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Port of Katakolon - Lunch and view of cruise ships.

The scenic seaside Greek town of Katakolon, with a population around 3,000, is your typical small-town cruise port -- cafes lace the waterfront, shops sell T-shirts, hats and jewelry, and a small beach draws swimmers and sandcastle-builders. But that's not why ships make the town a destination. They arrive because Katakolon serves as the cruise gateway to ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games.

Drive 40 minutes from Katakolon, and you are transported back thousands of years. Stroll the site of Olympia, and you walk in the footsteps of the earliest Greek and Roman athletes -- wrestlers, chariot drivers, discus throwers, runners and long-jumpers -- who vied for glory and the gods' favor. Stand alongside the massive columns, and, with the tales of a good guide, you can envision the once magnificent temples, the crowded gymnasium and the runners readying on the track. Alexander the Great, Nero, Plato and Aristotle are among those who watched the games from where you stand.

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