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
Filopappou Hill is a hill next to the Acropolis and gives great views of the various buildings on the mountaintop.
One of the main attractions on Filopappou Hill is the Philopappos Monument, an ancient greek mausoleum dedicated to.. you guessed it, Philopappos.
Another attraction is the 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.
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.
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.
But before we go there, we have to cross the ruins in between.
Most ruins in Athens look like this, it's usually only the foundations that are left.
Along the way there's a little church where you can look inside.
Stray cats are everywhere and usually taken care of by the local people.
Right the Stoa. Inside are various statues found near the site there's an upstairs for more great views of Athens.
There's also a little museum with good preserved relics in the back of the Stoa
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.
After dodging a number of touts selling bracelets, wallets and who knows what else, I made it to 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.
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.
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.
Across from the Tower of Winds there's a little Mosque with a nice view of the Tower
Plaka is a neighbourhood near the Acropolis and it consists of many small alleys filled with bars, restaurants, gelato and coffee places.
After a super nice Vanilla and Pistache Gelato I headed towards the next site.
Walking to the Temple of the Olympic Zeus, I came across the Hadrianus Gate. A marble structure named after an old emperor.
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.
Across the road from the Temple of the Olympic Zeus are the National Gardens. An excellent place to take a breather in the shade.
Strewn around the gardens are relics that remind you of the old days.
There are plenty of places with lots of shade, such as this plant-covered area.
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.
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.
After a nice burger and a beer it was time to head to the apartment for a nice cold shower.