How many UNESCO World Heritage Sites have you been to? Well...now I can check one more off my list.
Welcome to Athens, one of the world's oldest cities, with recorded history spanning over some 3,400 years and oldest known human presence dating to between the 11th and 7th millennium BC - research shows that Athens has been continuously inhabited for over 7,000 years...that's incredible.
I'm no history buff but I enjoy learning about history and it was really amazing to be in a city that has such a remarkable and extensive historical significance.
We really only had one full day in Athens....but believe me, we made the most of it.
The Acropolis, housing the ruins of the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheum and the Temple of Athena Nike, is an ancient citadel located on a high, rocky mountain-like structure above the city of Athens. Its construction was coordinated by Pericles in the 5th century BC. The history of the Acropolis is so extensive I could write a whole book about it...but I'll spare you, some of you might find that boring. If you want to know more you can do like I did and utilize the Google.
We started out early in the morning. Our hotel was right near the train station....and only a few stops away from there, to the stop called Syntagma, into Syntagma Square and we were right in the middle of everything.
To start, and I'm not gonna lie to ya'll....I have no recollection of what this is in the two pictures below. Maybe it'll come to me but it was come cool old stuff that I took a pic of. As you can see...it couldn't have been a more perfect day. It got a little hot but it provided a beautiful backdrop for my photos.
To get to the Acropolis, you have to climb up. So we did. and on the way up you pass thru a really cute little area of cafes, reach the Ancient Agora (which we went through on the way down) and finally to the ticket booth for entrance into the Acropolis.
The first things you see, after doing more climbing, is the Dionysiou Theater and the Odeon of Herod Atticus. It appears that this theater is still used from time to time.
From the theater, you look up and see there's more climbing to do (remember I told you, everything in Greece is uphill).
Then you finally get to the top and stand in line forever for tickets. It's worth it - you enter the Acropolis through these enormous marble columns, the Propyla. In the pics you'll see scaffolding. We were there in the middle of a restoration project.
If you look to the left, you see the Erechtheum, to the right, the Parthenon and then the Temple of Athena Nike . These pics are kinda out of order b/c once I walked inside I just started snapping like crazy. I was excited, can you tell? All these old building, well ruins, made from limestone and marble, craftsmanship that withstood centuries of time. Then I got to thinking about all the cool stuff that must have happened there over the years. I looked it up and found that when it was fully constructed (construction began in 447 BC), its main function was to shelter the statue of Athena - made of ivory and gold by Pheidias - and Athena's treasure. Scenes from movies played in my head complete with actors in white robes and gold accents like headband and bracelets and belts...and sandals.
To me, the most magnificent was the Parthenon. I stood in awe of it for a while and desperately tried to take a pic with as few random tourists as possible. That didn't work as well as I planned. I'm gonna need some photo editing software to remove these randos.
There were a lot of rocks. Turns out, some of them were ancient pieces of marble that used to be apart of the buildings that make up the Acropolis. So that was pretty dope.
Beyond the Acropolis were the breathtaking views of the city which were being highlighted by the rays of sunlight peaking through the storm clouds. I was fortunate enough to get some of that with the camera too.
And in the distance you could see the ancient Temple of Zeus - later, we made our way down there for a closer look.
The rest of these shots are for your viewing pleasure. I wont bore you with too many more words.
That down there is part of the Ancient Agora. I'll post about that later.
I miss Greece....but I'm also preparing for my next adventure...which I'll reveal soon! Happy Humpday everyone!