So this will be the second last blog, so I hope you won’t be too sad that out little tales will end, and be much happier to have us back in Oz! So whilst I’m writing this we have actually moved on to the Greek Islands, but we enjoyed out 3 days in Athens that it deserved it’s own post.
We arrived at Athens in the late afternoon from Barcelona and headed straight to our hotel, where we noticed that we were staying on cat alley – we had not seen so many cats on our entire trip! After a short rest we headed out for some dinner and an early night.
The following day we headed out on a walking tour with the lovely George who was very Greek and ladies – very swave wearing hipster jeans, a leather jacket, ray ban sunnies and constantly stroking back his long hair. We first of all walked past the Temple of Zeus which now consists of only the columns you see as well as Hadrian’s gate.
We then continued on to parliament house that was also home to the unknown soldier. Here we got to observe the Greecian soldiers performing – complete with taps on their shoes! Here we also noticed a few police around and George advised us that this was due to 2 recent terrorists escaping from jail. They had both been released on parole and had just not returned. Apparently after the first one disappeared America was trying to find out how Greece’s number one prisoner escaped and the government response was “he wanted to go out so we let him” – apparently this didn’t deter them from then allowing the second prisoner to go out who then also disappeared as well.
After walking down the main shopping strip, through the old town and into Monstraki square which is a very tourist square in Athens. Here we stopped for a short break and we enjoyed our first Cappucino Freddo – which is delicious and basically an iced coffee but somehow better!
We then headed off again and out the front of Hadrian’s library we came across this fellow. George explained that in Athens they have city dogs that literally just walk the streets. They are feed, vaccinated and have a collar. They are super friendly and just hang out all day sleeping – or in this case following us around for most of the day.
After this we continued on up towards the Pathenon. On the way George explained to us the current financial and political issues in Greece (mostly due to corrupt politicians) and how that Athens (Athena) has been the main city for creating civilisation. He believes that Athens is the expert in creating democracy and that they need to look to the past to try and address their current issues – i.e. previously they banned the corrupt politicians from the city for 10 years, they decided to have a lottery system for government jobs to stop politicians promising people jobs for kick backs, and then they provided free education to all to ensure that if those in the lottery were chosen for the jobs that they had suitable qualifications and an education.
On out way up past the Parthenon we were able to get this amazing view – one of the first of many in Athens. It isn’t until you see this that you can realise how big and beautiful the city really is.
We then finished our tour at the bottom of the Parthenon and decided that a few of us would head to lunch where we had the most delicious Gyros – like soulvalakis but smaller and with chips in them – I may or may not have become a little addicted to these!
After lunch we headed up to the Parthenon with Marika (Canadian) and Gabriella (Brazillian) girls that we had meet on the walking tour. We first checked out the theatre at the bottom which was the first ever built.
After Marika having a little trouble getting in with her ticket we then continued on up to the top where again we got some amazing views! Again Marika got yelled at for trying to take a photo of the Greek flag – we couldn’t work out exactly why but apparently you can’t do that at an archaeological site.
After this we decided to head over to the Temple of Zeus, although given it was now past 3pm – it was shut – they like to finish work early here! Instead we headed back to Monstraki for an afternoon beer or two before we headed up to Filopappou to attempt to see the sunset – alas it was a little cloudy but we got some cool photos anyways!
We then headed back to our hotel for a rest and then we went out to meet Marika, Gabriella and a few others for dinner and several drinks – including a lot of Ouzo for Sam!
The next morning we headed out to check out the Ancient Agora, which I thought was pretty amazing! Unlike any other place, Athens has gardens full of ruins that are easily accessible to the public and cost little – we paid about $18 to access all the archaeological sites in Athens!!! Here they also had their most well preserved Parthenon and I loved how it was just nestled between the trees in the garden.
This is us sitting in the chairs made specifically for the King and Queens back in the day!
All of the Olympic torches – although Melbourne’s was missing 😦
After another busy day we headed back to our hotel and out for an early dinner, ready for out trip to Santorini – which will also be the last blog!