We arrived in Athens at 3:30 AM local time. We were staying in an air B&B a few blocks from the Acropolis but the airport was a 45 minute drive to there. Our host has a brother who is a taxi driver who was there to pick us up.
When we got to the B&B our driver, Giorgio Gioulis (6939 00 40 20), showed us around and helped us up to our apartment. He offered us a drink, which we of course declined, I pulled down the roller shades nice and tight, and fell asleep.
Let me show you the place we were staying:
You could she the Parthenon from the balcony.
Speaking of the balcony, it was super fun to watch the street below.
This place reminded me SO much of Albania.
Check out these sweet rolling blinds. Just like the binds that I had in all of my places in Albania. I want them. On all of the rooms that I will ever sleep in again.
Now check out the inside. I took this video on our last day. But it makes more sense to me here in the story.
When we woke up it was 11:00 AM local time and the sun was up, and it was HOT.
We went up to the roof to check out the view.
We were tired and our feet hurt from all of yesterdays walking but we were ready and raring to go and see something!
So we headed out to the tiny elevator:
(That is Karl looking through the crazy little window in one of the doors.
Karl showing us how he could literally fill the whole elevator.
Both of us in the elevator together was tight. Yes that is a bare wall slowly passing right behind us. Don’t touch it.
On the tree right outside the door. I never had trouble finding or door.
We used google maps to navigate to the:
Yep, a 20 minute walk.
And we were off.
The walk up to the Acropolis took us through part of Athens famous and enormous street market the Plaka. Shaded and beautiful it was a really fun walk despite the oppressive heat that day.
It was lunch time and we were hungry so our first stop:
Hot fresh and delicious.
Fresh and delicious, it reminded me of the Suflaces I used to eat in Albania. Minus the french fries of course.
The day was hot, and getting up to the top of the Acropolis hill was quite a hike. So we decided to go inside the nice cool modern museum instead of a hot sweaty ancient street.
So instead of hiking way up there…
we went to the Acropolis Museum instead.
As we approached we realized the whole building was on giant cement stilts. Standing high about ancient Greek ruins. Our first real taste of ancient Greek ruins.
An ancient owl statue overlooking the scene.
Even in the lovely air conditioned indoors there was a glass clear floor to see the ruins of ancient homes and plumbing underneath.
The artifacts here were a old and beautiful as they were sometimes confusing.
Like this scary face as we were coming in.
However at this point we didn’t know that pictures here were prohibited.
As I tried to take this picture of Karl with his face next to this weird face, we were told off by not one but TWO different museum employees.
We were however allowed to take pictures on the second and third floor.
Like at the real statues of women from The Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion. They were removed from the acropolis to preserve them and replaced with replicas.
I love the hair. It is so cool!
Karl was not impressed. (JK)
There was a model of the porch below the statues:
So much replaced and hodge pogded together.
I love the way ancient Greek looks on stone.
Carvings from the Cult of Nike.
Replica of the Cult of Nike.
Inside the stones. It really is a small building.
From the second floor there was an awesome view of the Acropolis.
From up here we were able to see some of the things we couldn’t photograph from the first floor.
Again, Athens looked just like Tirana.
There were also some really great artifacts-tiny little artifacts that have been found in the area.
What does this mean?
The magic sphere.
They don’t know what its for or what it might have meant.
An impressive and hypnotic collection of gold Greek coins.
Here we found this awesome Lego replica of the Acropolis.
Something to aspire to I guess.
The Parthenon, complete with the original statue of Athena.
The Theater of Dionysus
How they did it.
On the top floor, we watched a video about the History of the Parthenon.
About over it’s 2000 year history it was picked apart by conquering nations, blown up during battles, and fallen apart over time.
This exhibit was one of my favorite things we did in the whole trip.
This is a model of the Parthenon. The roof and columns are as they were in the display. The statues are as they exist now.
This is an incredibly curated exhibit.
According to sketches from visitors during it’s 2000 year history historians have been able to recreate what it all the statues on the pediments looked like originally.
The other side.
Speaking of Pediments!
Archaeologists have gone around the world and taken casts of many the missing parts of the Parthenon that other countries have obtained over the years. Parts of the Parthenon are all over the world! Mostly in the British Archaeology Museum.
White is a cast. Yellow is an actual part of the original pediment.
HUGE portions are not in Greece.
Then there are parts of the pediment statues too.
Look at this gorgeous reconstruction of the piece on top of each end of the roof.
One of the coolest things is that everything that would be 20 feet in the air and un-see-able was much lover so we could really see him. The higher and lover pediments were presented to scale which gave you a real sence of how it was originally.
France has this piece. All but that small portion on the top left corner.
Still here is a large chunk in Greece.
View from the top floor.
It was a delightful surprise.
After the museum we found ourselves back in the Plaka and hungry again.
We thought about going up to the top of the hill but decided since it was SO hot that we would come first thing in the morning instead.
Later that Night…
Even with all of these amazing snacks, we still needed some dinner and found a highly recommended one near us.
The place is called Smile.
They are famous for their glass tubes of decorated white rocks.
And their delicious authentic Greek food.
We started with our first perfect Greek Salad.
Karl was LOVING it!
Karl ordered two delicious Gyros.
They were actually just like Sufaces. They had french fries and everything!
One beef one pork.
He made light work of them.
I also got two things:
A moussaka: a cheese, eggplant, ground beef, and some kind of creamy egg binder. SO good.
I also got a pasticho which is basically the same but with long hollow noodles and no egg plant. Even better. It looked just the same and both of them were molten lava hot so it took me a while to make any progress on them.
For dessert a almond and sugar socked cake.
But the time we got back to the apartment my dogs were BARKING.
I had blisters forming on my feet and I was SO tired.