A Travellerspoint blog

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

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Comments

Your tired cat above looks exactly like our little Mimi. How did she get to Greece?

You make this look lovely. Thinking we may want to visit some time.

by Beausoleil

Ha ha, I really love cats. They are just so independent. Will get one as a pet when I retire.

by irenevt

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