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Athens Christmas 2017.

Arrival and First Day.

I had hit exhaustion point when my school finally closed for the Christmas holidays and I had scarcely enough energy left to make it anywhere, but somehow I managed to drag myself onto a plane where I endured eight hours of someone reclining right into my face, a kid behind me repeatedly battering my chair, as he played his computer game, a screaming baby, tasteless food and shockingly bad wine, accompanied by an inability to sleep. We went through a ridiculously long stop over in Doha Airport, around seven hours, before boarding another very full, very cramped flight and flying a further five hours. Then, finally we arrived in Athens. Thank God. We exited the airport and were almost blown away by an icy rain filled blast of wind. Dispirited and completely shattered we boarded a train to Panormou Metro Station, then set about looking for Angelos ' Studio Apartments, the self-catering flat we had booked for our six night stay.

We had an arrangement with Angelos, the owner of the apartment, that he would leave the key to our flat with the Grill Restaurant downstairs from it. We dragged our suitcase through the rain over pothole after pothole on the broken pavement till we found The Pitta Queen Grill and asked for our key. Of course they did not have it and knew nothing about it, but they phoned Angelos for us and we sat and waited there till he came. To pass the time we ordered a delicious pork souvlaki and some Alfa beers while we waited. It took around three hours till Angelos had arrived, collected his cleaner, sorted the flat and finally let us in. To be fair he did apologize for the delay and pay for our beer and souvlaki. We were greatly relieved when we finally had possession of a key to our own little home. It was basic, but had everything we needed and at a cost of twenty pounds a night could not be faulted. After showering and toileting, we walked back to a nearby supermarket, stocked up on provisions and finally collapsed onto our beds and got some much needed sleep, ready to start looking at Athens the following day.

Next day was cold, but not raining, so that was fine for sightseeing. We took the train to Monastiraki Metro Station and began to enjoy our holiday. Monastiraki means monastery and takes its name from a tenth century monastery of which the Church of the Pantanassa is the only surviving part. This church can still be seen on Monastiriki Square as can a nearby mosque - Tzistarakis Mosque. This is an Ottoman mosque dating from 1759. In the distance behind the square we got our first glimpse of the famous Acropolis.

The Church of the Pantanassa.

The Church of the Pantanassa.

Tzistarakis Mosque.

Tzistarakis Mosque.

First View of the Acropolis.

First View of the Acropolis.

We walked from Monastiriki Square to the Library of Hadrian where we purchased combined entry tickets for all the ancient remains in Athens. As my husband, Peter is a pensioner, his was good value at fifteen Euros. Mine cost thirty Euros and, as sights are half price in winter, worked out just the same as paying for each sight individually.

Hadrian's Library was created by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, after whom it is named, in AD 132. This sight was originally home to a library, reading rooms and lecture halls. This library was badly damaged during the Herulian invasion of 267. Wandering around we noticed preserved patches of mosaic floors.

The Library of Hadrian.

The Library of Hadrian.

The Library of Hadrian.

The Library of Hadrian.

The Library of Hadrian.

The Library of Hadrian.

The Library of Hadrian.

The Library of Hadrian.

Patches of mosaic floor.

Patches of mosaic floor.

The Library of Hadrian.

The Library of Hadrian.

The Library of Hadrian.

The Library of Hadrian.

I also noticed a sleeping dog and later observed that there seemed to be a similar looking dog at every sight. I doubt we were being followed so have to assume there are many dogs that look like this in Greece. Every sight came with its own cat, too, but these at least had the decency to look different in every place.

Greek dog.

Greek dog.

Surveying the sight.

Surveying the sight.

After visiting the Library of Hadrian, we strolled past some souvenir shops on route to the Roman Agora or Roman market place.

Souvenir Shops.

Souvenir Shops.

The Roman Agora was built in the first century BC during the reigns of Julius Caesar and Augutus Caesar. The Gate of Athena Archegetis used to be the entrance to the Roman Agora. On the other side stands the Turkish mosque of Fethiye Djami. This mosque was built in 1456 AD to celebrate the visit of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror to Athens. Another important building in the Roman Agora is the Tower of the Winds, an eight-sided marble tower. This was built between the Second and First Century BC by Andronicus of Cyrrhus. Andronicus of Cyrrhus was a Macedonian astronomer. The tower depicts the eight different winds.

Turkish mosque of Fethiye Djami.

