Published: April 2nd 2011April 2nd 2011
This morning we were up at 3am, as per the last post. After a quiet breakfast in the hotel, we headed to Syntagma Square to catch the "HOHO" bus. It is really a good tool for getting around easily and comfortably. One of the first stops was the Acropolis. Absolutely amazing. We walked through a tree lined lane, picked up our tickets, and proceeded to wander through a gorgeous tree and flower lined lanes. Actually, almost full broadways, as they are quiet wide. They are made of marble chips and fragments creating a very interesting pattern.
I was amazed when we reached the top, bought our tickets and headed in, I was quite distracted by the rock formations. It is all gorgeous swirls and patterns, colors and types. I read that they are "Late Cretaceous limestone resting on the marls and sandstones of the Athens Schist rock series" (http://depcom.uqac.ca/~mhiggins/athen.htm). I long for my rock hammer and hand lens, left home due to weight or fear of breakage/loss. It was sprinkling off and on, and at times footing was a bit slick, but nothing too scary if one stays on the paths.
It was amazing to actually see how large
the Parthenon really is. And like the grand canyon, pictures just cannot do it justice. I remember 20 years ago I would have been bounding over those rocks fearlessly, but today I was more careful about footing! Too much to see to risk a twisted ankle!
We found our way over to the flag, and I photographed the plack commemorating "Manolis Glezos and Apostolis Santas, the two eighteen year-old heroes who tore down the Nazi flag flying from the Acropolis on the night of May 30th, 1941"(http://www.athensguide.com/acropolis.html).
Once up into the observation area, we had a nice surprise, as we found one of the Athenian dogs napping in the weak sun, and watching over his domain.
After the Acropolis, we hopped back on our "HOHO" bus and headed to the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Some very lovely items, and certainly plenty of history. Had I not been so tired out by this time, I might have enjoyed it more. One word of warning, the restrooms are a bit scary, in the basement, and if you are already jet-lagged with tired tootsies, these may not be the best idea for relief. I'm just
Anyway. After a nice stroll though history, and some exclamation over items from Mycenae (where we go tomorrow), we caught the "HOHO" again, and made our way around to Syntagma Square again, and back to the hotel. Yes, there is so much we missed, but we do have the 11th as well, so if we get back early enough, we can hit the areas we missed.
After a nap, we headed out to the streets again, down Adriantheou to a lovely restaurant just below the The Temple of Hephaestus (O Naos Tou Ifestou) on the north-west side of the Agora of Athens, on top of the Agoraios Kolonos hill. Wonderful food, though I feel a bit like a stuffed piggy now. The only annoying part were the kids trying to sell us flowers, lighters (really?), or songs on the accordion.
There is still so much to see and do here, but tomorrow we head out for the Peloponnese...
To be continued there....
There are more photos below