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43 travelers at this place

  • Day16

    First day in Athens

    October 17, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Today we decided to see a few of the “minor” sites and also visit the National Archaeological Museum. Hadrian’s Library, the Roman Agora, and the museum took up most of the day. We ended with a great dinner in a restaurant near the hotel, which we found by just poking around. Tomorrow, the Acropolis!Read more

  • Day17

    Plan B

    October 18, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Well, I could not get Joe out of bed early enough for a trip to the Acropolis. The cruise ship groups start arriving around 9 or 10, so getting there by 8 is one way to avoid the hoards. So, on to Plan B. Luckily, there is no shortage of things to visit in Athens!

    We went to the Ancient Greek Agora, with one gorgeous temple, supposedly the most perfectly preserved of any Doric temple in Greece. We also saw a “jury selection” machine — the citizens put in a credit-card-size engraved stone, and then with some balls rolling around, the jurors are selected. Wonder if it was more efficient than sending letters out to random voters.

    After lunch, we went to the new Acropolis museum. Opened about ten years ago, the Greeks had hoped it would be the perfect place for displaying the Elgin marbles, if only the Brits would send them back. Ha, fat chance!

    Though I did not retain the details of the many times Athens was destroyed by invaders, it did stay with me that the glory days of Athenian democracy lasted from about 490 BC to at the very latest 146 BC when they finally lost out to the Romans. Some current events lead me to wonder whether Athens will continue in first place or whether the US will hold on long enough to beat the record. As the Washington Post says—democracy dies in darkness.

    And we somehow snagged a table at the oh so trendy Nolan Restaurant, which is a Japanese-Greek fusion place and the best meal we’ve had on this trip!
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  • Day15

    Travel to Athens

    October 16, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    We slept in, ate a late breakfast, and then drove to Athens. We took the back roads for some of the way, driving through villages and a big town or two. It’s fun to see how life happens for normal people— saw a lot of little market stands, people navigating chaotic traffic on bikes, and lots of old men sitting outside in cafes. Not much in the way of urban planning or traffic planning that we could see. About 100 km out, we got on the toll road and dropped the car at the airport. You would need nerves of steel or a death wish to drive in Athens.

    Our hotel is a notch above our normal level, but the bar, pool, and restaurant have a view of the Acropolis and the elliptical is the best one of the entire trip by far. Seems like a good splurge so far.
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  • Day18

    Acropolis or bust!

    October 19, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    So once again we changed our plans. Last night at dinner, the manager of the restaurant suggested that we consider a mid-late afternoon Acropolis trip. If we took the “back door” entry, we would walk up past some of the less-visited sites, like the theater of Dionysus, and by the time we got to the top where the Parthenon and other crowd magnets are, most of the tour groups would be gone.

    That meant late breakfast and morning gym workout, to mix things up a bit.

    First stop, back to Hadrian’s arch (dividing Ancient Greek Athens from Ancient Roman Athens) and the remaining 15 Corinthian columns of what must have been a pretty fantastic temple to Zeus. After a light lunch, a slow stroll (so as not to wear out the old guy before he hit the Acropolis hill) and some ice cream. Finally, at about 3:00, we started up the “back side” of the hill so we could see the huge theater. When we got up to the main sights, the crowds were still pretty heavy, so Joe promptly found a bench and took a nap, while I walked around. At about 4:30, we ventured up the steps and enjoyed the temples. The late afternoon sun was just beautiful. There were people there, but no crushing crowds.

    After sunset, we made our way back down, very happy to have visited such an important and beautiful place.
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  • Day1


    August 6 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Milan 🛫 12:40 Athens 🛬 16.30
    🍔 Lunch in Burger King at the airport
    🏢 Some relax in Plaka Hotel (Kapnikareas 7, Athina 105 56, Grecia) with a great view of the Partenone from the rooftop
    🥞 Had a typical Moussakà plate in Bairaktaris Central (Μητροπόλεως 71-88 71-88, Mitropoleos St, Athina 105 55, Grecia)
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  • Day19

    Last Day in Athens

    October 20, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    For our last day in Athens, Joe had just one thing he wanted to do — walk through the ruins of what is (probably) the site of the Lyceum where Aristotle taught. This is the place where Aristotle supposedly used the “peripatetic” teaching method, walking through th grounds discussing with his students. On our way, we saw some crowds down the street, so we turned in that direction. Lo and behold, it was the weekly ceremonial changing of the guard at the site of the tomb of the unknown soldier, which is right in front of Parliament. We had a great position by some struck of dumb luck, and we were thoroughly impressed with the exaggerated strides of soldiers dressed in traditional military uniforms. Marching, music, all the trappings.

    The ruins of Aristotle’s school leave a lot to the imagination, but there are signs to indicate layout and purpose of buildings. And imagine our surprise to see that right next door was the Medieval and Byzantine museum. Now who could resist that, especially after a quick glance at Michelin saw that it has two stars.

    It is a fabulous place, especially the rooms dedicated to early Christianity up through the fall of Constantinople. We saw shoes from the 5th century! Clothing from the 4th! Lots of beautiful pieces from the early days of Christianity in Greece.

    After a leisurely lunch in the very good museum café, we walked back slowly through the National Gardens, blending in with the many crowds out for their Sunday walk in the sun.

    Tonight we may finally take a stroll through tourist-shop heaven, the narrow pedestrian streets of Plaka, which we have been through only in transit. And then tomorrow, bright and early, off to the airport!
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  • May30

    Zappeion, Nationalgarten & Parlament

    May 30, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Vom Olympieion aus spazieren wir weiter zum Zappeion, einem klassizistischen "Multifuntionsgebäude". Hier staunen wir u.a. auch über die Bäume im näheren Umkreis, die sich in voller Blütenpracht präsentieren. Wir schlendern weiter durch den Nationalpark und erreichen bald darauf das Parlamentsgebäude am Syntagma-Platz. Den stündlich stattfindenden Wachwechsel der Evzonen, der Ehrengarde des Präsidenten bekommen wir nur am Rande mit, als die in Trachten gekleideten Wächter in militärischem Stil und recht eigenartigen Schrittes die Straße entlangmarschieren.Read more

  • Day23

    Hellenic Parliament

    May 30, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    At 16.00 hours, we managed to arrive precisely at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in front of the Hellenic Parliament Building. At this time, the Changing of the Guard occurred. The Evezone are an elite military force, who guard the Tomb 24 hours a day. They provided an impressive display for the 40 or so people who’d gathered to watch, and we were very lucky to be there...Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Syntagma, Σύνταγμα

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