Turkish mosque of Fethiye Djami.

Tower of the Winds.

Tower of the Winds.

Tower of the Winds.

Tower of the Winds.

Roman Agora.

Roman Agora.

Roman Agora.

Roman Agora.

The Gate of Athena Archegetis.

The Gate of Athena Archegetis.

Roman Agora.

Roman Agora.

After visiting the Roman Agora, we walked to the Acropolis. Although we visited on the same day as the Library of Hadrian and the Roman Agora, as it is a substantial sight, I will cover it in a separate blog.

Posted by irenevt 07:44 Archived in Greece Tagged athens 2017 Comments (2)

The Acropolis

One of the World's Most Famous Sights.

Acropolis just means highest place. The Acropolis in Athens refers to several ancient buildings set on a high hill in the centre of the city. The Acropolis hill was inhabited from around the fourth millennium BC. However, it was Pericles, who lived from around 495 to 429 BC, who was responsible for the construction of the site's most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike.

There are two entrances to the Acropolis site. One is at the bottom of the hill, not far from the Acropolis Museum. If you want to use this one, Acropoli Metro Station is the nearest stop for it. We entered at the other entrance. We reached this one by taking quite a long walk from Monastiraki Station via the Library of Hadrian and the Roman Agora, then climbing up through Plaka. There is a public bus service up here too.

The entrance ticket to the Acropolis covers the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Niki, plus the Southern Slopes and Northern Slopes of the Acropolis.

Before we entered the Acropolis we climbed up the nearby Areopagus Hill. This rocky hill translates as Ares Rock. It is named after Ares, the Greek god of war. In classical times, this hill was used as a court for trying deliberate homicide. It was called after Ares, as mythology stated he was tried here by the gods for the murder of Poseidon's son Halirrhothius. Halirrhothius had raped Ares' daughter, Alcippe.

During the Roman occupation of Athens, Saint Paul preached his famous speech from this hill. In the speech he referred to the altar of the Unknown God. His speech went like this: "Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands." (Acts 17:24)

There are great views from Aeropagus Hill both back towards the Acropolis and out over the rest of the city.

View towards the Acropolis from Aeropagus Hill.

View towards the Acropolis from Aeropagus Hill.

View from Aeropagus Hill.

View from Aeropagus Hill.

View from Aeropagus Hill.

View from Aeropagus Hill.

There are clean free toilets outside the entrance to the Acropolis building. There are also toilets inside near the Parthenon.

When we entered the Acropolis, the first sight we came across was the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. This large arena was built between 160 AD and 174 AD by the wealthy philanthropist, Herodes Atticus. He built it in memory of his late wife Rigilla. It was used for musical performances and competitions. This building is still used for concerts even today and can seat 4680 people. Many famous singers have performed here including Nana Mouskouri, Luciano Pavarotti and Frank Sinatra. Unless you attend a concert here, you will only be able to peer inside the building without entering it.

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus.

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus.

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus.

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus.

After looking at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, we set off down the south slopes of the Acropolis. As we had to climb back up again and visited the south slopes again later, this was definitely not the most sensible route, but as it was cool, it did not really matter. On our walk we passed the sanctuary of Asclepius. Asclepius was the Greek god of medicine. He was the son of Apollo and was tutored in the medical arts by Cheiron, the wise centaur. In ancient times people flocked to his sanctuary to pray for cures to various ailments.

The Sanctuary of Asclepius.

The Sanctuary of Asclepius.

Next we walked to the Theatre of Dionysus. We viewed it from up above and down below. The Theatre of Dionysus started life as a much smaller sanctuary to Dionysus, the god of plays and wine. The theatre could seat as many as 17,000 people and was used to host Athens' biggest theatrical celebration, the Dionysia. This theatre is credited with being the birthplace of Greek tragedy. The stage of the theatre is decorated with reliefs depicting the myth of Dionysus. Behind the theatre stands the choragic monument of the rich Athenian Thrasyllos. He constructed this monument to house his trophy after winning the best dramatic production competition in 320/319 BC.

Looking down on the Theatre of Dionysus.

Looking down on the Theatre of Dionysus.

Inside the theatre.

Inside the theatre.

Theatre and choragic monument.

Theatre and choragic monument.

Stage Reliefs.

Stage Reliefs.

