Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Day 26, Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
It’s hard to believe we passed the half way point of our cruise yesterday, time really flies. This morning we successfully docked in Katakolon, Greece, which is the gateway to Olympia, the origin of the Olympics.
Today we scheduled a ship’s excursion titled “Ancient Olympia and Zorba”, which will visit the site of the original Olympics followed by a sampling of Greek food and dancing. The alarm went off at 7:00 and the question was – did Val feel well enough to go on our tour? The answer was not really, but she was going to go anyway; what a trooper. Oh, one other thing to add to our day; it was raining.
We were ready and in the showroom by 8:00 and our tour was the first one called. We donned our rain gear and headed out to the buses and were soon on our way to the town of Olympia, which was the site of the Ancient Olympic Games, first held in 776 BC.
It took about 30 minutes to get to the Olympic site and it was raining fairly hard when we got there. Val and I also brought our waterproof covers for our cameras so we were set to go. Our guide led us through the ruins of the original Olympics and I must say, it was much larger and much more interesting than I thought it would be. It was pretty amazing to be wandering around an area that dates back to 776 BC. A short time after we started our tour the rain stopped and for the rest of the morning in only drizzled on and off. Below is a photo chronicle of our tour.
|Everywhere we visit there are cats looking for handouts.|
|We enter the site of the original Olympics.|
|A wet day, but we were prepared.|
|The entrance to the Olympic field.|
|It doesn't look like much compared to current Olympic stadiums.|
|I'm off to the races.|
As we finished our tour and walked out we were very glad that we had gotten there early for the first tour; people were pouring in and it was very crowded. There was another ship in port this morning so there were other ship tours and a lot of people visiting on their own. We were the first bus to arrive this morning so we were able to get many of our photos without having people in them.
After getting back on the bus, it was a short drive back into the village of Olympia to the restaurant where we were to eat and be entertained. I didn’t expect much from this, but it was really fun and entertaining. We were served a sampling of Greek food, which was both plentiful and excellent. I have never been a big fan of Greek food, but after this morning I will have to give it another chance when I get home.
|We were greeted by the dancers who entertained us during our lunch.|
|We enjoyed an excellent meal, I'm changing my mind about Greek food.|
Throughout our meal, we were entertained by two men and two women dancers who were very good and very personable. Naturally they wanted audience participation, which I don’t like, but of course despite my protests, I was chosen to participate. Oh well, it’s all in fun and I did get to break a plate on the floor. There was wine served with lunch and also the Greek liquor, Ouzo. By the end of our meal and many glasses of Ouzo, we had many of the group up and dancing with several ladies dancing on the tables. That’s pretty unusual for a group of cruisers our age. All too soon it was time to leave and everyone was in good spirits as we walked back out into the rain for the short walk to our bus.
|Some of our fellow cruisers join the dancers.|
|Several ladies get into the spirit and are dancing on the tables.|
The good thing about today’s tour is that it was only a half day so we were back at the ship before 1:00 and Val collapsed on the bed. I felt bad for Val, as being sick and having to walk around in the rain can’t be much fun, but she didn't complain and she ended up having a good time and was glad she went. Thank you, Val.
Tomorrow we are in Athens and have another early tour scheduled so hopefully Val will feel well enough for that too. I know well enough though, that despite wanting to do something really badly, sometimes you just hit the wall and can’t make it so we’ll see what happens.
|It finally started to clear up, but it was time to leave.|
Val spent the the early part the afternoon resting, but after a short rest she did decide to join her trivia team for the daily competition. On sea days it is at 1:30, but on port days it is at 4:00. I spent my time updating the blog and downloading our pictures from the day. Around 3:00 the Costa ship that was in port with us today sailed away and we left after them. The Costa ship arrived after we did this morning so they had a pretty short day in port. We did our regular routine of trivia, dinner and casino and then called it an early night again as we have another early tour tomorrow.