A Travellerspoint blog

Historic Athens - explored in1/2 day !

Another early morning up at 4.50am to catch the 5.40am train to Athens. It was a full moon and a nice brisk cold morning as we walked the 10 minutes to the train station. 50 minutes later we changed trains at Palaeofarsalos and arrived into Athens at 10.30am and it only cost 16 e each.

Just outside the station is the metro underground system and we entered there at Larissa Station. Bought a ticket for 1.40 e and went 4 stops to Syntagma. We entered on to the square & behind us was the Parliament House. The directions to the The Students and Travellers Inn Hostel were easy. Left out of the station 4 blocks & then turn right & in that street which was a pedestrian only street made of marble bocks – just a10 minute walk. Great location right in the heart of the Plaka area with café, restaurants and shops all around us.

It was 18 e each in a 4 bed dorm with a balcony overlooking the square & restaurants. There was a travel agency in the building where you can organise a trips to the islands and a garden bar downstairs – all very nice.

We were given a map and pointed in the direction of the Acropolis so headed up our street towards the hill where we came onto a marble path to the Acropolis. We went up around little homes built into the hillside. Beautiful day with blue sky & 28 degrees but after walking in the sun for 5 hours it was hot & my arms were sunburnt. The whole hill and most of Athens is an archaeological site. Athens has been continuously inhabited for the past 7000 years, so we passed by lots of ruins and signage. Hard to get your head around the amount of history attached to here. We paid 12 e to go onto the Acropolis grounds and hill that stands high above Athens. We went up the marble steps seeing smaller temple ruins to Athena and then once at the top you get to see the Parthenon – which is massive & just takes your breath away. They were doing some restorations and had cranes to move massive columns and blocks, which makes you wonder how they built it back in BC!!!!

The sacred rock of the Acropolis was for many centuries the most important religious centre of Athens. A dominant the skyline in the 11th century BC it became the home of Athena patron goddess of the city. In the 5th century BC the Parthenon was built to replace the previous buildings burnt down by the Persians. It is all built of marble and the paths and streets are also built of marble – very slippery to walk on and I slipped over on a street footpath.

It overlooks the sprawling city that goes for mile in every direction and is sea of dazzling white with no real high rise

Areopagus Hill (Mars Hill)

It is located at the bottom of the Acropolis & overlooks the ancient Agora (the ancient business and judicial part of the city). Th whole hill is made out of marble & there are 16 stairs up carved into the marble. It was originally used as a high court for criminal cases. There is a plaque in Greek with the words of Pauls' speech as he shared the gospel. It was quite the moment standing there on this rock in the shadows of the Acropolis with its massive temples built to ancient Gods knowing that here Paul shared the power of the gospel and about the true God.

Filopappos Hill

Next I walked through this quiet hillside park opposite the Acropolis on a path through a forest of olive trees to the monument on the top built in memorial of Filopappas an aristocrat in the Roman Empire. Has the best view of the Parthenon and over to the port.

I followed the perimeter of the Agora down to the old part of town called Monasteraki, past some old churches to the flea markets. Julius Caesar & Augustus built Monasteraki or Roman Athens. The gate of Athena was built in 1st century near this flea market area that was full of vintage stuff as well as new clothes and shoes. I bought a lamb souvlaki on a stick which was yummy for 1.40 E.

Following the perimeter of the Agora back up hill I then wandered up and down the narrow cobblestoned streets & alleys that were full of sidewalk cafes. There was just enough room to walk down the marble stairs between tables and chairs and on some steps people sat on cushions having a drink. All very atmospheric & at one place a group of Greek men were singing . Had some fried zucchini & bread – they love their breads!!!

Kept wandering up and down and found myself at a big arch which I discovered was called Hadrian’s arch and it was opposite the Temple of Zeus. I couldn’t walk in as they had closed at 3pm,which didn’t really matter as I could see it all very well through the fences.

The Temple of Zeus was built in 6th century BC & took over 700 years to build…crazy!!! Of the temples original 104 columns only 15 remain, one lying shattered on the ground after breaking in winds in 1852

Back then at 4pm to the Plaka area to meet up with Leigh who went back to the room after the Acropolis. Did a couple of hours work & then we shared a dinner of grilled calamari and then lamb chops and chips – very yummy.

At 8pm we headed back up to Mars Hill below the Acropolis to watch the sunset. There was over 100 people on the hill, many that we discovered were locals & just like in Thessoliniki we discovered that Greeks are not adverse to IPK ( Intense Public Kissing)!!! Not a problem at all for them to have someone sitting within reaching distance!! We stayed until all the lights of the city below came out and the monuments were all lit up as well ……..beautiful end to a great day!!

People silhouetted on Mars Hill

People silhouetted on Mars Hill


The Acropolis lit up

The Acropolis lit up


Acropolis at night

Acropolis at night


Night views

Night views


Sunset over the white city of Athens

Sunset over the white city of Athens


Acropolis 2

Acropolis 2


View from our hostel window over restaurants

View from our hostel window over restaurants


Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus


Remaining columns

Remaining columns


Stunning bouganvillea

Stunning bouganvillea


Sidewalk cafes

Sidewalk cafes


Cafes and Acropolis

Cafes and Acropolis


Looking up to Acropolis

Looking up to Acropolis


City ruins

City ruins


Athens

Athens


Mars Hill sign

Mars Hill sign


Mars Hill

Mars Hill


Very old church

Very old church


View from Mars Hill - where Paul preached!

View from Mars Hill - where Paul preached!


Where Paul preached in the shadow of the Acropolis

Where Paul preached in the shadow of the Acropolis


Stairs in marble up to Mars Hill

Stairs in marble up to Mars Hill


View over Athens

View over Athens


Parthenon

Parthenon


Parthenon

Parthenon


Leigh & I in front of the Parthenon

Leigh & I in front of the Parthenon


View to Temple of Zeus

View to Temple of Zeus


Selfie at Parthenon

Selfie at Parthenon


Acropolis entrance

Acropolis entrance


Parthenon built 5 BC!!!

Parthenon built 5 BC!!!


Stadium

Stadium


Stadium

Stadium


Local homes in front of Acropolis

Local homes in front of Acropolis


Looking down to the Agora

Looking down to the Agora


Athens

Athens


View over Athens

View over Athens


Looking out to the sea

Looking out to the sea


Looking to another hill i walked up

Looking to another hill i walked up

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Greece

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