Its NFL time so its Sarah here updating the blog. I think Pierre was actually half debating on whether he wanted to do the blog or watch the start of the game first, little to say, Athens, wow, you are a city not to be missed.
We woke to a stunning day and an improved weather forecast for the last leg of the trip. We decided to beat the crowds and get straight into the heart of Athens; the Acropolis. It is really quite an impressive thing to see in person. The entrance passes the deep stage and seating area of Odeon of herodes Atticus. This was just a teaser to what we were to see inside. Keep in mind you can see the Acropolis and parts of the Parthenon from the ground streets, but until you walk around its marble feet, it is quite hard to get the right aspect of scale. I have many photos from today, none that really do this site justice. We were both blown away by the history here, how many leaders, goddesses, and gods were worshiped, how many times it had changed rule, and how much work has gone into restoring the site to the world class attraction it is today. We spent about 2 hours here.
Next up was the Acropolis museum. The museum is located in the shadow of the Acropolis, but this new building is a spectacular spot to visit. The building that houses one of the oldest collections that I have ever seen is actually located on top of an ancient site which has been beautifully displayed by a combination of glass boardwalks and specially built boardwalks so that its easy to view the excavations but also so they are preserved from the elements. We got through the line quite easily and ended up having to check in our day bag as they don't allow much over the size of a handbag past security. The museum has 4 main floors, although only 2 are displays. On the 2 floor there is red and black painted pots, bronze heads, and marble statues in every direction. The upper floor carries a collection which has been removed from the Parthenon in order to preserve the marble. It was quite sad to read about the missing pieces which belonged in Greece but had been plundered and now displayed offshore. A great deal of work has gone into the displays at this museum to render complete images of broken artifacts and it has paid off. I have been to a few very good museums, and I would well and truely place this in second to the Louvre.
Post the museum we carried on walking and spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the many tourist shops. In general it is a lot cheaper here, but as far as small gifts go, I don't think that there are as many handmade and made in Greece products as a what we saw on the islands. The cotton products though are very good.
For dinner we again found that trip advisor was off with their directions, and it didn't appear that the place we intended to eat at exists. We ended up stumbling apon a Greek taverna which sold me with the wine and Pierre with a 100 year old meatball and sause recipe.
Little to say we have enjoyed our 1st day in the city.