Italy to Greece (Pompeii & Athens)

03 – 05 July 2010

5.45am we were up and away from Rome for a full day’s travelling, first it took us four hours to get to Pompeii.

On arrival in Pompeii we had a brief guided tour around the famous ancient ruins of Pompeii, we had our most charismatic tour guide yet.

[pe2-gallery class=”alignright” ] Pompeii Sign.JPGPompeii-1.JPGAncient Streets of Pompeii.JPGPlaster Casts of Victims of Pompei-2.JPGPlaster Casts of Victims of Pompei-4.JPGPlaster Casts of Victims of Pompei.JPGDrawings in Ancient Brothel - Pompeii-1.JPGDrawings in Ancient Brothel - Pompeii.JPGRuins of Pompeii-2.JPGRuins of Pompeii-3.JPGStreets of Ancient Pompeii-2.JPGPompeii.JPG[/pe2-gallery]

After Pompeii we had a further hour drive to Bari where we drove onto the ferry and shipped out of Italy and into the Ionian Sea. We were on an overnight ferry scheduled to arrive the following day around noon, however we were reminded that a ferry travelling between Italy and Greece would certainly be on ‘ish’ time. We had a cabin between three, the cabins were nice, probably our best accommodation yet, they included sheets, towels and soap; what a luxury.

Everyone got an early night to catch up on some much needed sleep, the following day we were approximately an hour and a half behind schedule in docking but everyone was bright and chirpy on the coach ride to Athens after having a good sleep in on the ferry.

On arrival in Athens we had a guided tour of the Acropolis, one of the most important ancient monuments of the Western world. Our guide told us how the word ‘Acropolis’ means the ‘highest point of the city’ and she pointed out the Beule Gate, Propylaia, Erechtheion and the monumental Parthenon. The Parthenon is famous for its grace and harmony, achieved by slightly curving the lines of its columns to compensate for objects normally appearing smaller in the distance to the human eye.

[pe2-gallery class=”alignright” ] Arrival in Greece-5.JPGArrival in Greece-10.JPGAthens-60.JPGAcropolis-2.JPGAcropolis-47.JPGAcropolis-52.JPGParthenon-12.JPGParthenon-10.JPGView from Acropolis-1.JPGOlympic Stadium - Athens-5.JPGView from Acropolis.JPGAcropolis-39.JPG[/pe2-gallery]

That night we had the optional Plaka dinner, three courses accompanied by singing and dancing. The mixed entrées were particularly nice while the mains were average; it’s fun having the group eating together however I’m not convinced that these ‘optional excursions’ Contiki offer are actually good value.

[pe2-gallery class=”alignright” ] Athens Plaka Dinner-2.JPGAthens Plaka Dinner-1.JPGAthens Plaka Dinner-3.JPG[/pe2-gallery]

05 July 2010

The following day we had to wake up ridiculously early (6am departure) to catch our ferry to Mykonos, our tour manager Ray was worried about strike action (Current political turmoil in Greece) potentially effecting ferries running to Mykonos.

On the way to our ferry we made a service stop at the Corinth Canal which didn’t sound too impressive until we actually saw it, wow.

[pe2-gallery class=”alignright” ] Corinth Canal-6.JPGCorinth Canal-14.JPG[/pe2-gallery]

Luckily we were able to catch our ferry as scheduled (‘ish’ time).