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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

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens September 10th 2012

With our bags checked, double checked and quickly triple checked, we made our way to the airport. A silent trip for some and a time for final exchanges of good old times for others, before Laura and I made our way through the doors leading to Customs (the Point of no Return). After one final meal on Australian soil, our teary goodbyes (for most) were said and we made our way through customs. We boarded without hassle and the flight left, no worries, the longest and shortest 14 hours of our lives was about to begin. Movies were a plenty and the food wasn’t too bad either. Through anticipation for what is ahead and a bit of a bumpy ride, we managed some broken sleep, with food in between. With our body clocks a mess, we ... read more
The Broom Stick closet- looking lift
Odean of Herodes Atticus, Acropolis
Propylaia, Acropolis

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens September 4th 2012

We left Meteora early on Saturday morning to go to Athens. On the way, we stopped at Delphi (and consulted the Oracle). Delphi is situated high on the side of a mountain, with some impressive remains of ancient buildings. From the top, looking down over the ruins, you get a really good impression of the site as it might have been in its day. In the evening, we arrived in Athens and settled in. We have the most amazing view from the apartment. On Sunday, we went to the Acropolis and then on to the Acropolis Museum. In the evening, we walked around Monastriaki (where we are staying) and the Plaka, where we had dinner. The Plaka is a prominent tourist area, where there is shop after shop of souvenirs and tourist trinkets. Monday, we started ... read more
Treasure (Temple) of the Athenians
The Parthenon
Athenian Agora - Temple of Hephaistos

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Ekali August 27th 2012

Back from the cruise, absolutely fabulous and a lot better than the postcards. The ship wasn't brilliant but the islands certainly were. Mikonos was fantastic to walk through very narrow streets and in between the stones it was painted white, of course there was a heap of other tourists so very busy. Watched the amazing sunset right on the beach front drinking wine and eating the best olives i have ever eaten. Sea was crystal blue just like one would expect. Will do some more soon we are just all going for lunch around the corner for lunch as we got of the boat early now hungry.... read more

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Ekali August 27th 2012

Still have probs with computers over here, just lost a long note i had written bugger! oh well shouldnt sit in foyer having a wine and talking to others on the tour at same time. Have now had lunch, 3 hour seista and last swim in the med sea. just across road but 2 lane highway with nad drivers and 2 tram tracks before you get there. Kusidasi in Turkey entertaining to say the least, only there for one day so didnt see much more than the city and surrroundings as we cruised in and out. They certainly know how to hassle, as soon as they know fron NZ they say kia ora, and have all sorts of reason to come into their shops. Didnt buy much other than the normal souveniers and tea towel. Having ... read more

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens August 22nd 2012

The plane trip from Kiev to Athens was nice with views over some of the Aegean Islands we will be visiting until the auto pilot was switched off; then the plane seemed to be all over the sky. The plane landed OK to a round of applause. We used the Hop-on/hop-off Red Bus to take in the sights of Athens as we only have a short stay - need to preserve the legs for Santorini next. The Red Bus works much better in Athens than in Kiev - I suspect due to the increased amount of tourist traffic. Had a couple of pieces of luck i) Did most of our touring the 1st day; the 2nd. day turned out to be a real scorcher. ii) Visiting the Acropolis 1st. and holding on to these tickets afforded ... read more
Athens
Athens
Athens




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