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Day Four: Olympia, Greece

Posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

Dave!When coming into port on a cruise ship, you can either buy one of the ship's pre-planned shore excursion packages... or fend for yourself. Even though I loathe tour groups, I take the pre-planned excursions every time just for the convenience of it all. My greatest fear is missing the boat, so letting them worry about all that is a load off my mind.

Today's pre-planned excursion was for Olympia, Greece... birthplace of the Olympic Games.

When I booked the tour, I had anticipated that there would be some kind of massive ancient stadium that was built for the glory that is The Olympics... kind of like the Colosseum in Rome or something. So imagine my surprise when I find out that the original games were held here...

Olympia, Greece

Uhhhhh... yeah. I suppose this could be looked at as a bit of a disappointment, but it is what it is. I just choose to appreciate it from a historical perspective, and it's all good.

One of the interesting facts about Olympia is that this is where the Olympic flame is lit that then travels to the site of the Olympic Games. For the Olympics in China in 2008, they will get a giant concave mirror, aim it at the sun, then put some dry brush and twigs in front until it catches fire. The flame will then be sent to Athens for a bit, then be forwarded to China. And it all begins right here at Olympia's Temple of Hera...

Temple of Hera

This being a historical Greek site there are, of course, some cool ruins of columns to be seen...


And that's the excursion for today. Thirty-five minutes later, I'm back at the ship.

Where it's time for ice cream.


While onboard, this is my bestest friend in the whole world...

Ice Cream!

At first I kind of sucked at making my own ice cream cones but, since I've been eating 4-5 of them every day, I'm getting pretty good at it. I've got a nice swirl going on, and can make a nice peak on top now (instead of the lumpy mess I was making when I first started). I'm one of those people who should not be given access to free ice cream, because I will use it.

In fact, now that my second dinner has started to digest, it must be time for yet another ice cream cone.

I think I am gaining 10 pounds a day here...

Categories: Travel 2007Click To It: Permalink


  1. karla says:

    When you get a chance can you let me know the details of your cruise? Company, general costs, etc? We were thinking of a cruise as well. And Greece seems like a great place to do it.

    Do you stop at Santorini?

    The only cruise i have been on was on the nile, that was cool. It had some drawbacks (I hate group tours) but I did like the feeling that it was all taken care of and all i had to do was show up and eat.

    I just cost you, like, a buck in internet charges, didn’t I?

  2. Shannon says:

    I’m so jealous; I’ve always wanted to go to Greece. And, well, I really want to try out cruising sometime soon because I like the idea of my room and stuff and food traveling with me. Now all I need is money… alas, only a few more years until I get my MA and have a real job.

  3. Avitable says:

    They actually use a mirror to light the torch? I didn’t know that! How dare you teach me something when I’m trying to read blogs!

  4. ~jtm says:

    you can get an ice cream cone anytime you want it?? How cool is that?….oh, yea, and the ruins are neat,too.

  5. Andre says:

    Wow, what an early post, it is great to have you in the same time zone.
    Enjoy the ice cream, but I hope you vary flavours at least;-).

  6. ChillyWilly says:

    I really need to go on a cruise. I think after I visit Florida for the first time this December, I’ll have to take a cruise with my S.O.

  7. Andy says:

    I was a big fan of those ice cream machines, but the first day on board our cruise I saw the big bags of what can only be called slop poured into the machine. After that point I didn’t fancy eating much icecream from that machine.
    Enjoy the cruise – sounds like you are still having fun

  8. Hilly says:

    Good thing you went into this skinny! You need to take a picture of one of your perfect cones so we can see your mad skills!

  9. Robin says:

    Practice makes perfect with the ice cream cones! You gotta do what you gotta do.

  10. tori says:

    That ice cream looks phenomenal…and your trip looks like fun too.

  11. Lewis says:

    Nice peak with a swirl on top? I’m not even going to ask.

  12. Troy says:

    Dude. You need to get out there and find yourself a sweet cruise mate. Preferable of the female persuasion. Then you can make show off your sweet ice cream serving skillz!

