Arch of Hadrian

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    • Day 72

      Athena, Goddess of War

      November 22, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      I've made it to Greece and back to Athens, home of philosophy, theatre, architecture and democracy, just to name a few. While the ruins in Rome were over 1000 years old, in Athens the ruins are 2600 years old. Prior to that there were even older ruins but the Persians sacked the place about 2800 years ago and flattened every building on Acropolis Hill. Although the Athenians won the war it took them a while to rebuild. The whole of Athens was flattened once again about 2000 years ago with everything destroyed except the hill. The Romans also had control of Athens for a while but didn't destroy it because they thought highly of Greek history and decided to leave the hill untouched.

      Athena, goddess of war and wisdom, is the protector of Athens and the Parthenon on the Acropolis is dedicated to her. The Acropolis Museum is full of statues of her in battle gear. The sacred olive tree on the Acropolis is also dedicated to her and her symbols include the olive and the owl.

      The Acropolis is in a constant state of repair. I'm pretty sure there was scaffolding on it somewhere last time I was here. The preservation and restoration work has been ongoing since the late 1800's although much of today's work includes fixing earlier renovation attempts. Most of the remaining artworks from the sanctuary are protected within the modern Acropolis Museum with replicas on the actual hill itself.

      The Acropolis Museum ranks as one of the top ten museums in the world and the modern building opened in 2009. It sits on a site overlooking part of Athens on one side and the Acropolis on the other. It has been built over the top of a part of ancient Athens so underneath the museum is an archeological site you can walk through and you can also see some of this as you walk over the glass floors inside the museum. The Parthenon plinths and artwork are displayed inside in their authentic size and placement so that the museum itself is larger the Parthenon.

      The significance of Greek culture on modern life cannot be underestimated and it is clear I am in one of the cradles of civilisation. It is unfortunate that it seems such cradles of civilisation found it necessary to revere cruel gods and that humankind found it necessary to build grand temples and artworks to idolise and appease. These grand places I was privileged to see today only exist thanks to many thousands of slaves, most whom probably gave their lives to the task. True civilisation was and still is a long time in the making.

      I've taken quite a liking to Athens today. I don't remember being as taken with it last time. While I've walked extensively today including the top of the Acropolis, the slopes, several surrounding parks including never ending relics and ruins such as the Ancient Greek Agora, the Roman Agora and many other Roman era ruins, there has been something interesting around every corner and parks and view points everywhere.

      And the food is great. Moussaka, lamb stews, pastries that aren't all sweet such as the veggie pie I had for breakfast, kebabs and gyros, souvlaki, etc. My stomach is very content with more red meat than its seen in a while. I've eaten lots of tuna, chicken and ham while I've been away but rarely any lamb or beef. But the €6 I spent on a glass of red wine wasn't as nice as the reds I had nearly everyday in Spain that were never more than €1.50.

      The reason I'm in Athens at all is because of the very cheap Scoot flights Mel-Singapore-Athens. My flight home cost me $550. So if Athens is on your bucket list I recommend keeping an eye on those Scoot flights. I guess I booked this flight about 5 months ago now. I missed getting the cheap flight to Athens as well as I was a bit slow booking and missed the chance.

      I also recommend Athens in November (and Rome too for that matter). No queues or crowds at the sites, Acropolis entry is half price or less if you pay for crowd jumping privileges. This year at least it's still tshirt weather during the day though cooler at night and I suspect accommodation is much cheaper now too.
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    • Day 4

      Hadrian’s Arch

      May 25 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 77 °F

      Majestic Hadrian’s Arch, a grand gateway that has stood the test of time since 131 AD.
      As we walked under its towering presence, we were transported back to the days of Roman glory. The arch, a harmonious blend of Roman and Greek architecture, stands as a proud reminder of Emperor Hadrian’s love for Greek culture. With Corinthian columns supporting the Roman-style entablature, it’s a symbol of cultural fusion that resonates deeply with us. Inscriptions on either side declare Athens as the city of Theseus and the city of Hadrian, a nod to the past that fills us with reverence. Just a stone’s throw from the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch isn’t just a monument; it’s a narrative of history, a bridge between two great civilizations that shaped our world.Read more

    • Day 14

      Day 13

      August 30, 2023 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      Later start. Stopped just down road at sanctuary of Athena another ruin. Stopped at Arachova for coffee. Village in hills which is a ski resort in winter but on main road. Lunch at a motoway stop then Athens 1pm for farewells. Waited for our room. Afternoon walk then early dinner.Read more

    • Day 18

      Acrockolypse day!

