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Europe 2011: Day 10 (Greece 08): May 22

As part of the ticket into the Acropolis, there are 5 or 6 other historical monuments that you are then able to enter, the temple and market places we passed yesterday during the walking tour. There is a cobble stone pathway that helps guide tourists. It goes from the Temple of Zeus all the way around the Acropolis.

So our first stop was the closest to us, Temple of Zeus and the Gates of Hadrian. Visiting some of these ruins without the historical background provided by a guide is sorta… Wasteful. But since we got some info the day before, it was easier to decide which ones to look at closer and which ones to keep walking by.

Making our way to Syntagma Square for the changing of the guards, we cut through the National Gardens, previously the Royal Gardens. By the time we got to the square, there was already a large crowd and police blocking off the roads. This happening every Sunday at 11 must cause some traffic problems… Anyways, the event started with Karen and Michelle sneaking up to the front while Mike and I hung back and saw the procession into the ‘Unknown Soldier’ memorial area. In the meantime Mike got some photos of the local police and their nice bikes and helmets, haha.

After the conclusion of the changing, we made our way over to the Temple of Hephaistos. This temple is largely intact, so it was good to see without the massive amounts of scaffolding that is usually around it. On our way there we passed a couple of smaller sites and took some snapshots without entering them. At the Temple, after making the rounds with photos, Mike wanted to do his jump shot which turned out pretty good! Then suddenly, an employee attendant ‘security’ person came up from behind and asked to see the picture and subsequently requested that it be deleted. Oops. And of course, Mike tricked him and the picture remains. Always getting in trouble, that one.

Walking for another 20? minutes, we made it to the Panathenaic Stadium, which was back past our hostel, by the National Gardens. Unfortunately, it wasn’t part of the 12€ ticket, as we originally assumed so we paid for another ticket to get in. It came with an audio guide, so that was good, some educational info (that didn’t stick). On the grounds, there was a group of ladies practicing a routine that included branches and a small torch, olympic-related? Who knows. Anyways, since it had a nice track, we got a lot of ‘running’ shots and some fun on the podium. Whee.

By this time it was around 3 or 4pm, we went back to get some food and headed into The ‘New’ Acropolis Museum. The museum was also not included in the 12€ ticket, but we knew that already… Heading in, the architecture of the actual building is very nice and was specifically built for the pieces. As the name says, the museum tells the story of Acropolis. The numerous Parthenon’s and its surrounding area. The ground floor contained artifacts such as clay pots and sculptures found at the site. The next contained artifacts from some of the other buildings on the Acropolis, such as the Temple of Nike and the Erechtion. The top floor displayed pieces from the Parthenon. Although several pieces have been completely destroyed or still resides in the British Museum, the museum presents them in a way that illustrates how they should have looked. The main two ‘gods’ depicted in these sculptures were of Poseidon and Athena. Both being candidates when naming the city. Along the top of the Parthenon, there were several relief slabs that depicted numerous battles between centaurs, greeks, giants, etc. Actually pretty interesting, but no pictures allowed!

After finishing up with the museum, it was still pretty early, without anything else left on the agenda. So we decided to ‘wander aimlessly’. Taking a new road, jumped in and out of shops looking for souvenirs and interesting things. After grabbing some ‘Ferrero’ mini-cakes, we dropped them off at the hostel and went to dinner. (We had a lot of desserts on this trip, gelato, ice cream, cheesecakes, mmm).

A recommended restaurant, close to our hostel, we went to find Strofi. Our last dinner in Greece. Good prices, good food, good friends, good time. Of course, as the trip comes to an end we start reminiscing about the past couple days, while also getting to know each other a bit better. We talked about how each of us ended up in YSDN and how our paths could’ve changed so easily and talk about the future… *sigh

As we head back to the hostel, we start talking about the next trip 😉 Peru! Somehow, we’ll get there. Exciting.

Ferrero wasn’t bad, although not as good as Ferrero Rocher. Karen got caught in one of her laughing fits, crazy! We look through pictures and pack to head out early to catch our 11:20 flight out. Sleep.

Until next time.

Procession to the Changing of the Guard

Temple of Hephaistos

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