Friday, July 22, 2016

Touristy Stuff


Jane and I decided that this week would be a good time to go see some of the main attractions here in Athens. A lot of you are probably a little surprised that I've been here for over a month and only just went to see the Acropolis two days ago. To be honest, I did not really come here for the touristy stuff; I figured I'd go see the sites while I was here, but my main purpose in coming was to help Jane and take care of / play with The Kid as much as possible. So, based on that criteria, I have had a really successful trip! That being said, Jane and Phil are making sure I have a great time while I'm here, and a part of that is seeing all of the cool old stuff!

We purchased tickets that are good for 5 days, and include entry into a bunch of sites: Acropolis (and slopes), Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, The Library of Hadrian, Olympieion, Kerameikos, and the Lykeion of Aristotle. It basically covers all of the big, main sites that you'd want to see. If you were feeling ambitious you could probably hit all of these in one day. The 5 day pass is nice because you can spread the sites out over the week, so if you are not crunched for time you can see things at a more leisurely pace. 

The first thing you should know is that if you come here during the high tourism season, you will get totally and completely gouged on the prices. According to Jane, the price for the pass was 12 euros during the winter, when we were there the price had jumped to 30 euros! There is some good news, however, for any students out there: if you have your student ID you get 50% off, so my pass was only 15 euros (still more than the off-season price, but much easier to swallow than 30 ). 

The second thing you should know is that it is WAY better to buy your tickets outside Olympieion (The Temple of Zeus) than it is to buy them at the Acropolis. There was absolutely no line for us, but at the Acropolis the line was massive! Save yourself some time and heed our advice. 

Our first stop was Olympieion, or the Temple of Zeus. It was a nice way to begin our day; it was early enough that it was not very crowded and we were able to take a lot more time looking around and taking a ton of pictures for the blog! On the way to the Acropolis we passed the Arch of Hadrian, which is right outside the Olympieion enclosure. One thing that struck me as funny was to see these ancient structures (if you consider constantly-rennovated and rebuilt structures to be ancient) in the middle of a bustling city. It's hard to imagine what Athens would have looked like in the past when those structures were in their prime!

That's me in front of the Temple of Zeus! It was a gorgeous day!

Temple of Zeus in the foreground. In the background you can see the Acropolis up on the hill; the building that is visible is the Parthenon.

Another view of the temple. It was just so pretty! I couldn't stop taking pictures! Can anyone name the type of column in this photo? If you said, "Corinthian," you are correct!

The foundation and some debris from an old house.
Jane and The Kid chilling in front of old Roman baths.

Here I am standing beneath the Arch of Hadrian. Again, in the background you can see part of the Acropolis.

We finally moved on to the Acropolis.

I do not know what this is, but I had to take a photo because this face looks very similar to that of Davey Jones from whichever Pirates of the Caribbean movie he was in...I guess we know where the design team found their inspiration!

This is the Theatre of Dionysus on the slope of the Acropolis. I know what you're thinking; Why is there a creepy half-person in this picture? These are the risks you take when you do a panoramic photo in a space full of people. I actually didn't notice it until Jane pointed it out to me. I have no regrets.

A blurry shot of the Erechtheum

An even blurrier shot of the Erechtheum, but one with proof that we were actually there, and didn't just steal a picture off of Google Images. 

Me in front of the Parthenon

A panoramic view from the top of the Acropolis. Beautiful! Pictures don't do it justice.

A much better view of the Parthenon

I know, I know. What a dumb picture. It serves two purposes: 1. I took a picture because I loved the stonework, and am storing this in my "One Day When I Own My Own House" file, and 2. It gives you a teeny glimpse of what the lines are like to get tickets outside the Acropolis. Please, for the love of all that is good in this world, get your tickets at the Temple of Zeus. This segment of the line is about 1/10 of the full length. This will be my final warning.

Standing on Areopagus, AKA Mars Hill. Acropolis in the background.

...I can't remember what this was. Oops! It's pretty, so just enjoy it for now, and let's hope Jane will come in and shed some light on it for us. 

This was a cool (probably haunted) building that we passed on our way out. We couldn't figure out what it was, but we loved it!

Old stuff at the Roman Agora 
This is the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens; it's the cathedral church of the Archbishopric of Athens and the rest of Greece. It was quite pretty!

The inside of the cathedral; It's beautiful and oppressive- what more could you ask for in a church?

We still have more sites to see, so there's much more to come here on the blog!

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