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Greece: Final stop Athens

By Staff | Jun 3, 2016

Editor’s Note: This is the eighth and final part of a series sharing my recent travels to Greece.

We returned to Athens after four days on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean to spend a final day touring and an evening out learning Greek dance and tradition.

Our tour in the morning took us to the temple of Poseidon hat was constructed in 444440 BC, over the ruins of a temple dating from the Archaic Period.

Legend has it that Aegeus, king of Athens, leapt to his death off the cliff, thus giving his name to the Aegean Sea. The story goes that Aegeus, anxiously looking out from Sounion, despaired when he saw a black sail on his son Theseus’s ship, returning from Crete. This led him to believe that his son had been killed in his contest with the dreaded Minotaur, a monster that was half man and half bull. The Minotaur was confined by its owner, King Minos of Crete, in a specially designed labyrinth.

There should have been a white sail visible to show that Theseus was successful; however there was a mix up and the blag flag was still flying.

The temple is a famous spot where many would carve their names before it became illegal to do so. The most famous is of Lord Byron who spent many hours at the temple.

The views from the temple were beautiful, but frightening as well when one noted how far was the drop to the sea.

Our afternoon return to the center of Athens gave us time to shop for final gifts before heading home the next day.

There was no greater shopping area than Plaka.

As a main tourist attraction of Athens Plaka has a lot of shops mainly with tourist items like Greek art shops, furs and jewelery shops.

Most of the restaurants located around of the square of Philomouson in Kythathineon street like the Plaka restaurants Byzantino, Plaka and Acropolis on the streets around the Bathe of the winds and on the steps of Mnisikleous street.

We enjoyed dessert and drinks at one of the many restaurants with a view of the Parthenon.

For our last night in Greece, our tour company arranged a traditional Greek evening with a multi-course dinner at one of the restaurants in Plaka.

We were treated to delicious foods and entertained by Greek musicians and dancers. The students (and adults) were taught some of the Greek dances.

The evening ended with the traditional breaking of plates, a custom probablyrelated to the ancient practise of conspicuous consumption, a display of one’s wealth, as plates or glasses are thrown into a fireplace following a banquet instead of being washed and reused.