So we wer up early this morning and decided to go to the funicular to see if it is running as it is a Bank Holiday Monday just like at home. Anyway, thank goodness it was working so we decided not to get a return ticket but a single and we would walk down.
It is the first ever funicular that I have been on that was carved through rock so there is absolutely nothing to see apart from a tunnel. However, when you get out and you see the views from the top of Lycabettus Hill they are truly amazing and take your breath away how big and sprawling Athens is.
There is a chapel at the top and I went into the Chapel of Saint George of Lycabettus which was founded in 1834 - the church is so small but so pretty. Now just imagine, this is the highest point in Athens rising 277 metres above sea level and rumour is it was inhabited by wolves. Well them there wolves in Athens must have really big lungs! Can you imagine bringing marble etc enough to build a church on the top of this hill and avoiding the
wolves - well I can’t.
We have a brew at the top as it has a restaurant- YES you heard it right, a restaurant. We then decide to walk down around 110 steps and found ourselves in a car park so realised we had got this wrong so had to walk back up again - all I can say is I am glad the funicular was working otherwise I do not think I would have made it to the top the first place. So eventually we find the right way down and Mike says we walked down 243 steps and it was not only steps, it was also slopes.
We get to the bottom and I decide we are going to walk to the Temple of Zeus but prior to that we see the University building which is absolutely amazing. Now if I was Greek would I have gone to school and got qualifications if I knew I could go to this University - that is the question? Paula of today would probably have thought hard about it but if I am honest Paula as a teenager would not have given it a second thought.
get to the Temple of Zeus it was not open but it does look amazing, then we walk to the Plaka area and find the little gem of a restaurant we found on Saturday and once again had an amazing meal at such good value. I have reviewed it on trip advisor as it is so good.
We then start walking back and get to the parliament building and this time there is such a commotion and then we see the German flag being flown and then the parade of cars and motorbikes come past us and within the parade of cars there is an ambulance - not taking any chances here then are they. We think the parade of cars was for the German Chancellor but not sure to be honest but it must have been someone very important is all I can say.
In the square in front of the Parliament building across the road they have a CND symbol. Now this symbol is now known internationally as the "peace symbol" or "peace sign", or alternatively as the nuclear disarmament symbol. the symbol was in flowers so really apt at this moment in our history.
We have re-arranged our taxi for tomorrow as our flight with Aegean has been cancelled and we have now been booked on a Lufthansa flight which leaves earlier but we have to stop in Frankfurt and have a 2 hour stop over before carrying on to Manchester. Not too bad to be honest as we still arrive in before we would have landed with Aegean.
Not sure what we are going to do this evening as we do not want much to eat - so many decisions, decisions, decisions to make!!!!
I think we are going to get up early tomorrow to visit the Acropolis. Not sure if we will walk or get a taxi. We have been told the best time to go is very early in the morning before the crowds get there. It is a difficult decision to make to decide to get up early in the morning but I think it will be worth it.
We do not have much time tomorrow before getting our taxi to the airport so we need to get in everything we can. I must admit I would love to return to Athens for a few days, not
a long weekend but maybe a few weekdays as there is so much to do here.
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