So the day started out with Eric, Sue, Mike and myself going to find a little place for breakfast - then we realised it was Sunday and not only that but a Bank Holiday weekend so after a little stroll realised not a lot would be open so we made our way back to the hotel for breakkie. As the breakkie was not included we made sure we had enough to keep us going for a while.
We left Sue and Eric as they were catching a taxi to the airport and I really wanted to be on the front row for the changing of the guard outside Athens parliament. I was not disappointed as it was a spectacle- very unlike our changing of the guards but totally traditional. I must say their walk is unbelievable, it is more like a strange ritual dance. Before the changing of the guards started we found ourselves once again in a demonstration - I do not know how we do this but we have found ourselves in demonstrations in Malta, Madrid and now Athens. This demonstration was a peaceful one which was good as the police were out in force with their riot
gear which included gas masks.
Anyway I got some really good footage of the changing of the guards so really happy.
We then decided to go for a walk through the national gardens which was nice and peaceful compared to the demonstration and down to the Ancient Olympic Stadium which was originally built in 330 BC and could house 50,000 plus people. Would you also believe it famously hosted the 2004 games and not only that but you can still go for a jog around the track - well I can assure you that did not happen!
We then waited and waited for the hop on hop off bus - it seemed like years but as you know I have the patience of an ant - so said to Mike lets cross over and walk down to the Temple of Zeus. Well would you believe it after we crossed over walked for a couple of minutes we saw the bus coming on the other side - so you know I just assured you I was not going for a jog in the Olympic Stadium - well I didn’t, I ran like bugger up the pavement to catch
the bus - if you have the chance to jog in the Olympic Stadium take it more than running for a bus - at least you can tell people you have done that and they would be impressed saying you have run for a bus means nothing!
So we caught the bus to Monastiraki Square which houses a flea market. At first we did not find this, all we found was touristy shops and cafes, however, we did find a small Greek Orthodox church and we went inside. It was so beautiful and you really got captured with the atmosphere nearly down to me lightning a candle - WHAT you must be saying - I did not I must inform you but it was atmospheric.
So it was time for an apéritif and a spot of lunch. I ordered a smoked salmon salad with mango and blueberries, never had one of those before but it was so refreshing so will try this at home.
Back at the hotel now for a short break before going out to explore how we get to Lycabettus Hill which is not far from our hotel. It is 227 metres above sea
level and I am assured is the highest point in central Athens. You can get a cable car up there or walk - now as it is Bank Holiday Monday in Greece tomorrow I am not sure the cable car will be working - so will need to make sure Mike takes his inhaler but if we take it slow I am sure we will manage it - my apple watch is going to have a seizure when it see how many flights I have walked - I will be waiting for a call from the CEO Tim Cook of Apple to check if there is an issue with my watch!
I will let you know what happens tomorrow - and if I managed to get the cable car or I had to walk. There is a Greek Whitewashed Church at the top so at least I know I will be able to sit down.
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