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Europe » Greece » Attica » Piraeus
May 12th 2017
Published: June 26th 2017
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Geo: 37.9479, 23.6414

As we did the Acropolis the last time we visited Athens we had decided we would try and find something different to do this time round.

The most appealing excursion was entitled Ancient Corinth and a Canal crossing. Stephen was really looking forward to seeing Corinth so we were expecting a pretty good day. Unfortunately had a few issues in leaving the room and nearly missed the excursion altogether as we arrived in the theatre for the usual morning bun fight in getting the tours all organised - were asked as we went in what tour were we on, then got told that's already been called handed our tour stickers and we were on our way. Oops!

Not a massive group doing this tour and no kids...hooray!

Had a nice sleep through the tour guides long and very uninteresting ramble on the way to Corinth was about a two hour bus trip.....needed the sleep catch up. So of course after the long bus trip all the ladies needed the loo, two toilets and about 14 ladies, took a minute or six so we all milled around in a small courtyard filled with headless statues, just outside the door of the museum. As we entered the small but very interesting looking museum the tour guide started her spiel at the first exhibit she received a phone call from the boat captain for the canal crossing to say a large ship was expected and we would need to be there earlier than expected ( while this was going on Stephen was being told off for attempting to take a photo of two statues that stood guard over two open graves, the guide should have told us the rules BEFORE entering the museum, but of course that hadn't been done).

After her phone call the guide immediately abandoned her original spiel and took off at a fast trot weaving her way through the museum, by the time we looked up from looking at the bones in the grave she was gone, just a vague crackly voice in our headsets. There were about half a dozen of us with no idea where she had gone, finally found one of our group outside the back entrance to the museum who was looking for her husband (lost with us) who pointed us in the right direction. Absolutely hopeless, we saw nothing of the museum other than a fleeting glance at the first two exhibits.

To top off the crappy morning we were having - coming toward us as we headed off in search of the tour group were a number of stray dogs one of which had a dead kitten hanging from its mouth! Bleugh! There were stray dogs everywhere which was pretty off putting.

Finally caught up with the group the guide did a thirty second chat about a couple of the ruins of ancient Corinth around us we moved further into the ruins for another quick chat. Then that was it she headed immediately for the exit, we managed to buy a quick magnet at a wee side stall on our way back to the bus, again having to run to catch up with the group! Both of us pretty disappointed at this stage.

Arrived at the boat for the canal crossing, less than ten minutes away from where we had just been. All piled onto the boat, then sat waiting at that of the canal for about 15 minutes while 12 yachts cleared the canal. The canal itself was pretty impressive it connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. We had been in such a rush to leave in the morning so neither of us had grabbed a jersey or cardi so when the boat turned to return the wind was blowing straight at us and we were freezing. Other than that and the monotonous Greek music we actually really enjoyed our canal crossing, Stephen said he thought we were going to be crossing the width of it not travelling the length of it...... He's such a dork sometimes!

Back in the toasty warm bus we travelled to a pedestrian bridge that crosses the canal ( the width of it!) so that we could take pics, grab something to eat, and shop for touristy knick knacks (and yummy Greek delight, think Turkish delight but with a different name!). Back on the bus and another couple of hour sleep and back to the ship.

Evaluation - pissed off at the Corinth bit but enjoyed the canal crossing. If they had been better organised we could have done the canal crossing first, gone back to ancient Corinth and spent a decent amount if time there. These excursions are not cheap and its damned annoying when they get spoilt by poor organisation.

The port at Piraeus is not very pretty or inviting so we decided not to bother going out again after returning to the boat. Had a wee drink or two, read our books and I caught up on a bit of blogging.....not completely caught up as you can tell by how far behind I am, thank goodness for sea days!


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