Athens... the city where my perspiration sweat

by - Friday, May 03, 2013

The last stop on my whirlwind trip was to Athens... mainly because I wanted to see the Acropolis.  Yes... when planning a trip it is totally feasible to go to a city to see one thing.

As I got off the metro line in downtown Athens, I was greeted by riot police... it seems that a protest had just travelled through the square (to which both Parliament and the national bank border on).  I missed this protest... but in my time in Athens, saw six more - all peaceful and rather short.  They marched down the street, around the square, and then just seemed to disperse from what I could tell.

My hostel was very central to all of the tourist places in Athens... on my first night on the recommendation of the lady working the front desk I walked (hiked?) up Likavittos hill, a hill in the middle of Athens that would give me an excellent view of the Acropolis in the evening.  The view did not disappoint!  I hung out there for an hour or so snapping pictures, and then headed back to the hostel for the evening.
The next morning I went on my last free walking tour of the trip.  George lead us past a number of the Greek and Roman ruins, and gave us some history lessons along the way.  We circled the Acropolis, saw the Temple of Zeus, Hadrian's Arch... all places that I would eventually go back to visit later on during my stay.

Have I mentioned yet that it was 34C in Athens?  And that I don't really like any temperature above 20C?  After the walking tour, I had to go back to the hostel to cool down a bit - there was no way that I'd be able to be outside all day.  And the Greeks were wearing jackets! And down vests! Seriously? I wanted to walk around naked!

George had told us the best time to visit the Acropolis was midday... the cruise ships brought all of their tours in first thing in the morning and the area was packed.  From what we saw on our walking tour, he was correct.  The tough part about going midday is that it was stinking hot and there is no shade anywhere near the Parthenon!  Luckily I remembered sunscreen (unlike a couple of girls I saw at the hostel that evening) and survived the trip.

After venturing to the Acropolis, I walked around Athens a bit... the shopkeepers aren't quite as pushy as they are in Istanbul, but pretty close.  Especially when you walked past them a couple of times!

The next day I visited the Acropolis Museum... it was nice... but rather sterile.  It was only opened a couple of years ago, and you could tell.  I'm glad I went, but honestly I'd rather see the artifacts in their natural environments rather than a huge white room full of white marble.  I wandered the streets some more, had an excellent wrap (where I could have eaten the tzatziki by the vat) and took it easy... went back to see some of the sights in the evening, and in general, enjoyed that it was far cooler at night than during the day.

The next day I wandered around for a few souvenirs, and then went to take the bus to the airport... and of course it was not running due to impending protests... so it was to the subway and then back to Istanbul!

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  1. what an amazing shot, and so much life experience! I can't imagine being thrust into a whole other culture like that, I envy your tenacity!!

  2. That picture is absolutely stunning! I haven't been to Greece, but I'd to go.