Blogs from Athens, Attica, Greece, Europe - page 5

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Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens November 24th 2012

November 24 – Rome to Athens – I woke up at 5 AM so turned off my alarm and got dressed. I went downstairs and turned in my key and got my €5 deposit back. Then I walked over to the train Station. At the train Station I used the machine to buy a ticket for the Leonardo Express to the airport. It cost €14.50 and I had to validate it in the machine next to the tracks before boarding the train. So I rode the train out to the airport and once there tried to find somewhere to weigh my luggage but didn’t find any place to do so. I did find several of those wrap your luggage with shrink-wrap stands though. Seems kind of stupid to me. In any case I had some coffee ... read more
Monastiraki Square
Photo 7
Photo 2

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens October 23rd 2012

This morning I had only a rough plan for what I would do today, so I have been going from one thing to the next as the spirit has moved me. I walked through the National Garden which is sort of like Athens' Central Park. From there I took a taxi to the top of Lycabettus Hill, the tallest in the city. It is east of the Acropolis and in the morning there is an especially nice view. Then I took the funicular down the hill and walked to the National War Museum. They do a nice job there and I found it interesting to learn more about Greek military history. Also, they had scale models of the Acropolis and of the Walls at Constantinople, so I took pictures of those to see what those places ... read more

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens October 22nd 2012

This morning I was up early and walked up to the Acropolis. It opened its gates at 8:00 and I was one of the first to enter. I had heard about the huge crowds that occur as multiple tour groups converge there, especially on Monday, but it was not bad at that hour and I was able to move around freely. There are a number of ancient buildings still standing - more or less - but of course the most impressive one is the Parthenon. And I can tell you that it really IS impressive. (See pictures) Despite the ravages of time and the scaffolding of the ongoing renovation work, it is still awe-inspiring. I walked all around it and tried to picture where the Elgin marbles would be if they were still in place. I ... read more

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens October 21st 2012

Today was my first full day in Athens. I started out by walking to the Arch of Hadrian in the Temple of Olympian Zeus. These are two Roman sites that I had not heard of before, but I guess they are required viewing for tourists. Next I followed Rick Steves tour through Anafiotika. This is a quiet, old section of winding little pedestrian lanes on the side of Acropolis hill. It is quite picturesque. (See picture) Sunday is the biggest day for the Athens flea market, so I wandered past the various stalls to see what was for sale. The items seemed to fall into two categories: junk from the attic or trinkets for tourists. In the former category, I saw that several different vendors were offering used film cameras for sale. In the latter category, ... read more

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens October 20th 2012

This morning I checked out of my nice apartment in Istanbul and took the arranged taxi to the airport. Ever the tourist, I snapped photos along the way, including the Byzantine-era aqueduct that slows traffic as it passes through and a shot of a few of the freighters and tankers awaiting their turn to pass through the Bosphorus. I flew to Athens and changed my Turkish Lira for Euros. I found my way to the hotel and checked in. There is not enough time this evening to do any real sightseeing, but I intend to have dinner at a restaurant that has a view of the Acropolis. I will get a photo if I can.... read more

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Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens October 13th 2012

About as popular as a rabbi at the Hajj, it was hardly surprising Angela Merkel wasn't exactly welcomed with open arms by the general Greek public. The sight on Rome television of tear gas saturating the Athenian air and protesters being dragged away by adrenalined up security forces didn't bode well for our arrival the following day. But hey presto, 24 hours later, in we stepped and though the police presence around Syntagma Square was pumped and primed, a few boisterous but generally passive student demonstrations only sufficed to add a touch of carnival spice to the ambience. I'm torn on whose side to take on the Greek plight. In the red corner, European Mr Bigs are willing to fork out a few hundred billion euros but only with a sheaf of cast iron guarantees. In ... read more
Hydra Town
Beach umbrellas Hydra
The only transport in town

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens October 6th 2012

Athens, what a riot!!!...where even how the city got its name is a story. Apparently, Cecrops , a half-man half-snake creature was the original founder of the city and named the city after himself. However, the gods of Olympus saw the city and wanted to name it after them and become its patron. The most persistent gods were Poseidon, the sea god, and Athena, the goddess of wisdom. To solve the dispute Zeus decided that each of them should offer a gift to the city. The god with the best gift would have the city named after them. So, Poseidon struck a rock and water sprung forth...however the water tasted salty so the locals were not impressed. Next, Athena planted an olive seed which grew into an olive tree....the locals realizing this would give them firewood ... read more

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens October 3rd 2012

Athens Exciting, our first stop in Greece. We were up early and headed off on our own hoping to beat some of the big tours heading to the Acropolis. We got a shuttle to terminal A. The walk to find the metro took about half an hour and not five minutes that a cabbie had told us. The port looks quite beautiful and full of a lot of ships and ferries. I think actually they might have some that our province had at one time. Sian figured out the metro and after 3 changes we were at the Acropolis. Totally amazing walking around the Acropolis and the lower area. Absolutely incredible. We got a lot of pictures and ran into a lot of people on the tours. I guess we didn’t quite beat the early tours ... read more
Theatre at the Acropolis
The Parthenon
Acropolis

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens October 1st 2012

When you go to a place with low expectations it is easier to be ‘wowed’. We had only a couple of days in Athens and so I was determined to make the most of it. We arrived after an interesting and at times spectacular bus ride from Vonitsa, a small town near Palairos. We enjoyed the coastal and countryside views and a ride across a very substantial bridge. After we checked into our hotel we visited The Acropolis Museum and, as luck would have it, we arrived on the free entry day which meant that the price was right. As you walk into the museum you look down on excavated ruins. Inside the museum is a substantial range of sculptures and artefacts from the Acropolis. Unfortunately, most ancient sites in Athens have been knocked down and ... read more
Athens Acropolis 3
Athens Guards
Athens Library of Hadrian 1

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens September 12th 2012

Dear Friends and Family, We arrived in Piraeus the following morning, a couple kilometres from Athens, Greece. The cruise ship charged $60 each for a transfer to the city but we walked 20 minutes from the terminal and found a metro for less than $3. A half hour later, we arrived in the middle of Athens at Monastiraki station, just a couple metres from the Roman Agora. We viewed the remains of Hadrian’s Library and the Tower of the Winds as we headed up the hill to the Acropolis. We managed to beat most of the tourists to the top of the Acropolis and had a rather unimpeded view of the Parthenon, Erechtheum, the entrance Propylaea and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. As we were on our way down, the hordes descended and we barely escaped ... read more
View of Ancient Greek Agora
Hadrian's Library, Athens
Entrance to the Sacred Caves of the Acropolis in Athens




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