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Saturday, May 29th
Woohoo! The cruise is finally over and I'm on solid ground again! Unfortunately, we disembarked at 7:00 in the morning, followed by a very full day of ancient ruins. Not to mention a wonderfully long bus ride--which is almost as bad as a ship.
The first place we went that morning was Corinth, which is over an hour from Athens. We spent a lot of our time there walking through the waist-high weeds to see the inscriptions of people named in the Bible. Erasmus and Sosthenes (sp?) were the men, but it was really hard to tell if that was what the inscriptions really said. I guess it was neat, but I'm not sure it was worth all the mosquito bites.
The main square of the city has been well-excavated, and a temple of Apollo had some columns still standing. It was a pretty large area, but not much different from Ephesus or Pompeii. The Roman baths still had running water we could hear but not see, and that was pretty cool. Everything was open to the public; you could have climbed down into the baths to see the water, I suppose. But it was a really hot day, and we were glad to leave.
From there we went to prehistoric Mycenae: the palace of Argamemnon (sp?). In ancient times it was thought to have been built by Cyclops, because so many of the rocks weighed over 10 tons each. The whole thing was pretty neat because so much of it remained intact. Most of the findings from the site were in the National Archaeology Museum, which we had already seen. It would have been a bit more meaningful had we understood what those things were when we saw them. We also went to the Tomb of Argamemnon (though it wasn't really his), which was just huge. It was sad to learn that it had been looted at some point in time before the archaeologists discovered it, because they had found so much gold and other stuff in the real tomb, which was much much smaller.
Then we went to eat at what must be a famous Greek restaurant. It was in the middle of nowhere, but there were lots of pictures on the wall of the owner shaking the hands of famous politicians from around the world. We didn't get to choose our courses--our Greek tour coordinator picked out the "specialty" of the place. We had some sort of ... I don't know how to explain it. It was made like lasagna, but with eggplant and some other sort of meat. The whole thing didn't have much taste, and the texture wasn't great either. But at least the bread was good! The main dish was roast lamb and potatoes. The potatoes were good, but strong. Needless to say, I filled up on bread. Then we all got pistachio ice cream for dessert. What a disappointment! But I survived, and Greg liked the lamb.
Then we went to the theatre at Epidaurus (sp??). It was supposed to have the best acoustics in the world, but I wasn't extremely impressed. It sure seemed a long way off the track for us. Then we had a two hour ride back to Athens.
We got back at 8:30 for dinner at the hotel. We had quiche for one course and chicken for another. Thank goodness the chicken was good, because dessert was a bowl of lukewarm cherries. I wanted ice cream, but was too tired to go get some.
Greg and I washed some clothes that night, which weren't quite dry by morning. By the way, that is a ~huge~ pain. I'm not sure my back has recovered yet.
Fortunately we don't have anything to do today until 3:00 in the afternoon! So we slept in, took nice long showers, and went to eat lunch. We first went to the Mail Boxes, Etc to ship our souvineers back. They took care of everything, though they have only been open a couple weeks and weren't quite sure about shipping proceedures. We left our stuff with them while we went to eat at Wendy's. Pretty unadventurous of us, huh? Well, we've had enough Greek food in the past week, and Wendy's was actually cheaper than many of the cafes. So we went back to the Mail Boxes, Etc to see our stuff, which was packed pretty well, in my opinion. The whole thing cost us $40, but seeing that we didn't have any other choice, we decided that it could have been worse. We mailed it to my parents since Harding won't hold a package for us.
We also went to a tiny store to get me another adaptor. The guy didn't speak hardly any English, but we eventually got what we needed for about $5.
We're leaving for the Temple of Posidon in about an hour. I hope it's not too long a trip.
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