Where are we?

Arrived in Athens



Saturday Oct 27th

The day started early from our Air BnB since we have to return the rental car. The sun was just coming up as we are driving to Schiphol Airport.  We drive to the rental car drop off which was great because there was no lineup there! Even though it was a Saturday there was quite a lineup of cars going into the airport.

Once returned we headed to the departure area of the airport. We found our bag dropped off but it wasn't opening for another 15 mins. In the meanwhile I walked around looking for Icelandair for Mar's departure. Nothing was on the airport monitor yet since it was to early.  We leave at 12 and she leaves at 2pm.  So the earliest she can probably check in is 11.  I tried checking her in online but didnt work. Said had to check in at airport. Once we were at the airport I tried again at a kiosk, but again not allowed. Wonder why? Anyway our bag drop-off opened so we went thru and once dropped off went back to Mar who was waiting nearby. As it turned out Icelandair is way done the end of the terminal. So we said our goodbyes and Dwayne and I headed towards our gate since we still have to go thru security and then find breakfast.

We got thru security and started heading to our gate. We stopped and had a breakfast bagette each, small water and an almond cookie and it came to 25EUROS!!! Stupid price! $37C! Anyways since we wont have anything now until we get to Athens at 4pm we had to have something.

Once we boarded - the stewardess of Aegean Air all have very formal uniforms, they all had their hair pulled back and in a low bun so that their hat would sit properly on their head. They all wear red lipstick.  Once we were in the air we were surprised that they were serving food! And on top of that free beer and wine!!  All this on a 3 hour flight that only cost us $183US for a oneway ticket!
My meal of chicken and orzo pasta and my smiling bun :) 


Once we landed we found the metro to take to the main square in Athens, Syntagma Square,  no problem. Paid the 10E each and got on. Took a little less then an hour to get to our stop. Once we got above ground we walked towards the studio apartment we have rented until Nov 1st. Using my maps.me found it and got in using the code the owner had emailed to me.

On the subway from the airport

Our first views of Greece


Hellenic Parliament (Parliament of Greece) is located in the Old  Royal Palace built in  1843 which faces Syntagma Sq. 
Hotels facing Syntagma Square

Coming into the studio- first is the dining area



Even a small balcony- at least the one and only window opens :) 
Small hot plate for cooking - hummm going to be different
The building our apartment is in 
The place looks exactly like it does on Booking.com :)  But the kitchen is really tiny! No stove, just a hot plate! Ummm this is going to be different for cooking. After unpacking a few things we headed to the nearest grocery store to pick up a few things and something for supper. Will have to be careful since we HAVE NO room in our suitcases to bring anything leftover! We were both at 49.5 lbs and thats after I put what I could in my purse and backpack.

We found a small grocery store about a block away. Right away I found my supper :) a cheese pie! Dwayne picked up a pizza bread from the bakery.  Then a few things for a salad and hamburger that was already spiced up and made into burger for tomorrow's dinner.
yummy cheese pie!
Sunday Oct 28th

This morning Dwayne tried to make his usual eggs and toast but with the hot plate it wasn't going to happen since it wont heat up enough! He left the pan on the burner a long time to make his toast first - but nothing really happened. I then put the bread right on the burner and it toasts great :)  I then tried to make the egg in the microwave - which is a combo grill also. I did pierce it to avoid a blowup mess and put it in. Turned out not to bad - I haven't really used a microwave for more then melting butter for popcorn and heating leftovers LOL!!  Glad I bought yogurt for breakfast!

We then headed out to see Athens! As we go down the street we see it's closed off and people are lining the sides of the street. I remember reading yesterday that today is a holiday in Greece - Ohi Day - Anniversary of the No.  In 1940 the Greek prime minister said no to demands made by dictator Mussolini. The day is celebrated with a military parade.  We did see lots of police presence around! Guess just in case there were demonstrations.  We thought this was a good time to go sightseeing!

The condos here have lovely balcony gardens!

These are the Evzones - guards in front of the Hellenic Parliament - on their way to the parliament. There they stand perfectly still for an hour then the changing of the guards happen-check it out online, very strange!
This is another one by the Prime's Residence. 

