Sunday, September 18, 2022

Athens and Embarkation Day

 Athens, Greece – September 17, 2022


We started the day with breakfast on the rooftop restaurant at the Grand Bretagne Hotel.  The temperature had already started to climb and was predicted to be more than 90 degrees.  The three couples gathered in the lobby at 0845 for a planned trip to Delphi.  Unfortunately the tour operator never showed up and we ended up booking a minivan from the hotel concierge.  It is a two+ hour drive to Delphi and upon arrival found out the ADA access was poor for Miriam and the temperature was now 90 degrees.  The museum had a wheelchair which helped, but it was just too hot to really explore the ruins.


Vahkos Restaurant in Delphi

The rugged terrain of Mt Parnassus and the Oracle ruins site

A incredibly detailed bronze sculpture in the museum

We headed into Delphi and stopped at a delightful restaurant with an open balcony perched on the hillside.  The balcony was shaded and the breeze made it pleasant as we lingered over lunch before the two hour drive back to the hotel.


The acropolis in the morning from the roof of our hotel

Arriving at the hotel, we had arranged for our medically observed Covid testing. The nurse comes to your room and after just a few minutes we got our “Negative” test results which they emailed to us and the hotel, so the hotel printed a hardcopy.  We are now good for boarding Seabourn Encore in the morning.


Dinner on a warm Saturday night in Athens was a challenge, everywhere outside was fully booked, so we ended up with a group of 8 in the Winter Garden restaurant in the hotel.  The food and drinks were good, but everyone was ready for some sleep, so we ended up back in the room by 2200.


Athens, Greece – September 18, 2022, Embarkation Day


Miriam and I headed to the rooftop breakfast venue, with more stunning views of the Acropolis.  After a leisurely breakfast we headed back to the roomed and finalized our suitcases for pickup.  We are scheduled to board the Seabourn Encore at 1240 PM and head-out out from the hotel at 1115.  The weather continues clear, sunny and very hot, with 91 degrees predicted as the high for today.  Seabourn Encore is one of the two largest Seabourn ships, with a capacity of 600 guests.


We actually had an early departure from the hotel and arrived at the ship before they were ready to board new guests.  There were about 150 transit passengers already on board.  After a short wait, we were cleared to board at 1130 and went to the Colonnade Restaurant to wait until our suite was ready.  Even the restaurant was not yet open, but we could sit out on the aft deck and have a glass of water while we waited.  The fresh breeze and shade made for a pleasant afternoon while we eventually had a light lunch.  Our suites were ready by 1400, so we had plenty of time to explore the ship before departure.


The ship is full, and guests continued to arrive all afternoon.  Departure is set for 1900, since it is only 177 NM to our first stop, the island of Patmos, where we will get a chance to visit the monastery of St. John.  Patmos is where the Apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation.


The group of eight gathered at the Keller Grill for dinner as the Seabourn Encore departed Piraeus on time for Patmos.

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