…and where you can see ancient relics in the subway. Just out in the open for anyone to touch.
Um…Not that we did that.
I was going to give a run-down of our time in Munich two weekends ago- but then, before I could blink, we were in Athens for a long weekend, and my thoughts are still revolving around olives and ouzo…
Not to say Munich wasn’t great- it was a lot of fun- but we pretty much saw everything we saw when we went in 2008. Except for the mass revelry.
But Athens! ATHENS! The cradle of Western civilization! Some of my German neighbors would say the downfall of the European Union…but I liked it.
Yes, it was kind of dirty, covered in graffiti, and we were almost pick-pocketed, but I still liked it.
And yes, the gutters are lined with marble.
The people were some of the friendliest I’ve ever met in Europe- especially with Li. Burly men were talking baby talk to her in the hopes of getting a smile. It was funny.
We arrived Friday night, and took the subway to the Acropoli stop closest to our hotel/apartment. It’s a bit of a shock coming off the of the subway to see ancient statues, and then, looming above, the Acropolis.
We found our hotel, and after some room shuffling, we went out for dinner and a stroll through the city. Our apartment was located between the Acropolis and the Temple of Zeus in the Plaka area of Athens, so it was pretty easy to navigate without a map. We just had to look for the big ancient ruin on top of the hill to our left to know where we were.
Our first full day was mostly site-seeing- climbing up to the Parthenon, and some shopping and Greek food. The weather, compared to Germany, was perfect.
Li still insisted on her hood most of the time we were outside though, out of reflex to the German rain.
Brisket and Li climbing up the hill from the Theater of Dionysus…we’re tough (naive?) and decided to skip the easier path up the hill.
The Greeks know how to appeal to the theater geek in me- there was a ruin of an amazing theater every 20 steps or so.
Before too long though, we were at the entrance to the Acropolis- and had a great view of the city stretching out in all directions.
Li was hoping to keep the paparazzi away…
The Parthenon was beautiful. It’s a weird feeling standing in the shadows of something you’ve seen in history books your entire life. Even weirder to think about how this amazing building is just background scenery for most Athenians.
I wanted to slip one of these “souvenirs” into my luggage- but they were roped off from the public…and probably weigh a half ton.
Li was more concerned about her hydration needs than the architecture but Brisket and I were impressed. Brisket has now also carried Li on his shoulders in 4 countries…I think he’s going for a record.
The temple of Athena, next to the Parthenon.
The view from the walls of the Acropolis- and of the 5,000 Italian teenagers visiting the same day we did.
And, finally, the Temple of Victory as you exit. It’s built on the edge of the Acropolis so that you would have to look up to it as you leave.
To be continued- Day 2, and Greek Shopping