We woke up to another beautiful and sunny day and with the mission to tackle the eastern part of the city center east of the Acropolis.
We kicked things off at Hadrian's arch built in 132 AD (literally a block away from us) which stands on the side of a busy street and is a monument left behind by the roman emperor Hadrian who had a great affection for the city of Athens. The gate served as a dividing point between the new Roman and ancient part of he city.
We then headed to the neighboring Temple of Olympian Zeus which is a massive structure and is the largest temple in Greece. Due to lack of funds, it was built over a period of 700 years until completion. However only 15 of the 104 columns remain and they each stand at 17m tall!!
We got some great pictures then made the 2km walk up to he base of Lykavittos hill which is a towering hill northeast of the Acropolis. We took the cable car up to the very top and you are treated to stunning 360 degree views of the whole city including the Acropolis area! It was a fairly clear day so we were lucky to be able to have a good view at everything! After an hour up there we made our way back down towards the parliament buildings in Syntagma square. We grabbed a great lunch of shredded pork, pita and tzaziki and then headed to the front of the building to watch the changing of the guard which happens every hour. We managed to grab a front row spot among the hordes of tourists and watched a great display and show. Its insane how they stand there for an hour straight with a blank face and not bugging at all! It was pretty hot today around 27 but can't imagine how they do it in the middle of summer!
After the changing of the guard was over, we walked from north to south through the national gardens which is a large park in the heart of Athens full of large and mature trees, endless pathways, and a zoo! It really makes you forget you are in a large populated city and it definitely worth taking a walk through!! (Especially if you want to escape the heat and congestion of the city).
We came out at the southern end by the panathenaic stadium where we had a quick look and then made our way back to our place.
Between going all the way up to Lykavittos hill and back and then walking through the gardens we put on quite a few miles on today again and it was awesome to put your feet up! We had a nice relax and then headed out for dinner in the Monastiraki area to a place we had scoped out a dew nights ago. There was live Greek music to serenade us through our meal and we had a litre of wine to share between us! (I know were really milking this whole being on holiday thing). Good night from Athens and its already our last full day here tomorrow!