Next we walked all the way back up the southern slopes to visit the Parthenon. To enter the highest part of the Acropolis, you must pass through the Buele Gate which had several lion statues then climb up the stairs of the Propylaea, or ornamental gateway. The Propylaea was completed in 432, just before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian wars.

Lion at the Beule Gate.

Lion at the Beule Gate.

Propylaea.

Propylaea.

Propylaea.

Propylaea.

Propylaea.

Propylaea.

Once through the Propylaea, you have reached the famous Parthenon. The Parthenon, was built between 447 and 432 BC in the Age of Pericles, and was dedicated to Athena, goddess of war and wisdom. She is the patron of the city of Athens. The Parthenon was designed by the architects Iktinos and Kallikratis.

First view of the Parthenon.

First view of the Parthenon.

The Parthenon.

The Parthenon.

Near the Parthenon stands the Erechtheion, an ancient Greek templed dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon, god of the sea. This temple was built between 421 and 406 BC. Its name comes from a shrine dedicated to the legendary Greek hero Erichthonius. This hero's legend may have been based on the life of a real king, buried nearby. The Porch of the Caryatids with its columns formed of six sculpted maidens stands at the end of the Erechtheion.

The Porch of the Caryatids

The Porch of the Caryatids

The Erechtheion.

The Erechtheion.

The Parthenon.

The Parthenon.

We enjoyed great views from the top of the Acropolis before following the pathway for the Northern Slopes of the Acropolis. On the way back down from the top of the Acropolis, we passed the Temple of Athena Nike. This temple was built around 420BC and was named after the Greek goddess, Athena Nike. Nike means victory. Athena Nike was worshipped by the Athenians in hope of winning the Peloponnesian War against the Spartans.

I very much enjoyed the walk round the northern slopes with its views over Athens. The acropolis is heavily fortified on this side and looks like a castle.

View from Acropolis.

View from Acropolis.

View over Ancient Agora.

View over Ancient Agora.

View over Temple of Olympian Zeus.

View over Temple of Olympian Zeus.

View over Theatre of Dionysus.

View over Theatre of Dionysus.

Temple of Athena Nike.

Temple of Athena Nike.

Acropolis from Northern Slopes.

Acropolis from Northern Slopes.

Church on the Northern Slopes.

Church on the Northern Slopes.

Near the lower exit of the Acropolis were some lovely sculptures. We looked at these, then exited and went for dinner in a street nearby.

Sculptures near exit.

Sculptures near exit.

Dinner

Dinner

Posted by irenevt 02:20 Archived in Greece Comments (2)

Christmas Eve.

More Ancient Remains and a taste of modern Athens

We had purchased the combined entrance ticket for ancient remains; mine cost 30 Euros, my husband's OAP one cost 15 Euros. They both allowed us entrance to seven sites. His was good value as there is no additional senior discount in winter, but all sites for adults are half price in winter anyway. I had to visit all seven to even spend my 30 Euros. We managed this, but had to do them all over three days instead of the permitted five as all the sites closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

On Christmas Eve, we began by visiting Kerameikos, our fourth ancient site. I must admit this was my personal favourite of all the ancient sites we visited for a number of reasons. These reasons were: it was not busy; it had the remnants of ancient buildings, it had beautifully ornate tomb stones, it had an interesting museum, there was a nearby Greek church which looked good in all the photos we took and it was our most exotic encounter with nature in the form of a passing tortoise.

We got to this site by taking the metro to Kerameikos station; we could also have walked to it from Thissio. Kerameikos is situated both inside and outside the ancient city walls of Athens. It was originally on the banks of the Eridanos River. Inner Kerameikos was an area known for its pottery as the clay deposits from the Eridanos River were ideal for pottery. We get the English word ceramics from here. Outer Kerameikos was a cemetery and the site of the Ηiera Hodos, or the Sacred Way, along which the procession for the Eleusinian Mysteries travelled. The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation rites which were held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone. These took place at Eleusis, a town in west Attica.

Looking across inner Kerameikos.

Looking across inner Kerameikos.

Inner Kerameikos.

Inner Kerameikos.

Inner Kerameikos.

Inner Kerameikos.

Inner Kerameikos.

Inner Kerameikos.

Inner Kerameikos.

Inner Kerameikos.

Inner Kerameikos.

Inner Kerameikos.

Outer Kerameikos, cemetery.

Outer Kerameikos, cemetery.

Outer Kerameikos, cemetery.

Outer Kerameikos, cemetery.

