Holiday 2012: Day 7 – Athens, Greece

June 6th, 2012 by Francis Yates Leave a reply »

Welcome to Athens, Greece!

This morning we arrived in Athens, Greece, really early! 7am is really early ok! I was not really sure what to expect from Athens, as you hear so much about Greece on the news, and how they are about to cause the entire EU to fall apart etc. I was honestly surprised by how much of a working and clean city it still is, with the traffic lights working, streets immaculately clean and no potholes. For a country with no money and on the brink of collapse.. They seem to maintain it pretty damn well!

Yesterday we learnt that Athens is not actually where the boat will be docking, and that it actually docks in Piraeus, which is about 20-30minutes outside of Athens.. oops… we didn’t do our research on this stop! Fortunately while wondering around lost looking for the underground metro system (Greek Signs are pretty hard to understand!) we managed to accidently find the starting point of the hop-on hop-off busses. Now if you ever plan on traveling anywhere, and they have a hop-on hop-off bus, I would highly recommend them, they are a great way of seeing the city in a short time and you can hop off on any of the stops that interest you, and they are pretty cost effective!

Our first stop was the Acropolis, now Acropolis is the Greek word for “city on the edge” or “high city”. In times of war, people built the cities on the highest ground possible, in order to be able to better protect their cities.  The term acropolis is just used to describe a city, and there are many “Acropolises” over the world, including Rome, Ireland (Rock of Cashel) and Edinburgh (Castle Rock). The acropolis in Athens is however, the most famous of them.

The Acropolis in Athens is home to many beautiful ancient structures, but most notably, it’s the home of the Parthenon. Almost everything on the top of the Acropolis is built from white marble, beautiful… but enough with the boring stuff, here are some pics 🙂

Athens – View from the Acropolis

Athens – The Parthenon

Athens – The Parthenon

Athens – View from the Acropolis

Next stop was the Temple of the Olympian Zeus, which was a large temple located in the center of Athens. The temple previously contained 104 Corinthian columns, and now only contains 15. The other 89 where destroyed by successive conqueror’s to use them as building material, or by natural causes like earthquakes.

Athens – Temple of Olympian Zeus

Next stop was the Panathenaic Stadium (or Panathinaiko). This stadium is famous for two reasons, firstly it’s the only stadium in the world to be made completely of white marble, and secondly, it’s the home of the modern Olympic games. When the Olympic games where revived in 1896, Athens was chosen to host them, and this stadium was the host stadium for the games. In its museum, it has all of the original torches used in Olympics from 1896 to 2008 in Beijing. The stadium is also one of the oldest in the world, built in 329 BC. The stadium can hold 68,000 people, and is still used today as an active athletic track, and for concerts.

Athens – Panathencaic Stadium

Athens – Unbearded Young Man / Bearded Old Man

The above photo depicting a statue of two men (Two sided herm) , one facing the audience (being the young man) and the older face, facing the track. Legend has it the young face represents a young athlete looking at the crowd / judges with concentration and dedication, waiting for his race. The old face is facing the track, looking Longley at the race track, wishing it was him that was racing.

This last photo I had a laugh at and had to take the photo.. so thought I would post it 🙂

Athens – Dog on a Scooter

Cheers for now 🙂 Until tomorrow.. in Turkey! 🙂

 

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