Saturday, 19 September 2009

Greece - Part 1 - Athens

The time had finally come! I had finally tidied up my room, packed all my things up and shipped them home. My time in London is almost over but, I have an exciting two week trip planned in Greece which is what this blog is all about.

19 September - 20 September 2009
After getting up in the middle of the night to get to Gatwick Airport from up North, me and my travelling buddy, Casey (who I met on my Scotland tour) were on our way to Athens. We got to Athens at around 10 in the morning which left plenty of time to find out hostel and start looking around.

That afternoon we spent looking around the city to get our bearings and we stumbled upon the changing of the guard. It was sooooo funny, they had cute little outfits (don't tell them I said that) and were kicking their feet around like horses. I took a couple of videos because it was so bizarre.

That night we headed up to the roof bar at the hostel and looked out at the Pantheon.

20 September 2009
Today we decided to looking around the Acropolis (The Acropolis is a flat-topped rock that rises 150m above sea level in the city of Athens, with a surface area of about 3 hectares) Hill and all the other sites which were included in the ticket (12 euros - recommend it). The site included:

- Parthenon
The Parthenon is a temple of the Greek goddess Athena whom the people of Athens considered their protector. Its construction began in 447BC and completed in 432BC on the Athenian

Unfortunately, like most sites in Europe the Parthenon was covered in so much scaffolding you didn't quite get the same wow factor like most other sites, but it was still cool to
see it and learn the history and on the hill you got an amazing view over Athens.

Also up the top with the Parthenon was the ancient Greek temple Erechtheum (The temple as seen
today was built between 421 and 407 BC.)

Ancient Agora
The Ancient Agora (The Agora was an open "place of assembly" in ancient Greek city-states. Early in Greek history (900s–700s BCE), free-born male land-owners who were citizens would gather in the agora for military duty or to hear statements of the ruling king or council) of Athens is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora.

Roman Agora
The Tower of the Winds, also called is an octagonal Pentelic
marble clocktower. The structure features a combination of sundials, a water clock and a wind vane.It was supposedly built by Andronicus of Cyrrhus around 50 BC, but according to other sources might have been constructed in the 2nd century BC before the rest of the forum.

Hadrian's Library was built by Roman Emperor Hadrian in AD 132 on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens. The library was seriously damaged by the Herulian invasion of 267 and repaired by the prefect Her
culius in AD 407-412).

The Temple of Olympian Zeus
also known as the Olympieion, is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of the Greek capital Athens that was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD some 650 years after the project had begun. During the Roman periods it was renowned as thelargest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world.

- The Middle photo is from the top of the Acropolis Hill - was testing my new camera's zoom, I think it came out pretty good and gives you a nice view

Theatre of Dionysus

The Theatre of Dionysus was a major open-air theatre in Athens, built at the foot of the Acropolis. Dedicated to the god of wine and fertility, it hosted the City Dionysia (religious festival). A stone-version of the theatre, which was built c. 325 BCE, seated between 14,000 to 17,000 spectators. After this the theatre fell into disuse and little is recorded until 61 CE where there is evidence of major renovations done by the emperor Nero.

- The photo on the right is from the top of the Acropolis Hill.
That afternoon we went on a mini train tour around the main areas of the city. It went past most of the sites we had already seen but it also went past the site of the Olympic Stadium which was host to the 2004 Summer Olympics it was also the first time since 1896 that the Olympics were held in Greece.

After visiting the stadium we went for a walk through a park and met a few of these little fullas just walking around, so cute!

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