Hi friends and welcome to Day 39 of this monumental, inconceivable and definitely memorable blind sightseers tour….!
Good morning friends! (Καλημέρα φίλοι) 😀
We booked this cruise as i really wanted to visit ancient Corinth and Sarah really wanted to go on todays excursion….Olympia! 💪🏼
Within half an hour’s bus ride of the small fishing village of Katakolon, you’ll find the site of ancient Olympia. Thousands of years ago, the park-like grounds of Olympia were crowded with athletes, preachers, merchants and philosophers. The backdrop was the impressive Temple of Zeus – famous for its 40-foot statue of the god himself, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The temple lies in ruins today, but you can still imagine how its structure would have looked in its heyday. With some help from your guide, the remains of temples, treasuries, porticoes and statues help to bring the site to life.
On the dock…🛳
Meeting our local tour guide off the ship (after an olympic breakfast) we followed her to the coach where the 2 front seats were saved for us again, we really like this Thomson excursion team looking out for us! 😀
The coach had lovely air conditioning again which was great for me, but Sarah had her tracksuit top on as she was freezing, lol! 😀 After about half an hour we arrived at the site of Olympia and stepped off the coach into the blistering sun. Sarah didn’t have her tracksuit top on anymore, and i instantly started overheating! ☀️
We started walking through the areas where the merchants would have been and the workers and cooks etc. “Wow, how one earth did they do anything in this heat, they were hardcore” i said wishing i had more water. 💧
The guide was incredible and very passionate and knowledgable about the whole area.
Soaking up the blistering heat and more history, we slowly shuffled along to the gym. 💪🏼
The guide was talking about how the athletes would train (naked) and cover themselves in oil to help collect the dirt, salt, sweat and anything else that stuck to them. Then they would use a strigil as a tool to scrape it all off before bathing.
The guide then said “Does anyone know why this place is called the ‘Gym?” The group fell silent but before the guide continued i said “Gymnós (Γυμνός) is Greek for naked” The guide happily said well done to me and seemed really pleased as Sarah said “How did you know that and none of the others did?” is said “I only know a handful of Greek words (bible study and apologetic books)…And that’s one of them, lol”. 🤣
We then continued walking to take a look at the temples and the ancient lighting of the torch place.
The guide stopped to read an ancient inscription…
Lighting of the torch…
The guide talked all about the history of lighting the olympic flame and carrying the torch around. She then used her shadow to act out the lighting of the flame at the exact point! 😀
The ancient olympic track…
Totally dehydrated (note to self…One little bottle of water isn’t enough) and my skin felt like it was blistering, we approached the archway to the original ancient olympic start line.
I thought the huge crowd were cheering away and welcoming us in the true olympic style, but i realised it was the thunderous sound of the cicadas again! 🤣
The start line…
I thought the heat was blistering already but it didn’t prepare me for the inferno when we walked underneath the archway and onto the track. 🔥🔥
Sarah said “Steve you’ve got to get a photo of me at the original olympic start line! I’ve only been out of my aircast for a few weeks and it would make a great photo…Zena (Sarah’s friend) will comment straight away and tell me off, lol (she did). 😀
“Here goes” i said “No pressure at all for this shot…It’s only a one off picture” But it worked and Sarah looks fantastic! Sarah had gone for months with an aircast, and now seeing her on the start line looking like a true olympian was another emotional moment for me. She really is my warrior princess wife! ❤️❤️❤️
Water…I need water…😰
With our new appreciation of these ancient athletes we slowly made our way to the next stage.
The archaeological museum…
You’ll now proceed on foot to the Archaeological Museum, which is one of the most important of its kind in Greece and hosts an impressive collection of artefacts. The new museum was constructed in 1975, and eventually opened in 1982, re-exhibiting its treasures. Following some time here you will join your coach for a drive back to your ship.
It was so crowded inside the museum and we couldn’t get many photos, sorry.
We now had about half an hour free time so we went straight for the shop. Yay Sarah managed to find a red t-shirt with the winners reef on the front. I just wanted a bottle of water and stood drinking it whilst trying not to collapse with more heat exhaustion!
Sarah said “We can’t leave without buying Suzanne (our friend) something from here. Suzanne is mad about the olympics so it would be great to buy her a souvenir from the actual place”. We did! 😀
Back at the dock… 🛳
With the ship in sight we had enough time to explore the dock. The dock was great for us and really accessible as it had flat walkways and no surprises. It had a few shops that we could have a look around and see if we can get anymore souvenirs.
My beautiful wife has just told me to stand here and is walking away along the dock. “I wonder what she’s seen? Oh wait a minute…She isn’t going for one of her stupendous panoramas is she? She certainly is”. 😲
☢️ HEALTH WARNING…
We don’t visit many docks with a clear view to the ship, so now we have, we’ll make the most of it, lol! 😀
“I see no ships!” 🤣
On board the ship…🛳
I was absolutely exhausted as we returned to the cabin…And after drinking about 100 litres of water, cold shower and a change of clothes…I was ready for the fantastic evening meal. 😀
Our new friends Brian and Ann (met then on the captains night) told us that they had done lots of cruises and had the on board photographer take some photos of them on every cruise. They have a drawer at home full of photos and look at them for lovely memories. “They are not cheap but you can select as many as you like.”. they said as they left the stairway where we had a chance meeting.
Walking up a couple of decks we ran straight into the photographer who’d set up lights and umbrellas at the top of the stairs. “Would you like your photos taken?” “No thanks we’re so tired after todays trip” i said.
“Well we’re doing a special black and white photo shoot this evening if you are interested?” the photographer continued as Sarah and i considered it. I said “I can only just stand up as i’m so tired, nevermind trying to smile and look energised, lol! Sarah told the photographer “Yes ok we’ll give it a go”. The photographer said they’ll meet us back here in 30 minutes, and could i change my shirt into something more suitable for black and white photos (i had a Caribbean shirt on). Thankfully i have 4 identical black short sleeve shirts and i still have a clean one back in the cabin wardrobe! 😀
We are so glad we had the photos taken! We love them and have them set as desktop wallpapers and iPhone lock screen images…Yay more photos of me and Sarah i’ll cherish. ❤️😀
After the crazy photo shoot, we walked along the deck and it wasn’t long before we bumped into these fantastic creations. 😲
Back at the cabin…
I almost collapsed onto the great towel creature that was waiting for us on the bed…
Wow…What a day! We’ve had an incredible time with so many lovely memories. We hope you’ve enjoyed it too?!
On Monday evening Thomson Spirit sails to the port of Corfu, Greece having travelled 165 nautical miles at an average speed of 13 knots.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the adventure today…Let me know your favourite part?! 🤔 We’ll meet tomorrow…Same time…Same place for another adventure! 😀
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