After such a big day yesterday with a late finish at around 2200 the early start for attendance at our ANZAC Day Dawn Service was a real effort, but, we were ready to leave our hotel at 0500. This day was to start with our Dawn Service, followed by breakfast at the Coral Hotel overlooking the sea, an historical visit then the Australian Govts Service and lunch with the Australian Ambassador. We started by being at the Phaleron Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery to conduct our ANZAC Day Dawn Service and we were supported by the Army Priest who I am grateful to him for being kind enough to meet us at 0530 and to be part of our Service, as he has been for a few years now.
Following our Service we adjourned to the Coral hotel for our breakfast which was very good indeed and in a most picturesque setting. After we were well watered we proceeded to the Navy Museum where they have a few ships tied up to the wharf there and were fortunate to be shown through their famous Averoff. A dreadnaught Battle Cruiser that they purchased in 1910. This ship was the pride of the Hellenic Navy and had 3 periods of action, the Balkan Wars, First World War and Second World War. It is a museum now and the Admiral uses his main cabin area to conduct conferences. Being able to climb down into the engine room was much appreciated by David and Gavin. The Ship is well maintained and everything is meticulously clean and sparkling. A great visit and we thanked 2nd Lieutenant George for his hospitality and knowledge.
From the visit to the Averoff we went back to the Phaleron Cemetery to be present at the Australian Govt ANZAC Day Service, at 1100. A nice Service supported by a guard from the Greek Army and Navy. Many Diplomats and Consul Generals from other countries were present and most laid a wreath, as did we. An invitation to join the Ambassador at her residence was accepted and we then made our way there but were nearly late due to a strike in Athens causing a traffic jam. However, we made it and not too late as we arrived at the Ambassador's residence and mixed with the various other guests enjoyed her hospitality for a couple of hours. Our group members were able to meet the Ambassador and to chat with her about many issues facing the world at present. It was a lovely time and finally we headed back to hotel to prepare for adventures ahead. Gavin and Nicci are staying on for a night in Athens, as is David but James, Kathie and Meaghan are heading to Lemnos late tonight for a 3 night stay. As I said, let the adventure continue.