We are taking a walking tour around Athens this morning. It is another hot day in the city. Caught the metro to monastiraki square. The first stop was Hadrians library. This was once an enormous building filled with scrolls and lecture theaters. Today only a small section of the ruins remains. We then walked around to the Roman Agora. The entrance is via the gate of Athena archegetis. Much of the site is ruined with only minimal foundation remaining today. We walked up a slight hill that gave us a great view over the ancient agora. You could clearly see, what I think was the temple of Hephaestus. It looked really well preserved and still had most of the structure standing. We then climbed up Areopagus hill. This site was used an ancient courthouse. It provided great views over Athens. Noticed that there are no skyscraper in the area. You also can't see any obvious CBD. Their was on observation that the gravel below our feet looked a lot like the view out over the city with it's grey and bumpy skyline. We stopped to look at Hadrians Arch which he built to divide between the ancient city and the roman city. Next to the arch is the temple of Zeus. Again just looked from the outside and didn't bother to go into the site as it was just more heavy ruined rocks. I am trying to get excited by them but it just isn't happening . I think it is too hot and I have seen ones that are in better condition too get motivated to walk around all of these places and look at every stone.
We walked through the national gardens stopping briefly outside the Zappeio Palace. This has been used during the early modern Olympics in the previous century. The gardens had heaps of fruits trees and shade which was a welcome relief from the heat. We arrived at the tomb of the unknown solider in time to watch the changing of the guards. This was a cute show to watch as the guards are dressed in a traditional uniform from 100 years ago... clogs decorated with pom- poms and a brown skirt. Once in place the guards don't move they have a couple of other regular army soliders that wipe their sweat away and align there hat and gun in place.
A group of us then headed up into the Acropolis. There are extensive renovation works taken place so seeing all the cranes and scaffolding kinda ruin the images of walking around in your leather sandals and toga I was trying to imagine when climbing up to the site. You enter via the Prapylaia which has serval very large columns. Much of the front of the Parthenon is covered with construction. We walked around to the back and were able to get a better look. The Erechtheion was to the left with a well preserved porch of caryatids. This is the building with the 6 ladies as columns holding up the roof. We later learnt that these are replicates with the original inside the museum. We walked to the end of the sight and looked over the view of Athens and the acropolis.
Walked down the steps to the exit and was thinking that marble steps isn't the best building material as it is slippery and soft.
To try an get some relief from the heat visited the Acropolis museum. As you enter the museum it is cool to look down and see the ruins of an ancient Athens neighbourhood below the glass you are walking on. There are hundreds of statues and objects from the acropolis inside but didn't always like the way they had found maybe half a statue and then they made up the rest with plaster so you have this half old and half new pieces. On the top floor they have recreated much of the Parthenon which helps you to get a sense of the size.
We left and stopped for some frozen yoghurt on the way to the metro. It was so delicious and I hope to get the chance to eat a lot more as the trip continues.
Caught the metro to near Ermou rd for shopping. Walked around the shops for a while looking at all the colour they have for sale.
Metro back to the hotel and was trying to work out how I can get to meteora when I get back for a night.
Took a quick swim in the hotel pool before getting ready to head out for a dinner show.
The restaurant had a small band plating and then during dinner service a couple of dancers would come in and dance. Got to get up briefly and form part of a Congo line. Was fun but wasn't as good as the one in turkey.
Didn't stay out too late as we have a 5am wake up call to get the ferry to Mykonos.