Greece 2017: Day 2
Our first full day in Greece started out with the Acropolis. You can’t go to Athens without seeing this amazing site! So we grabbed some pastries and coffee to go at a nearby bakery and then headed to the site. I had a Rick Steves audio tour that was very helpful. Things aren’t marked very well so you don’t always know what you’re looking at. They are also doing lots of construction on the site and it has been going on for literally decades. Apparently, when the Turks had control of the city, they loaded all of their ammo into the Parthenon while they hid in other parts of the Acropolis, thinking the Venetians valued art and architecture enough that they wouldn’t shoot at the Parthenon. Unfortunately for them, the Venetians cared more about winning, so when they shot a cannon at it, it exploded, and now they are still trying to restore it, though they are trying to decide to what point they want to restore it.
We got there a little later than we wanted to and ended up catching all the cruisers that had been dropped off, but once we got up the steps, it wasn’t too big of a deal.
Before moving on, we climbed to the top of Marrs Hill, where St. Paul preached to the Athenians.
Afterwards, we walked down to the Ancient Agora. It may look like a “pile of rocks” now, but it was apparently the main shopping area where daily life took place for the ancient Greeks. Again, the audio tour was super helpful in trying to figure out what everything was. We got to see the old stora and also learned about some of the philosophers in ancient Greece.
Felix was worn out by that point and literally laid down on a little bridge and fell asleep!
We got some food afterwards (at the bakery again!) and went back to the apartment to rest for a bit. Even though we had planned to go to Kerakimos Cemetery, we decided against it because we couldn’t figure out what time it really closed and we didn’t want to get all the way there and not get to go. Instead, we decided to do the Rick Steves audio city tour, since we didn’t get as much of that information as I thought we would on the tour the night before.This took us to Syntagma (meaning “constitution) Square, a few Greek Orthodox churches, and the Temple of the Olympian Zeus. This temple actually took 638 years to complete! I guess construction started and stopped several times and the Emperor Hadrian finally got the job done. We walked around it, and it is massive!
While at Syntagma Square, we also got to see the changing of the guard by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The tour winds through an area of Athens called Anafiotika. I had read that this area was worth walking through, but I’m so glad we actually did. It reminded me a lot of the Alfama area in Lisbon. Lots of tiny passageways and neighborhoods full of tiny, colorful homes. It was so quaint, it almost felt like we weren’t in Athens anymore. The kids were getting tired (and so were we), but we gave them cameras and told them to take pictures of all the cats they saw. Felix got a little too into it and would literally chase one down to get a good picture of one!
The tour ended in Monistraki Square and we ended up having dinner at a gyro shop off a side street. We had promised the kids a Nutella waffle, so we found one of those for dessert.
I think we walked over 9 miles this day alone, but it was worth it!
Check out what else we did in Greece!