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Hot and Brewing Athens

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

After the overnight ferry from Crete, we land in Pireaus at 6.00am and to the urgent sounds of “please leave your key at reception!” disembark to find the railway into Athens. All goes to plan, we arrive out our apartment at around 7.30am and fortunately, the lovely people at Lion Appartments let us check in early – a god send.

if it is 5 storeys, white and as far as the eye can see you want - athens is for you

With this new found time, we head straight into bustling Athens on the new and rather fancy (still being paid for) metro. Some of the best ruins of the day are at the edge of the platform, but we manage to look past the beggars and see our favourite sewer so far. Built by Hadrian no less, it was actually a very nice small insight and completely tourist free.
With this invigorating bit of culture, we strode up the hill to the Parthenon, where we were greeted with signs saying that we had come at the Greek Cultural Weekend ( the only one of the year) and that ALL public monuments in Athens were free. With a now spare 48 Euro’s burning a hole in our pocket we decided to refresh ourselves with a frozen lemonade, and before you knew it, the spare euro’s were gone. (well not quite, but 4.50 for a lemonade – I ask you!)

classic shot of the Parthenon

The Parthenon was wonderful as one would expect, but given it was free, it was pretty rammed. Whilst being in awe, our only feeling was that it was hard to “get under the skin” of the place. Being behind ropes, with lots of people and scaffolding, made the monuments a bit remote. Still, we all enjoyed it, spent the remaining Euro’s on lunch, and set off for a siesta back through the National Gardens. Lots of guards with pom poms on their feet amused us for quite some time (the guards were a kind of “morris dancer gone mad but with old gun” character, but with the unrest in Greece, it is probably best to make the rioting crowds feel sorry for you rather than club them to the ground as happens in most counties. Saying that, there are also a lot of riot police and everyone is very edgy, I thik they are preparing for it all to kick off.

and may I present to you...... the Parthenon

In the early evening, we trudged up the hill near our apartment (at 14 euro’s for thefunicular tickets we were not up for being ripped off), watched the sun set over theParthenon, gleaned more advice on Australia (Cairns – what a dump, yu wanna go ti Brisbin!), and avoiding the wild dogs, we met a lovely old man playing his accordion in the street, and having young children, got several renditions of well known classics – you’ll be coming round the mountain being the most apt as the kids dragged their weary feet back down the hill and to bed.

finally the batteries have worn out

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