Today we got up & into the underground railway to visit Parliament & see the changing of the guards. The underground railway is really good here as we rarely have to wait more than 5 minutes for a train going anywhere we need. Once at the Parliament in an area called Syntagma we were just in time to witness the guards changing which happens every hour on the hour. What a lot or rigmarole that was! Each of the (two) guards had to step a foot forward, wave it around in the air, hold their leg up & then take one step forward until finally arriving in front of the 'change over area' where the replacement guards did the same thing in reverse to take their position. To top it off, the guards uniform is a short tan dress, white stockings & moccasins with large pom poms on the end. Their hat include a long tail much like hair about one & a half metres long hanging down one side! All together an interesting experience but I couldnt help wondering who dreamed up this performance & why anybody took them seriously!!!
Leaving the Parliament building area we walked 100 metres into the gardens next door which stretch for a kilometre or so. These are lovely & we delighted in many of the settings & the beautiful peace that settles on this place, despite the noise of traffic in the background - something I realised Kings Park does'nt have. We probably spent two hours in here. A very enjoyable walk.
This led us through to the ruins of the ancient Temple of Zeus, a very imposing Temple it must have been in its day but sadly only a few columns left to give us the impression of what it was. This site had a lot of information about how it would have looked in the past & I was impressed with the granduer of it. At the far corner we also visited Hadrians gate which he put up as part of his victory at one particular time. Hadrian was one of the Roman Emperors & the gate was built about 150BC (I think!) The interesting item about this gate was that the lower section was built in the Roman style, the upper half in the Greek style.
Walking back to the underground we set of to visit National Archeological Museum which involved a good walk from the train station. In here were many antcient artifacts and it was such a vast collection that we eventually became overwhelmed with the amount of ancient things they have there! But it was worth viewing & we felt glad we went in.
Returning by underground we went to the Akropoli for dinner as we had found a lovely village square not far from the Museum that looked very inviting. This was a typical Greek picture, the small square, a restaurant with grape covered tellis out the front and people sitting out eating beautiful Greek food. I think I am converted to Greek food for now....
All together a lovely day, returning to the Hotel tired but thrilled with what we had seen.