We landed at the cruise port of Katakolon, Greece in the late morning, and took our pre-booked motor coach transfer to Olympia for three hours in the afternoon. The bus drove through the small tourist town of Olympia after about 30 minutes on the road, and dropped us off at the top of the hill leading down to the original Olympic grounds. It was about a five minute walk to the bottom and the day was getting hotter.
We stood in line with everyone else there to get our tickets to the site and decided to splurge for both the museum and the archaeological site. The Olympic park was to our immediate right so we ventured there first. We followed the paths, reading the signs along the way, trying to make the most of the ancient ruins. The UNESCO World Heritage site had many piles of rubble, and more were being dug up by local archaeologists as we walked around. They continually discover more artifacts and buildings from ancient Greece in these digs.
There were many sites where the Greeks worshipped their gods, and where athletes would train. We saw the site of where the mighty temple of Zeus once stood. There was a large green space near the end where the original Olympic stadium was, waiting to crown champions every fourth year.
We headed to the museum next, where we found shelter from the heat. Here, we saw precious artifacts that were found throughout the archaeological site. There were sculptures and marble statues, as well as bronze armour and decorations.
The museum was small and didn’t take long, so with our hour left we went shopping in a few local shops. We picked up olive oil and lotions. We wished we had purchased tubs of Athena’s Treasures body lotion, which had a rich and creamy texture, chock full of olive and bio oil. We had first picked it up on Crete, but we saw the lotion here as well. I purchased Aphrodite olive oil body lotion, in Argon and Pomegranate because I loved the smell, but it was not nearly as good. We sat a while for a light lunch where I ate Greek yogurt with honey; it was delicious and refreshingly cool.
On the half hour drive back to port, I noticed months’ worth of garbage in all of the ditches: I wasn’t sure why, but I had a feeling I was looking at the only telltale sign I had seen of Greece’s financial situation.
After sunbathing on the ship, we decided to have a fun night out on the Rhapsody of the Seas. First, we caught the seven o’clock show of the Zoot’s, a 60s revival band that looked and sounded a lot like the Beatles. They were fun and worth sitting through. Next, we went to the Centrum and watched the aerial dancers swing on the trapeze as singers and dancers below put on an excellent 20 minute performance. Lastly, we enjoyed a five star dinner at the Edelweiss dining room. I had escargot and veal, and then pistachio ice cream (my favourite) for dessert.
My sister Julianna and I wrapped up the night late, staying out at the Park Café, snacking and drawing. The shipped played the sound of wolves howling at the night.