Outer Kerameikos, cemetery.

Outer Kerameikos, cemetery.

In the museum.

In the museum.

In the museum.

In the museum.

Passing wildlife.

Passing wildlife.

When we had finished looking at Kerameikos, we walked to the Ancient Agora. This walk led us towards Thissio and through part of Thissio market. A railway line actually cuts through part of the Ancient Agora site. The Agora is situated on a street filled with restaurants. There is a church near the entrance to the Agora.

The Agora was originally a commercial area with a marketplace and many public buildings. There were several temples here including: the Temple of Hephaestus, the Temple of Ares, the Temple of Zeus and Athena and the Temple of Apollo. The Stoa of Attalos was reconstructed on the east side of the Agora and is now a museum, housing clay, bronze and glass objects, sculptures, coins and pottery.

The best preserved of the Ancient Agora's buildings is the Temple of Hephaestus. This is located on a hill and has great views towards the Acropolis.

Another largely intact building, down near the Stoa of Attalos, is the Church of the Holy Apostles which dates back to around the late tenth century. I noticed a little fountain near here with a fish and a trident on it, so I assume it is connected with Poseidon.

Temple of Hephaestus.

Temple of Hephaestus.

The Acropolis from the Ancient Agora.

The Acropolis from the Ancient Agora.

The Temple of Hephaestus.

The Temple of Hephaestus.

Statue of Emperor Hadrian Ancient Agora.

Statue of Emperor Hadrian Ancient Agora.

Peter at Ancient Agora.

Peter at Ancient Agora.

Odeon of Agrippa.

Odeon of Agrippa.

Fountain of Poseidon?

Fountain of Poseidon?

The Church of the Holy Apostles.

The Church of the Holy Apostles.

The peacock , symbol of Hera.

The peacock , symbol of Hera.

Stoa of Attalos.

Stoa of Attalos.

Masks of comedy and tragedy.

Masks of comedy and tragedy.

Stoa of Attalos.

Stoa of Attalos.

Statue of Triton, Odeon of Agrippa.

Statue of Triton, Odeon of Agrippa.

After the Ancient Agora, we walked through Thissio which was absolutely packed with people. We went back to Monastiraki Square, then headed through the modern shopping streets. I don't know if this area is always heaving, or if it was just so busy because it was Christmas Eve, but we could scarcely move for the crowds. We stopped at a large square to have a look at the cathedral of Athens.

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Annunciation, or more simply just Metropolis, is the main cathedral of Athens. Construction of the Cathedral began on Christmas Day, 1842, so when we visited it was almost its birthday. The cathedral was made of marble taken from seventy-two demolished churches. It took twenty years to build and was complete by May 1862.The bodies of two saints killed by the Ottoman Turks are buried inside: Saint Philothei and Patriarch Gregory V. The cathedral is beautiful inside and is well worth visiting.

There is a beautiful little church next to the cathedral. It is the Church of St. Eleftherios but is also known as Little Mitropoli. We had a quick look inside here.

In the square in front of the cathedral there is a statue of Saint Constantine XI and a statue of Archbishop Damaskinos, who was Archbishop of Athens during World War II.

Athens Cathedral, Metropolis.

Athens Cathedral, Metropolis.

The Church of St. Eleftherios, Little Mitropoli.

The Church of St. Eleftherios, Little Mitropoli.

Saint Constantine XI.

Saint Constantine XI.

We then walked to Syntagma Square which had a large Christmas tree in its midst.

Syntagma Square.

Syntagma Square.

Posted by irenevt 05:39 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Christmas Day

We wish you a Merry Christmas.

Christmas Day; we allowed ourselves a bit of extra sleep: ah the luxury of getting up at nine o'clock. Most archaeological sites were closed on Christmas Day. We set out to explore some of the modern day city proper. We started with a..... .....graveyard. OK, I know it's not the cheeriest way to start off Christmas Day, but I had read that the First Cemetery of Athens was worth seeing and I do find historical cemeteries interesting. We walked to the cemetery from Acropoli Station and ended up entering through a side entrance by mistake. Thus, it was we started off in the modern part of the cemetery which people were visiting to place flowers on the graves of the recently departed. This was not what I had intended to visit and I felt like a bit of an intruder. Fortunately, after I retreated from this area, I found the historical part of the cemetery with its highly ornate graves of the rich and famous. Greek lettering did not help with our efforts to find the graves of the famous, but, oh well, we just looked at the ornamentation and were satisfied. Famous people buried here include: Melina Mercouri, actress, singer and politician; T.H. White, the author of 'The First and Future King' - one of my favourite books; Heinrich Schliemann, the German archaeologist who excavated Troy, rather controversially using dynamite and Demis Roussos, the famous Greek singer. One of the loveliest tombs has a beautiful sculpture called 'The Sleeping Girl'. This tragic tomb marks the grave of Sophia Afentaki. She was from the island of Kimolos. She was born in 1855 and died from tuberculosis in 1873 when she was just eighteen years old. The Sleeping Girl sculpture by Yiannoulis Chalepas is a beautiful tombstone in her memory.

