The Torch will be traveling through Greece for a relatively short time in March, and then will go abroad to other nations participating in the Olympics. It will return to Greece in July on its final leg of the journey to the Olympics.
Along the way, observers can expect various ceremonies and celebrations. These will be particularly vivid at the last stop of the day, when the Olympic Torch rests for the night.
The island of Hydra is especially excited to be included in the Olympic Torch relay, and though the visit of the Torch to the island will be brief, they expect a big turnout.
Kelsey Edwards of Saronic.Net writes: "The plans for the arrival of the Olympic Torch on Hydra are starting to get firmed up after weeks of rumour and speculation. The torch will be delivered to the island by a special Olympic boat at 12.43 (yes, that is the time the official document states!) on Wednesday, March 31st 2004.
Starting at the sea end of the central quay in the middle of the harbour under the green light, the first runner will jog along the quay and hand it to the next runner just outside Achileas Souvaki Bar. Then it will be exchanged again at the Kountouriotis Statue (outside the Pirate Bar) and so on round the harbour, passing the museum and Melina Mercouri Hall on its way to the Miaoulis Statue. It's vague at the moment as to what will happen then, but as the boat will be leaving to continue on to Poros at 13:35, one can conclude that it won't be much other than a quick speech and a jog back to the harbour area!
By all accounts the children of Hydra will be joining hands to line the route (I didn't know we had that many kids!) and some have been chosen to escort the flame and torch bearers as well. The island's band is already busy rehearsing the tunes they intend playing (I hope they're going to be standing still in a strategic position 'cause I'm not sure that Harriet will manage the bass drum at a jog) and the news reporters will be filming as well.
In summary - this is likely to prove a highly entertaining forty-five minutes packed with emotion and will be pure theatre. My advice is to nab your viewing position early and bring your digital cameras with you. Fingers crossed it all goes well and it doesn't rain!"
For March locations and events pertaining to the Olympic Torch Relay, see this page at the official Olympic Games site: Athens 2004 and choose "Torch Relay", then "Greek Route", then "Torch Relay Transit Dates" and finally, scroll down and click on "March 2004".
If you need more information about the Olympic Torch Relay at a specific location, contact local authorities or the Olympic Torch Relay organizers:
Tel: 800-11-2004-3 (free from within Greece only)
+30 210-373-3000 (for international calls - this is a toll call)
Find and compare prices on Hotels in Athens
Hotels in Santorini