      May 2, 2023 in Greece ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

      After an interesting nights sleep - it doesn’t pay to go to bed early in our hotel with church bells chiming and marble floors and people returning from the rooftop-bar into the tiny lift near our door and saying good night in Spanish, Greek, French, broken English and American! However I manage to fall asleep at some stage. The bed is comfortable, the pillows are great and I am not whinging.
      Breakfast at our acropolis view restaurant and the Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts is superb! So much for dairy free!
      To a cab and we meet George the taxi driver who used to be a chief engineer on an American cruise line who regaled us with stories of meeting Fidel Castro on board with the captain - he has a photo. It was worth the 10 Euro with tip to meet him. We reach the gate for the acropolis and it is truly awe inspiring and again with the tears. It’s a warm sunny blue sky sparkly day and we are not too crowded - lots of people yes but we get to enjoy the experience- we have come early and I think it’s paid off. So fabulous!
      We walk to the museum and their are lots of school groups but again no lines and we are able to see all the antiquities! We relax at the museum cafe with spinach pie and coffee ready for the bus to Temple of Zeus.
      A big touring day follows with a visit to Panathenaic Stadium then lunch at Monastiraki Square which again is seriously delicious feta in phyllo pastry with honey and nuts followed by gyros ( no meat) and octopus and of course Greek wine. The Roman Agora beckons and we have used all our site visits on our ticket and the blue bus has been great for getting around.
      We stroll back to the hotel dodging the bracelet sellers near the metro ready for quiet time and recovery from a big day out!
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    • Day 12

      Hadriansbogen mit Akropolis Blick

      April 12, 2023 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Den Hadriansbogen hatten wir schon gestern aus der Ferne gesehen, heute aus der Nähe und von beiden Seiten. Das Hadrianstor markiert den Eingang zum Tempel des Zeus und wurde zu Ehren Hadrians, zu dessen Besuch in Athen im Jahr 132, eingeweiht. Streng genommen war es daher einst kein Stadttor, sondern ein Ehrenmonument. Architektonisch spannend ist der reine Kulissencharakter des Bauwerks. Über dem römischen Bogen als Sockelbau wurde ein griechischer Architravbau gesetzt. Der Bau ist 18 Meter hoch, der Durchgang 6,10 Meter breit. Sehr gut gefallen hat uns der Blick durch das Tor auf die Akropolis. Toller Anblick!Read more

    • Day 4

      Teil 2 der archäologischen Ausgrabungen

      April 2, 2023 in Greece ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Heute haben wir leider nicht so viel Glück mit dem Wetter. Insofern ist es im überdachten Doppeldeckerbus ganz gemütlich und wir lassen uns gerne durch die Stadt kutschieren 😅👍🏻 auf dem Weg sehen wir weitere spektakuläre antike Gebäude… und immer wieder ein neuer Blick auf die Akropolis.Read more

    • Day 2

      2nd jour à Athènes

      September 23, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Encore pas mal de visites aujourd’hui avec notamment le temple de Zeus, le stade Panathénaïque (lieu des premiers JO modernes) et tant d’autres. Le soir petit tournoi de basket 3vs3 c’était des jeunes mais ça joue déjà pas mal !Read more

    • Day 39


      May 22, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Wäschewaschen, Rückreise nach Patras organisieren und der Morgen war um. Die gewaltigen Bauten der Griechen beeindrucken auch nach über 2000 Jahren. Man könnte Stunden lang die vielen Stätten studieren wenn die Sonne nicht so brennen würde. Zeit für einen Lunch über den Dächern mit anschliessender Siesta im Hotelzimmer. Später bin ich mit Michael zum Abendessen verabredet. Wir diskutieren lange über uns, Gott und die Welt. Definitiv ein Höhepunkt meiner Reise zu mir selbst.Read more

    • Day 33

      Athens Greece

      June 17, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

      Well we've had a breif but enjoyable visit to this great city. Our b&b is right in heart of tourist town at base of the Accroplis. We struggled to find parking for car but after about the fourth try we prevailed but not before we were relived of 40 euros for two days! The apartment is quiet but bustling with tourists from early until late. We climbed accropolis hill at 8 am before main crowds arrived from cruise liners. Then we did the Ho ho tour and came back for lunch and compulsory book club (rest). Lloyd went off for an afternoon adventure to Piraeus city and harbour on Ho ho bus and the girls went shopping! Final evening saw us eating out in this magical time warp of a city.Read more

    • Day 11

      Athens/our time/day 1

      October 11, 2021 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 75 °F

      Had a good night's sleep. Had a nice morning pipe.
      A hot shower . Then met the family. Onto the Plaka.

      We doubled cabbed to the Plaka around 12:30 and proceeded to a busy cafe and lunched lightly. And then the shopping. Good to walk and stretch.
      Finally found a cigar store in the biz district bordering the North of the Plaka..called Miamis Cigars... Great Cuban selection,...not what I wanted so I bought Nicaraguan instead...I bought a box of Hoya-Silvers. ..a really upscale store. Prices are high..what are you going to do.

      A fabulous lady named Cheryle was with us all the trip(came solo, became one of us.) Became part of our family.

      Back to the hotel to relax before dinner. Another cloud burst and wham!!.a down pour....only 5 minutes and it stopped. Having a cigar and I bought an split bottle of Johnny Walker Black. No glasses in room...sipped from the bottle. A man's gotta do.

      Had dinner in the hotel tonight, because the threat of rain. Greek salad and Greek fish.

      Hoya Silver Cigar And scotch on the balcony. Brought back glasses from the bar.

      To bed... to meet family in dining room at 9 for breakfast.
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