Impressions from Athens 2004 Olympic Games

Pictures and report by Stephen Carroll

Part 1

The Olympic Games 2004 took place in Athens, Greece from 13 to 29-AUG.  Swatch The Club had organized several trips ('waves') to the Olympic Games lasting about 5 days each. 

UK Pioneer member Stephen Carroll took the last wave from 25 to 30-AUG.  He was so nice to send me a report and his pictures from Athens.  He also allowed me to put the pictures online, together with his impressions, so here they are:

Wednesday 25 August

14:00 I take a taxi to Bristol airport.

15:25 We take off on time for Frankfurt.

18:15 We arrive early in Frankfurt, and I catch the shuttle bus to the hotel.

There is no restaurant at the hotel so I eat at the campsite next door.

Thursday 26 August

08:30 I leave the hotel to return to Frankfurt airport, and check in for the flight to Athens. At the airport I meet up with the German party.

17:00 We arrive in Athens an hour late after an extended stop at Thessaloniki.

18:00 We arrive at the Intercontinental Athenaeum Hotel where Patrick Jaron meets us. Security checks at the entrance, and then up to my room, which was fantastic. Time to shower and change before dinner.

21:00 Everyone starts to assemble in reception and Elina our local guide meets us. Elina is very popular with the (mostly male) party.

21:30 We leave by bus for the Swatch Ionic

When we arrive Alexandra Hebeisen is waiting to greet us. After looking at the displays we head upstairs for dinner. Among tonight's guests are Michele Sofisti (President of Swatch) and Carl Lewis. 

After dinner and photographs the centre closes so along with Patrick, Alexandra, Dirk and Jost i head for Ermion Restaurant, which the Swiss team have made their unofficial base in Athens. At about 02:00 we head towards Syntagma Square to catch a taxi back to the hotel.

Friday 27 August

06:00 We have time for breakfast before we go to the canoeing at Schinia. Arrive at about 08:00 and the temperature is already about 35 degrees. We see the menís canoe and kayak finals until the finish at about 11:00.

Lunch (sandwiches, drinks and then ice cream. Once the queues have cleared we get on the coach to return to the hotel. In the afternoon we have time for swimming and relaxation before the evening.

18:00 We leave the hotel to go to OAKA (the main Olympics complex)

18:30 We arrive at OAKA and go into the shop. There is a massive crowd at the checkouts and it takes more than 15 minutes to pay. After this we go into McDonalds for something to eat before watching the athletics.

Our seats in the stadium are in the 5th row, by the long jump pit. This is the evening of the women's 10,000 metres and Paula Radcliffe is opposite us when she walks off the track.

Afterwards some return to the hotel while the rest of us go into the Plaka district to find something to eat. We then take taxis back to the hotel.

Click here to read part 2 of Stephen's report about the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

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