  13. kristin says:

    I don’t know what it says about me that I find the free soft serve WAY more exciting than the birthplace of the Olympic games. Maybe that I am likely to have a fat ass. But there you go.

  14. Michelle says:

    I too have a weakness for ice cream. Well good icecream, bad ice cream is a crime against nature.

    P.S. I still envy you.

  15. AAAAAAAAAH! How have I missed 4 days of GREECE! I am going in August and also have never been. I will have to email you when you return to learn how to say “Beer” “Bacardi” “Diet Coke” “Bathroom” “how much” “Please” “Thank you” and all those other pleasantries. πŸ™‚ Great pics!

  16. Anonymous says:

    too jealous to comment.. πŸ™‚ enjoy your ice cream cones and excursions.. fucker. hehe

  17. Bre says:

    It always amazes me how very small some of the most important historic locations seem in comparison to our modern thunderdomes and such.

  18. jeff says:

    Just so you know, I’m thoroughly enjoying your travels, but I haven’t been commenting. I figure at $30/hr you’re probably not reading them at this time.

    Have fun!

  19. sizzle says:

    you missed your calling. we really could have used you at baskin robbins.

  20. Dave2 says:

    Karla… I’ll give a wrap-up of all the cruise details for anybody who is interested once everything is over. πŸ™‚

    Shannon… Money is always a factor. It took me two years of saving to get ready for this one. The good news is that, on a cruise, once you’ve paid for everything, you’re pretty much done… and everything else (like excursions and extras) are fairly easy to plan for because the cost is known in advance.

    Avitable… Hey, it was news to me too. I always thought they lit the shit in Athens!

    ~jtm… Yes, well, ancient ruins are great and all… but FREE ICE CREAM! ICE CREEEEEEEAAM! πŸ™‚

    Andre… Nope! I always get vanilla-chocolate swirl because that’s my favorite. I don’t think I will ever get tired of it!

    ChillyWilly… Florida is almost like another country, so maybe you won’t feel the need to do so after you get back! πŸ™‚

    Andy… Yes, but that slop becomes FREE ICE CREAM! ICE CREEEEEEEAAM! πŸ™‚

    Hilly… My perfect cones don’t last very long. πŸ™‚

    Robin… Fortunately, I’ve been practicing a lot!

    Tori… Yeah, the trip is okay. But FREE ICE CREAM! ICE CREEEEEEEAAM is the best! One must have priorities!

    Lewis… Those are ice cream technical terms that, as a professional, I must use.

    Troy… But then I might have to share. πŸ™

    Kristin… It says you are highly intelligent, and know a good thing when you see it! After all… FREE ICE CREAM! ICE CREEEEEEEAAM! πŸ™‚

    Michelle… Well, this ice cream ain’t anything to blog about, but it is FREE! Oh. I guess it is something to blog about after all!

    Scottsdale Girl… Time to get a Greek phrase book! I just learned the basics, so I know how to say please and thank you and cheese sandwich and stuff. A little bit goes a long way!

    Anonymous… Uh. Okay. Thanks, I guess.

    Bre… Yeah, but the opposite is true too. There are some ancient marvels that dwarf anything that has been created since… even when their all busted and stuff. The Colosseum in Rome is like that. The Great Wall of China too!

    Jeff… Sure, but I love my readers $30 an hour’s worth!

    Sizzle… That would be a very bad job for me, because I’d eat my salary in ice cream every day! πŸ™‚

  21. Anthony says:

    Free ice-cream?! Man, that’s sweet.

  22. iddly says:

    I hereby invite you to my [very exclusive] ice cream eating club. You will of course need to like watching Star Trek.

  23. ajooja says:

    My wife worked at a ice cream place when she was a hot, 19-year-old babe. Like everything else, she still makes a perfect cone.

    If I didn’t love her so much, I’d hate her. πŸ™‚

  24. Hol says:

    Great pictures! (I need to work on my cone making skills… ’cause they’re not perfect.)

  25. Laurence says:


    Yes, when I see a photo of that machine, I scream too ! πŸ˜‰

  26. JoeBruin88 says:

    Next time I go to Greece I want to visit the Peloponyssus. How long was the ship ride from Piraeus to Olympia?

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