Europe, Greece, Travel

The wonders of Athens

October 3, 2010

Αθήνα (Athina) Day 2

Today we woke up feeling refreshed and had breakfast on the hotel roof.

The Acropolis

We set out for the climb up the hill to the Acropolis.  We ended up doing lots of uphill hikes and steps while in Greece.   It’s high on a hill overlooking Athens, so that you can see it towering above from many places around the city.

We were utterly amazed at how old this is and Erick kept saying he wished he could go back in time for a day.   The scale of the buildings are huge and the details are magnificent.

We had heard that September is an excellent time to visit because the weather is better and they are not as many people.  We could not believe how many people there were at the Acropolis.  If there were this many now, we can’t imagine how many would be there during the summer.  It would be unbearable.

Erick sitting at the Theater of Dionysos

Olive Tree at the Acropolis

Erick and I in front of the Parthenon

The porch of the maidens with the caryatid pillars of the Erechtheion

The very impressive theatre, Odeum of Herodes

After we made our way back down the hill, we had lunch in the Plaka area at a tavern.   There are lots of guys roaming around stopping in front of your table playing the accordion, but the waiters shoo them away.

My first Alfa beer.

The Panathenaic Stadium

The Panatheanaic Stadium dates back to 140 AD, but is famous for the being the site of the first modern Olympic games in 1896.  In the 2004 games, the marathon finished here.

Erick lining up to run

Erick in the tunnel leading where the gladiators and nude athletes used to enter the stadium.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus

This Greco-Roman temple was begun in the 6th century BC, it was not completed until the reign of the Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. In was at that time the largest temple in Greece, exceeding the size of the Parthenon. The 104 columns, each 17 meters (56 feet) high, of the temple were made of Pentelic marble. Only 15 of the Corinthian columns remain standing to give a sense of the enormous size of the temple which would have been approximately 96 x 40 meters (315 x 130 feet) in size.

Temple of Olympian Zeus with the Acropolis in the background.

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