The Sleeping Girl.

The Sleeping Girl.

Nearby stand the tombs of Georgios Averoff, a Greek businessman and philanthropist who lived from 1815 to 1899 and Melina Mercouri, who lived from 1920 to 1994. Thee tomb of Heinrich Schliemann occupies the hill behind these tombs.

The grave of Averoff with Schliemann's grave in the background.

The grave of Averoff with Schliemann's grave in the background.

Monument depicting a mother during the German occupation of Greece in the 2nd World War.

Monument depicting a mother during the German occupation of Greece in the 2nd World War.

Grave of Melina Mercouri.

Grave of Melina Mercouri.

We left the First Cemetery of Athens and headed for the nearby Panathenaic Stadium. This dates from around 330B.C. when a stadium was built here by Lykourgos, an Athenian statesman, on the site of a small racecourse . This stadium was used as the venue for the Panathenaic Games, a religious and athletic festival celebrated every four years in honor of the goddess Athena. Hundreds of years later the stadium was rebuilt entirely in marble by Herodes Atticus, an Athenian born Roman senator. When the Roman Emperor Theodosius I banned blood sports and the worship of the ancient Greek gods in the fourth century, the stadium was abandoned and fell into disrepair. It was excavated in 1869 and used to host the Zappas Olympics in 1870 and 1875. It hosted the first modern Olympics in 1896 and was used again as an Olympic venue in 2004.

We did not pay to go into the stadium. We just viewed it from the outside.

Athlete limbering up outside the stadium.

Athlete limbering up outside the stadium.

The discus thrower.

The discus thrower.

The wood breaker.

The wood breaker.

After looking at the Panathenic Stadium, we crossed the road to the National Gardens. We passed the equestrian statue of General Karaiskakis by Michael Tombros, then headed towards the Zappeion Exhibition Hall. This hall is named after Evangelis Zappas. He was a rich businessman who lived in Romania. He fought in the Greek War of Independence between 1821 and 1832. He wanted to revive the traditions of Ancient Greece and decided to start with the Olympic Games. Despite much opposition, he succeeded in re-starting these and on November 15th, 1859, the first modern Olympic Games were held in central Athens. They were called the Zappeion Olympiads in Zappas' honour. The Zappeion Conference and Exhibition Center was built to serve the needs of the Olympic Games.

Statue of General Karaiskakis.

Statue of General Karaiskakis.

The Zappeion.

The Zappeion.

The Zappeion.

The Zappeion.

Not far from the Zappeion on the edge of the National Gardens there is a statue of Byron, who was extremely pro-Greek. Apparently he is still very popular in Greece. Not far from the statue, we found the remains of some Roman baths.

Byron statue.

Byron statue.

Roman Baths.

Roman Baths.

National Gardens.

National Gardens.

Peter in the National Gardens.

Peter in the National Gardens.

We wandered all around the National Gardens looking at its trees, ponds and statues, then we headed for the parliament where we watched the famous Greek Evzones, or presidential guards, marching around in their rather strange costumes.

Evzones.

Evzones.

Evzones.

Evzones.

Evzones.

Evzones.

Parliament.

Parliament.

Next we went to visit some famous buildings near the Panepistimio metro stop. These buildings were The Academy of Athens, which is the highest research establishment in Greece, The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. which is the oldest institute of higher education in Greece and the Athenian National Library. This trilogy of buildings were designed by the Danish architect Theophil Freiherr von Hansen.

The University.

The University.

Academy of Athens.

Academy of Athens.

Athena.

Athena.

Appolo.

Appolo.

National Library.

National Library.

