Matsimitsu

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Day One

Exploring Athens around the Acropolis.


Athens

After filling out many forms and getting a PRC test especially for travel, paid by the government I had the coveted QR code that would allow me to travel.

The flight was more packed than I thought it would be, but I had an entire row for myself regardless.

At Athens airport they checked our QR codes (not scanned, but just stared at it for a second and then waved us through.

From the airport I took a metro ride to the Acropolis station, close to where my Airbnb was located. After a quick Souvlaki wrap as a late dinner I took a shower and went to bed.

The next morning I made a quick coffee in the appartment and headed out, towards Filopappou Hill

Athens Amsterdam
Scoorter with plants

Filopappou Hill

Filopappou Hill is a hill next to the Acropolis and gives great views of the various buildings on the mountaintop.

broken bridge Acropolis from Filopappou Hill The ocean from Filopappou Hill

One of the main attractions on Filopappou Hill is the Philopappos Monument, an ancient greek mausoleum dedicated to.. you guessed it, Philopappos.

Philopappos Monument Philopappos Monument
Filopappou Hill Acropolis from Filopappou Hill

Another attraction is the Observatory.

Observatory

Hephaistos temple and Stoa of Attalos.

Next to the Observatory is a path that leads down the mountain to the city and after a delicious Souvlaki brunch I crossed the ditch with a Subway line and made my way to the entrance of the Hephaistos temple and Stoa of Attalos. complex.

I paid for a 5-day ticket which gives you access to six sites in Athens, including the Acropolis, it's 30 euro's saving you money if you visit more than 3 sites, as each site is 10 euro's to enter.

Metro in a ditch Hephaistos temple

The Hephaistos temple is one of the best preserved temples in Athens and was build around the second half of the 5th century before Christ.

Hephaistos temple Hephaistos temple
Hephaistos temple

Across from the temple lies the Stoa of Attalos. Stoa means covered walkway and it was built by King Attalos II, who ruled between 159 BC and 138 BC.

Stoa of Attalos.

But before we go there, we have to cross the ruins in between.

Greek ruins

Most ruins in Athens look like this, it's usually only the foundations that are left.

Greek church

Along the way there's a little church where you can look inside.

church church
church church
church bell column

Stray cats are everywhere and usually taken care of by the local people.

cat

Right the Stoa. Inside are various statues found near the site there's an upstairs for more great views of Athens.

Stoa of Attalos
Greek statue temple view

Priorities...

Greek statue Priorities
Stoa of Attalos Stoa of Attalos Stoa of Attalos

There's also a little museum with good preserved relics in the back of the Stoa

Stoa of Attalos relics Stoa of Attalos relics
Stoa of Attalos

Hadrianus Library

Not all sites were created equally. After the Stoa I walked down the road to the Hadrianus Library. And apart from a few columns and rubble there isn't a whole lot left.

Hadrianus Library remnants
Hadrianus Library remnants Hadrianus Library remnants
After dodging a number of touts selling bracelets, wallets and who knows what else, I made it to Monastiraki Square.
Monastiraki Square
Not that I wanted to go there, but still! After walking down a number of winding alleys I made it to the next site on the 5-day ticket.
Monastiraki Square alleys Monastiraki Square alleys
Greek church Old greek building

Agora and the Tower of Winds

You have to again really use your imagination to get a sense of what really stood here centuries ago, as now it's mostly rubble and a few columns. Luckily, as with every site, there are plenty of plaques that describe the buildings.

Agora Agora

THe Tower of Winds requies less imagination. It's a clock tower and it's considered the world's first meteorological stations. It features sundials, a vane and a water clock.

Tower of the winds Tower of the winds

Across from the Tower of Winds there's a little Mosque with a nice view of the Tower

Mosque Tower of the winds

Plaka alleys

Plaka is a neighbourhood near the Acropolis and it consists of many small alleys filled with bars, restaurants, gelato and coffee places.

Plaka alleys
Plaka alleys Plaka alleys
Plaka alleys
Plaka alleys Plaka alleys
Plaka alleys
Plaka alleys Plaka alleys Plaka alleys
Plaka alleys

After a super nice Vanilla and Pistache Gelato I headed towards the next site.

Plaka alleys Plaka alleys
Plaka alleys Plaka alleys
Walking to the Temple of the Olympic Zeus, I came across the Hadrianus Gate. A marble structure named after an old emperor.
Hadrianus gate

Temple of the Olympic Zeus

It's again imagination time, though it's still amazing to see how big those columns are in person. It must have been a hell of a job to get these kinds of structures erected in those days.

Temple of the Olympische Zeus Temple of the Olympische Zeus
Temple of the Olympische Zeus

National Gardens

Across the road from the Temple of the Olympic Zeus are the National Gardens. An excellent place to take a breather in the shade.

Zappeion National Gardens

Strewn around the gardens are relics that remind you of the old days.

National Gardens National Gardens

There are plenty of places with lots of shade, such as this plant-covered area.

National Gardens

Panathenaic Stadium and Kallimármaro alleys

The Panathenaic Stadium is the largest stadium in the world that's built completely out of marble. There's also not a lot of shade and I opted to not do the audio tour but instead do a quick lap and get out.

Panathenaic Stadium
Panathenaic Stadium Panathenaic Stadium
Panathenaic Stadium Panathenaic Stadium

After the entire day exposed to the sun it was time for dinner and a nice cold beer in the area around my hotel called Kallimármaro.

Church
Kallimármaro alleys Kallimármaro alleys
Kallimármaro alleys Kallimármaro alleys
Kallimármaro alleys

After a nice burger and a beer it was time to head to the apartment for a nice cold shower.