We walked over to the Panathenaic Stadium built in 1885 and the revival of the Summer Olympics in 1896

then on to the Temple of Zeus - which use to have 104 columns but now only 16 remain
I'm standing in front of one of the columns that fell, showing the layers of granite used in building the columns
Our first look at the Acropolis up on the hill



Hadrian's Arch

We then got on the hop on hop off bus and toured around for a bit.  We originally got off at the Acropolis but we found out that entrance was free today and the lineup was ridicules so back on the bus and ride around until later in the afternoon


We got off at the National Archaeological Museum and decided it was time for lunch :)

When we got off the bus lunch was a ham & cheese pie for me and chicken baguette for Dwayne bought from this little cafe.  We went into the Museum which was also free. But not really our "thing" but did walk around and check things out. Glad we are seeing a lot of things free today :)

Back onto the bus and thru side streets of Athens. Once we got to Syntagma Square we got off to start walking along the pedestrian streets in the Plaka - a busy area with LOTS of restaurants and shops. We just keep walking along and then get onto the walkway that zigzags thru the houses in the Anafiotika area to the Acropolis. We get to the top but there is no entrance so head down the other side. Once at the bottom we found the entrance to the slopes of Acropolis - and hardly a lineup!! So we pulled out our free ticket we had got at the main entrance earlier and got in.  Interesting walk to the top.  Also a good way to burn off those cheese pies LOL!!! Then we get to the main entrance and the number of people lining up to now leave (its around 3pm) is AMAZING!! But not lineup for us to get in :)

Sights from our bus tour

Flea markets all over the place!



Unfortunately there is a LOT of graffiti all over the city!

Ok a bit of a fixer upper - but maybe a cheap price? LOL!!

Klafthmonos Square - with the Acropolis on the hill

Not ANY bicycles here!! Only motorbikes

Lots of trees in the neighbourhoods - had to make sure we didnt get smacked by a branch as we drove by!



Walking in the Plaka area 
Then we found the back way up in the Anafiotika area know for its cute little white houses and narrow walkways











Once we were at the top 


Our walk up the slopes

Theatre of Dionysus

Odeon of Herod the Atticus - still used during Athens Music Festival each year

YES! We made it to the Acropolis 

Amazing amount of people in this area - this is the lineup to get OUT!!

We just couldnt get over the number of people on this site!! Guess when you can save 20E each its worth going :)  Anyways were really enjoyed walking around and seeing the ruins. It wasn't that busy once we got in
Looking down to the Odeon

The Propylaea at the entrance.
The Mighty Parthenon! 



closeup of the left top side 




Erechtheion
here you can see where new concrete has filled in areas where granite is missing to reconstruct this wall of the Erechtheion

All the granite pieces are numbered
And there are a lot laying around 

Looking towards the port of Piraeus

Looking down from where we walked up



just to the left of the treed area is where we are staying





walking up here is not easy! No taking pics and walking!!
 And that was I first day in Athens. I never knew that the Parthenon was sitting up so high and is contained with in walls. Guess again I wasn't listening very well in social studies LOL!!!
Tomorrow we are using the second day of our hop on hop off bus ticket and heading to the port of Piraeus.

One last look at one of the Evzones in front of the Parliament - LOVE those pompoms on the shoes :)













2 comments:

  1. LOVE this, Lyd. Glad you got to see the changing of the guards at Syntagma Square. Quite the sight. The day I climbed up to see the Parthenon, i had just been wandering through the Plaka, then found myself at the Forum. Kept walking up and up this winding path and realized I was half way up to the Acroplis. Do i continue up without telling Dad where I was, or go back down and have to climb again later. Didnt want to waste the climb, so continued on. I LOVED the Parthenon! Met Dad on my way back down. He had awoken from his nap and came looking for me.

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  2. As I mentioned on FB, your apartment is quite impressive. When we were in Athens, John and I split to go different directions. He wanted to see the Parthenon and some of the other ruins which I wasn't remotely interested in. One of the things I did was take the on-off bus and walked around the Plaka but I wasn't too impressed with Athens. I found it way too large, loud, and BUSY. I went back to the ship. I loved all the other places we went to in Greece but not Athens.

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