Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Tues 5 Jul 2016. Around Athens

Tues 5 Jul 2016. Around Athens
Woke early to clinking sound of young people from ConTiki tour pulling down their tents - they have been kept on the go all day and evenings with their chores, activities and excursions. Spent time on wifi, checking status of DHL parcels, and booking vehicle ferry to Crete. Replied to Guys email, they are on their way to Thessaloniki - maybe we can meet up? Checked Oz election - Liberals still hanging on for dear life.

Waiting with the other commuters....

Took bus and train into city centre. Following the guide book we did a walking tour of Areios Pagos (the Hill of Curses). First went into the small Church of the Holy Apostles - archeologists were working there uncovering original murals that had been plastered over. We were so surprised that photos were allowed (although the official security guard WAS asleep....)

The Areios Pagos site had views over the Acropolis, and the Ancient Agora of Classical Athens. We wandered past monuments and through notable buildings with intriguing names. The Metroon turned out to be a temple to a mother goddess. Imagine as we might though, we couldn't figure out why they needed the massive Stoa of Zeus. 

The Stoa of Zeus today is a promenade of statues and frescoes
The risky business of charioteer-ing

Torso of Athena
Personification of Iliad

In the grounds we passed the ruins of the Altar of Twelve Gods, the statue of Hadrian (everyone is minus their head!) and various Temples, including to Apollo and to Mars. One of the statues of the Titans/Giants signifies the entrance to the ruins of the musical theatre cum gymnasium cum palace.

Archaeologists at work
One of the Titans/ Giants

View up to the Acropolis

Emperor Hadrian 

The restored Stoa, and the Temple to Hephaestus (the HUGE impressive one on the hill) are the major drawcards to the site. 

Temple of Hephaestus


Walking tour over, we crossed the tracks and found the nearby commercial streets. Had quite awful burgers for lunch at Hard Rock Cafe; we really should stick to Greek fare or our own cooking! 

Took the Hop-On/Off bus past sites including Kimon’s Tombs, Prison of Socrates and Speakers Platform, Acropolis Station, Temple of Zeus and Hadrian's Arch close up,
Syntagma Station and the National Gardens. However, with sore feet, the heat, and the lateness of the day we didn't hop off to explore further.

A long-standing protest group

The lively flea markets

The bus tour added parts of city we wouldn't otherwise have been able to see, including the modern areas, the crowded flea market etc, but really showed just how sad a city Athens really is. We continued to be appalled at the graffiti and the lack of civic pride. Maybe our sojourn on Crete will demonstrate the clean, crisp, sparkly blue-and-white Greece of the tourist brochures??

Pigeon poo discouraged dawdling in the Squares
Oh the Greek traffic....

Graffiti didn't stop at the trains...

Concrete cancer

The homeless and the displaced were on show

No comments:

Post a Comment