From here we walked to Klathmonos Square which was staging a Christmas market. I liked the bronze sculpture of three intertwined figures in the centre of the square. This statue dates from 1988 and was sculpted by Vasilis Doropoulos. It symbolizes National Reconciliation.

Christmas Market.

Christmas Market.

Christmas market.

Christmas market.

Klathmonos Square.

Klathmonos Square.

Klathmonos Square.

Klathmonos Square.

After browsing around the market, we returned home and I cooked us Christmas dinner, washed down with an excellent bottle of Greek wine.

Posted by irenevt 05:02 Archived in Greece Tagged greece Comments (0)

Boxing Day.

We played it by ear.

We knew what we were doing on Boxing Day - we were heading for a Greek Island. Somehow this did not happen and we ended up playing the entire day by ear. Neither of us could explain how this happened or why and we both blamed each other. However, having said that, the day still went well and we both still enjoyed it.

We started the day by going to see the Arch of Hadrian. The Arch of Hadrian dates from 131 BC. It was built to celebrate the arrival in Athens of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. The arch marks the border between ancient Athens and Hadrian's new city. The arch is made of marble. It is eighteen metres high. Two inscriptions are carved on opposite sides of the arch: the first on the side facing the Acropolis reads "This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus"; the second on the other side, reads "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus". Across the road from The Arch of Hadrian there is a statue of Melina Mercouri.

The Arch of Hadrian.

The Arch of Hadrian.

Melina Mercouri.

Melina Mercouri.

We walked from the Arch of Hadrian into Plaka, the oldest part of modern Athens. The first sight we came across was the Church of Saint Catherine. We viewed it only from the outside as it was not open. Then we walked on to the cylindrical Monument of Lysicrates. This was built by Lysicrates, a wealthy patron of music in the nearby Theater of Dionysus, to celebrate him being awarded first prize for one of the performances he had sponsored in 335/334 BC.

Monument of Lysicrates.

Monument of Lysicrates.

Church of Saint Catherine.

Church of Saint Catherine.

Walking on from this monument, we saw steep restaurant covered streets, more churches and a street lined with a multitude of shops. We then doubled back and climbed up to the top of Plaka. This took us through a beautiful area called Anafiotika. The stunningly lovely houses here were built by workers from the island of Anafi who had come to Athens to refurbish King Otto's Palace. Anafi Island had a reputation for producing the best builders in Greece.

Plaka.

Plaka.

Restaurant Street, Plaka.

Restaurant Street, Plaka.

Plaka.

Plaka.

Souvenir shop, Plaka.

Souvenir shop, Plaka.

Plaka.

Plaka.

Church in Plaka.

Church in Plaka.

Anafiotika.

Anafiotika.

Anafiotika.

Anafiotika.

Anafiotika.

Anafiotika.

Anafiotika.

Anafiotika.

When we reached the top of Anafiotika, we came to a viewing platform with fantastic views over Athens. We rested for a while and took these in. Then we walked on back to the Acropolis. Although the Acropolis was closed the area was busy and Areopagus Hill was chock a block with tourists.

Tired cat, Plaka.

Tired cat, Plaka.

View from the top of Plaka.

View from the top of Plaka.

We decided to climb Philopappos Hill to the Philopappu Monument. This monument is dedicated to Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappos who lived between 65 and 116 AD. He was a prince from the Kingdom of Commagene. The monument depicts Philopappos as a consul, riding on a chariot. There are lovely views from Philopappos Hill, both back towards the Acropolis and out towards Piraeus and the sea.

View back towards the Acropolis.

View back towards the Acropolis.

View from Philopappos Hill.

View from Philopappos Hill.

View from Philopappos Hill.

View from Philopappos Hill.

View from Philopappos Hill.

View from Philopappos Hill.

Philopappos Monument.

Philopappos Monument.

On the way back down the hill, we stopped off at the Prison of Socrates. In reality Socrates was never imprisoned here. These rooms carved from a rock may have been used as a dwelling. During World War II they were certainly used to hide antiquities from the Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum to keep them safe from German looters.

The prison of Socrates.

The prison of Socrates.

We then found a restaurant near the Acropoli Metro Station where we had Greek platter for two for dinner -this was an assortment of small amounts of many typical Greek dishes such as octopus, spinach pie, sausage, moussaka. We washed this all down with some excellent draft alpha beer.

Greek platter dinner.

Greek platter dinner.

Posted by irenevt 05:15 Archived in Greece Comments (2)

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