Athens Greece and Catania Sicily

Sunday 1st Dec - Day 9 - Piraeus Athens

We caught the Hop on Hop off bus to the Acropolis and the Parthenon. Ali made it to the top after a little huffing and puffing.

I had to see the Parthenon - it's just one of those things of huge fascination to me and a major tick in the proverbial box on this trip for me. How did they build such massive structures?
I would never have believed the number of people there - thousands and thousands. It was free Sunday or somesuch, a once a month event with no entrance fee to any of the City’s places of interest.

We hopped back on the bus for a circuit of the city but after the climb up the Acropolis Ali was in no mood to hop off and wander round. Got to see some of the sights in Athens from the bus but forgot some snackie bites and another layer of clothing. Graffiti everywhere.

Monday Dec 2nd - Day 10 - Sea day

Ali and I got 17 at morning trivia which is pretty good as we were only a two person team (Ali would have got 18 if it weren't for my help!) but we only got 5 in the Star Wars trivia in the afternoon - embarrassing for fans such as ourselves.

Ali did another lovely watercolor and I had another mandolin lesson - this one went better as i actually had a mandolin this time. Dance show in the cabaret was so good I went for the second show of the same. 9 costume changes in 45 minutes.

Tuesday December 3rd - Day 11 - Catania and Mt Etna

I got to stand on the slopes of Mt Etna which was pretty cool and reminded me how lucky we are to have Mt Ruapehu and Mt Taranaki. Had a little run up the slopes to one of the craters. And although the tour bus lady had a voice slightly softer than an angle grinder we learned lots of stuff about the place, most of which I've forgotten, however, listed are the main points.

  • 42% unemployment;
  • Gum trees planted to reduce malaria;
  • Sicilia 25000kms square;
  • Meaning of Carat = comes from the Carob bean weight;
  • Catania much better than Palermo.

The facts were etched into memory by the screeching voice of the tour guide. The tone wasn’t pleasant but the volume was turned up to 11 until we all begged her to turn it down at a toilet stop. She looked hurt.

Catania has been badly flattened about seven times in recent history either earthquakes or eruptions and rebuilt like a lasagna one layer on top of the last.

No mention of mafia or related crime family facts sadly.
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