January 20th 2018

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Acropolis on Wheels Acropolis on Wheels Acropolis on Wheels Acropolis on Wheels Acropolis on Wheels Acropolis on Wheels Acropolis on Wheels Acropolis on Wheels

 

Continent: Europe. Country: Greece. City: Athens.

Acropolis on Wheels

By Nicholas Markham

It was a sunny warm morning as we cruised slowly into the port of Piraeus (ATHENS) as the captain manoeuvred the ship to the dock side and the foot bridges were fastened down.  We headed off from the top deck down to the disembarkation deck and due to being in a wheelchair we did not have to queue as you always get priority disembarkation.   We left the ship heading to the cruise terminal and not knowing which way to go we followed the people walking towards the tour buses, lots were lined up for those who had pre booked tours.  We could then see in the distance the hop on hop off bus (which are wheelchair friendly)  After negotiating a price with the sales rep we jumped on the bus and headed off towards Athens.

Going through the narrow streets, and going past a picturesque little marina which we thought would be a nice place to eat on our way back with bars and restaurants that were looking out over the mariner and out towards the sea.   We headed up to the acropolis, obviously this is everybody elses idea too so there was a vast amount of people trying to get there but to be fair there is lots of room for the buses and taxis to drop off.

Once off the bus we could see the ACROPOLIS on the top of the hill which rises 490ft above sea level, there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495 429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site's most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike.

Soon after the palace was constructed, a huge Cyclopean circuit wall was built, 760 meters long, up to 10 meters high, and ranging from 3.5 to 6 meters thick. This wall would serve as the main defence for the ACROPOLIS until the 5th century.  The wall consisted of two parapets built with large stone blocks and cemented with an earth mortar called emplekton.

What an amazing site.   This was as close as I was expecting to get to it but then over by the ticket office I saw a wheelchair sign so I thought maybe I can get a little bit nearer to the remains.   The lady in the ticket booth directed me to follow the signs round the corner and after about a 10 minute push up a slight hill there was a stair lift that took you to the bottom of a lift.  The lift was like one you would find on a building site (it was probably used by the builders as they were working on the site). There was just enough room for my wheelchair and 2 people, but it did the job and got me up to the top.   Wow what an amazing sight with the sun beaming down and we were right at the top looking out over Athens.

We were here at the Acropolis the fortified centre of Athens.  The Acropolis is classed a citadel which means a little city being the smaller part of the city of which it is the defensive core. 

The Acropolis houses the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historical significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. This is the building which can be seen from distance, the one with the coliseums.  The Parthenon is the building that is in a significant number of photos related with Athens.   

Although there are many other acropolis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as "The Acropolis" without qualification.

After spending a good couple of hours at the top we ventured back down the lift and caught the hop on hop off bus back down to the marina in PIREAUS which we had spotted earlier.  There we found a table and got comfortable looking out over the marina and sampled the local moussaka and bier.   After having a rest here we then decided to push back to the port.  It took roughly an hour going through some of the little side streets.  The Greeks seem just to park their cars anyway, park on the pavement and some cars seem like they have not moved in months. 

On getting back to the port entrance all the locals are trying to sell brand new IPADS and IPHONEs all still in there boxes sealed up, at not bad prices, but remember, once you get home and they don't work you are unable to return them.

Once back on the ship we head back up on to the top deck where we have a cocktail as the sun starts to set, whilst all the other passengers return and we get ready to leave for the next port.   I really did like the Acropolis and being at the side of something that old was quite incredible, especially being disabled and in the wheelchair I was still being able to get up to the top which made it all the more enjoyable.   

 

Please contact me if you need any information about cruising with a disability as I have first hand experience.  

Visit our website: www.nickmarkham.cruiseholidaysuk.co.uk for offers and information

email: nmarkham@cruiseholidaysuk.co.uk

Keywords: Athens, Acropolis