechtheion, a complex of ancient sanctuaries built between 421 BC and 395 BC. The most famous feature of the Erechtheion complex is the Porch of the Caryatids, with six statues of maidens in place of Doric columns.