Friday, November 6, 2015

Just time for a little shopping before joining our cruise ship

Our Athens hotel's location nestled against the pine-forested slopes of Lycabettus Hill afforded panoramic views over the city to the Acropolis and the Saronic Gulf beyond. The view was quite spectacular from the breakfast room on the top floor when it wasn't too smoggy. We were just steps away from Kolonaki’s alluring shops, museums, galleries and eateries and this is where we spent our last morning wandering around the narrow lanes, visiting shops and stopping for coffee.

In the early afternoon we took a taxi to Piraeus. It was quite an interesting drive, which took some time as the Athens traffic was gridlocked. The taxi driver shared driving duties with his father. During our ride he received a call from his accountant who told him how much quarterly taxes he had to pay, €600, which he was quite indignant about. It was interesting listening to his opinion that paying these taxes was going to make the economy worse. I got the impression that he wasn't really used to paying taxes. Eventually he did put the meter on. The €20 ride showed only €16 making it €4 tax free.

We quickly boarded the Windstar Seabreeze, unpacked and explored the small ship with the capacity for around 200 passengers. We were lucky that we had only 125 aboard. After a fairly casual ship's drill we set off for the open sea.

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