Saturday, October 1, 2016

A Day in Athens

Monastiraki (little monastery)

After breakfast at my hotel, I set out to explore Athens, I walked towards the Metro station and came across Monastriaki Square which is known for  its many shops the the restaurants and the flea market.  There were some colorful items for sale, it was early morning so it was not yet crowded.  I decided to get a metro ticket for the day and just explore. I first headed to Piraeus, on the metro. I arrived only to find there really was not much there, mainly consisted of shops I walked several blocks in each direction but did not see anything of interest. Since it was a port there were plenty of ships in view  I snapped some photos of a colorful church Ieros Naos Agia Triada  in the distance but it seemed to far to walk too, so I headed back to Athens.

at the market

Ieros Naos Agia Triada

even the metro station had statues

The next stop for me was the Temple of Olympian Zeus the first thing you see before you get to the temple is the Arch of Hadrian which in itself was quite interesting but was strange to see this ruin right at the street which was very busy with traffic.  The ruins include an enormous temple, although only one corner of the temple is still standing it was amazing. There was an entrance fee but I decided just to take some photos  I was busy snapping shots  with my camera I started to realize that maybe the zoom lens was going to come in handy, after all.   I looked was now at the Plaka district and found a place for ice cream so decided since it was hot I needed some, I sat on a bench and people watched. I then walked along and decided to walk up a steep hill past many lovely spots I was thinking that this was going to lead up to the Ackropolis that I could see up higher but in the end there was no place to get up to it.  I came across a cat on the way back down, there was a wall,  that had ledges that were like steps and the cat decided to follow me down and I had to keep petting it, as we walked.  I stopped to rest a bit then put my bag down to get my camera out and the cat decided it was his place to sleep.

Arch of Hadrian

Temple of Zeus

my adopted cat

The Ackropolis from below

not quite

the beginning of the hike up

I then started walking to the first entrance to the Ackropolis  but I found that it would be too long of an uphill walk for me besides it being steep climb it was now quite hot.  I came across the Herodes Atticus Theatre and then rested a bit and watched a man dressed in costume he looked interesting so I placed some coins in his bucket and took a shot.   I just continued walking and looking around and then I came across the Areopagus Hill, which is bare marble.  The hill is a historic rock,  the Aereopagus according to Greek mythology, Ares the God of war was tried here by the gods for the murder of Poseidon's son Alirrothios; and the site where St Paul delivered his famous speech to the Athenians.  By taking my time I was able to  climb the stairs and got an excellent  view of the Ackropolis and using my zoom I was able to see it close and also get some great photos. I could see that once you were up there was still a lot of stairs to climb and I knew I had made the right decision, for me I never would have made it.

a top  Areopagus Hill 

view of the Ackropolis

view from Aeropagus Hill
Herodes Atticus Theatre

 I managed to make the climb back down and was walking along and a man came up to me and started talking we walked awhile and he said he was from Venice he then asked me to go for Vino and I said no thank you and he said you do not drink vino and I said not during the day as it makes me tired. I spotted a toilet and headed over to it and thinking he was gone but he waited on the side for me. He then asked me to in the shade and talk but I wanted to carry on walking and I told him no politely no. So he walked away and I headed down hill again. I got on the metro and headed back to Syntagma Square Square and looked around and then decided to get something to eat and had a pork soulvaki pita. I then took the metro again back to Monastriaki Square. I explored some more and then just sat and rested and people watched. There were quite a few police officers around the area and I noticed they all were young and good looking, and decided that might be the criteria for the job.  Wow I was ready to say arrest me officer I am sure I have done something bad somewhere one time.

a Living statue