Blogs from Attica, Greece, Europe - page 13

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Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens June 17th 2012

Got up early to catch the bus to Cape Sounion, but it was cancelled because apparently there's a fire that closed some of the roads. Disappointed, but just swapped some plans around. Hopefully tomorrow I can get down to the Cape. I started of all places at Syntagma Square and Parliament. This is the absolute heart of Athens, and is where the protests have been focused. Today also was the ground-breaking Greek vote, and on every street surrounding the square there were armored cars and police with machine guns. Didn't make me worried, though - more safe. Down the street from Syntagma is where all of the embassies are, and also where there are some wonderful museums. I started at the Benaki Museum, which is a private collection ranging from sculpture to paintings to pots, everything ... read more
Parliament
Gravestone
Cycladic Figure

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens June 16th 2012

Today I set off for the Ancient Agora in the morning. This is where all of the social life of Ancient Athens happened, and where Socrates walked around and caused so much trouble. It was nice, overall. The Agora is just down from the Acropolis, so there were beautiful views up to the Parthenon. Then I left and got horribly lost for awhile. Sometimes I get sick of maps and just walk around by instinct. This might sound crazy, but you'd be shocked how many places I've just happened upon that I was looking for the entire time. The best places aren't on any maps, as the great Herman Melville said. But today that was not the case, and I walked and walked and walked, trying to find the Keramikos, which was the old Athenian cemetery. ... read more
Acropolis from Agora
Temple of Hephaestos
Areopagus Hill

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens June 15th 2012

Walked over to the Acropolis in the morning right when it opened, at 8:30. One thing I was surprised by: how slick the stones are underfoot. I guess from people walking over them for so long a period of time, they've literally been worn smooth. People were wiping out right and left. Went up through the Propylaia, which is basically the grand entryway, and you're hit right away with the Parthenon. Wow! In the morning light, the temple was beautifully lit, and there weren't that many people around yet. But I personally liked the Erechtheion better, which is a smaller temple off to the side. This is where the famous caryatids are, the female columns. Walked around the Parthenon a couple of times, and reluctantly went back down around 11ish. Saw the Theatre of Dionysius (which ... read more
First view of Parthenon
The Erechtheion
Caryatids at Erechtheion

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Alimos June 15th 2012

I happen to find the history really interesting, so if you don't want to read about it, just skip past the bullets :) Greece has over 1300 islands, but only 240 are occupied. Greece was very advanced for it'd tme and invtented democracy, science, math, comedy, tragedy, politics....and....the yoyo It's a country of contrast. They invented all that stuff, yet you can't flush toilet paper, and only ine bathroom so far has had a toilet *seat*, I kid you not. Exciting tme to be here because of the elections. The Greeks got way into debt, and if the country collapsed, the euro would suffer, so the other eu countries didn't want that. They gave Greece 110 billion euros (that was to pay off the interest, not even the principle of the debt) to help them, but ... read more

Europe » Greece » Attica » Piraeus June 15th 2012

Friday 15 June, 2012 Cruise Day What a fabulous breakfast this hotel supplied. The best so far on my journey; eggs, bacon, mushrooms, sausages, fresh fruit, cereal, toast, coffee etc., along with a what must be a usual Greek breakfast; olives, tomato, cheese. The hotel supplied me with a free transfer to the ship. They drove right up to the check-in desk… what service! All aboard The ship is quite small compared to some others in port. The port of Pireaus is an unbelievably busy port and tourism in Greece must be a very big industry. When I booked, I chose the lowest fare which placed me in an inside cabin on level 2 - the first deck under the water line. I unpacked straight away and went off to explore the ship. I have included ... read more
Ensuite cabin 2188
Louis Olympia
Louis Olympia

Europe » Greece » Attica June 14th 2012

Thursday 14 June 2012. Rome to Athens It was pretty easy getting to the airport by train and the flight was only an hour and a half. Getting from Athens Airport to Port of Pireaus however, was another story; another hour and a half journey on a crowded bus with standing room only. I could have taken a taxi but it would have been way too expensive, so I put up with the bus for €5. Other tourists on the whole are friendly and help each other out, so I was offered a seat about half way into the journey by a fellow traveller from Norway. Different story with the locals and airport staff travelling on the same bus; they were not even going to look at the tourists, let alone speak to them or offer ... read more
Smoking booths Athens airport
My room Piraeus
Phidias Hotel, Piraeus

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens June 14th 2012

Absolutely insane amount of travel today. Left Selcuk by 8, catching the direct train back up to Izmir's international airport. I got there really early so I was able to bump my flight nearly 2 hours ahead. Seems like a promising start, right? So I landed in Istanbul by noon. However, once I finally made it to the Turkish Airlines desk, the early flight I was hoping to catch had literally just left. My scheduled flight, and the only other flight for the day, was at 7:25. So I had a long lay-over. The nice thing, though, is that Istanbul's airport is basically like a giant mall. There's even a hotel. They have tons of restaurants, shops, Starbucks, you name it. So there wasn't any shortage of things to do. But, once I had waited all ... read more

Europe » Greece » Attica » Piraeus June 7th 2012

John arranged a taxi to pick us up from the house at 3:30 which gave us plenty of time to get to the Port of Piraeaus. The taxi was early and was the best taxi we used during our time in Athens and we arrived at the port about 3:45 and went through a customs check in and boarded Sea Cloud. There was a procedure for checking us in involving photo IDs and the taking of our passports; we were escorted on board by our own man to our room, 301 and shown all of the facilities and told that at promptly 5:00 there would be a mandatory safety instruction class. Ken and Bobbi found us and we compared cabins and then attended the class which was helpful. Dinner was very nice and we sat with ... read more
Toni and Craig with life vests
Ken and Bobbi Hunter
at our dinner table

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens June 7th 2012

I've just uploaded more photos to our Flickr page but have reached the limit at 200 so enjoy, copy and paste the following link to your browser if it's not already hotlinked here http://www.flickr.com/photos/67458500@N06/sets/72157630069979900/... read more

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens June 7th 2012

today was our last chance to see something new or revisit something we really liked . . so we did both. after a leisurely breakfast on the patio we set off for the Ancient Agora but not before climbing to the top of Filopappou Hill and what a magnificent view of the Acropolis and the city of Athens. it's a leisurely hike up through a pine forest that is well stepped and maintained . . . kinda like hiking up to Bishop Peak. it's from here that in the late 17th century the Venetians bombed the Parthenon which was then holding all of the gunpowder and a direct hit blew the interior chamber of the Parthenon which has not been restored yet! from there we found our way to the Grand Promenade . . . a ... read more
the path up Filappapou Hill
temple attop Filapapou Hill
on top of Filappapou Hill




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