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                              ATHENS - GREECE

May 28/09

From the town of Paros we were able to take the 6 am ferry to Athens, arriving 2 1/2 hours later at Piraeus, the main port 10 km south of Athens.

Our first order of business was to attempt to find the Volvo dealer to collect the waterpump replacement that we had ordered. But this proved easier said than done. We were shuffled from one bus stop to another, everyone we asked having a different idea of how to get to where we needed to go. We walked for miles and miles continually getting the run-around. Finally 3 hours later, sore feet and exhausted, we found the little shop and retrieved our part. Time for sightseeing!

Athens

We found a bus to Athens which bus dumped us at Monastiraki Square. The City of Athens has grown from a town of a few thousand people to a metropolis of more than a million in the lifetime of some of the people who live in it. Add to that a multitude of tourists and you have a very very busy city with crowded streets and lots of activity.


The Acropolis

Since our time was so limited, using our guide book map we made a beeline toward the part of town where the Acropolis reins above in its glory.

The Acropolis dominates Athens, towering over the city at 515 feet above sea level. Dating back to Mycenaean age, about 1500 BC., it was not only a  palace and a fortress, but a whole city and acquired great religious, intellectual and cultural importance.



Theatre of Dionysos

There was a long hot climb to the top of the Acropolis. Arriving at the top looking and feeling very much worse for wear, we were rewarded with a view of  Athens as the old and the new vied for space in a magnificent panoramic view of Mt Lycabettus,
with a tiny church perched atop.
The small temple of Thission was built in 449 BC and is virtually intact

The Parthenon is a skilfully conceived piece of architecture with not a single parallel or straight line, it is all curves for aesthetic value.

Odeum of Herodes Atticus built in 161 AD by the Romans, now site of summer events and concerts

The Parthenon was completed in 438 BC and still
being worked on today. It must be in a perpetual state
of restoration, judging by all the scaffolding that
enclosed the structure.

Giant Temple of
Olympian Zeus

and the Olympic stadium

Porch of the Caryatids statues of 6 stone maidens, all different

We continued our whirlwind tour of Athens, taking in as many of the sights as we could. We wandered past tiny Byzantine churches still squat defiantly amidst the busy streets. Amidst the big shops, brightly coloured woven bags with tassels, lots of traffic, crowded streets, cafes and restaurants, majestic ancient pillars stood in remembrance to Athens Roman past.

In the Old town,  off the beaten path, we found deserted intriguing twisting whitewashed alleys to explore - roof top gardens, potted plants, marble stairways and enchanting homes.

We passed by the usual tourist shops and some out of the way places, where business was slow, and the seller was taking the opportunity to snooze!

We caught a late ferry back to Poros, happy to put up our sore feet and reminisce about the day's exciting expedition.

The next leg of our journey would be to traverse through the Corinth Canal

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