07.10.2014 - 07.22.2014
We ferried back to Athens for the last few days of our trip and stayed at the Plaka Hotel. We found it to be very convenient for walking to nearby sites, shops, and restaurants.
The city was a stark contrast from the islands. There was a ton of traffic and it was dirty and gritty. But, I found it amazing to walk down a sidewalk, turn a corner, and stumble onto a random archeological site that was unearthed when a water main broke and had to be fixed. These sites were everywhere. Modern day Athens next to ancient Athens.
On our first day, we set off from our hotel to find the Parthenon. The Acropolis can be seen from anywhere in the Plaka so we just started walking toward it. We didn't exactly find our way on the first pass because the Plaka is a maze of streets and sidewalks. We figured that as long as we were going uphill then we were headed in the right direction. But sometimes our path would begin to go downhill or just dead end so we would have to back track and find another way. Every now and then we would stumble onto a sign that pointed the way.
Eventually, we found our way to the entrance and the entire site was awe-inspiring.
The amphitheater is still used for concerts so it has some modern touches.
Taking it all in.
Another day was spent exploring other areas that were close. The Parliament Building, Temple of Zeus, Hadrian's Arch, and the Acropolis Museum were all within walking distance of each other.
When we arrived at the Parliament building, there were several military-type police groups with guns hanging around the outer edges of the square. It was a little unnerving at first but there were no riots or protests while we were there.
We arrived in time to see the changing of the guard.
I found one of the few spots of shade in the square while waiting for Eric to finish taking pictures.
Temple of Zeus - We didn't go onto the grounds but just looked in from the street.
The Acropolis Museum - There were a lot of beautiful statues and interesting artifacts but it was almost too much to absorb during one visit.
This is a reconstruction of the West Pediment of the Parthenon.
The Caryatids of the Erechtheum
One of the best things about our hotel was the rooftop bar. It faced the Acropolis and the view of the Parthenon was perfect...especially at night when it was lit up. It was an amazing way to end each night.