Athens – Day 1 anticipation

10 Oct

We woke up early on our first full day in Greece because of the five hour time difference from Shanghai.  After eating a quick breakfast at the hotel (where we experienced our first Greek yogurt and honey) we headed out with the goal of seeing as many major sites as we could before we flew out that evening for Crete.

The hotel had been chosen because it was within walking distance of the Acropolis so we headed first to the Acropolis Museum at the base of the hill.  The museum is built over the remains of a long lost town and there are clear tiles at different points overlooking the archeological site which you can see beneath your feet.  A sign by the  door said that hopefully in the near future tourists will be able to walk those same ancient streets with the ruins.

Walking "above" the ancient streets

Walking “above” the ancient streets

As a museum, it is a streamlined building with spectacular views.  Some of the important statues from the Acropolis have been relocated to the museum to protect them from the elements.  There was also an informational video playing that gave us a sense of what had been – the buildings and temples before the wars and conquistadors that ruined them.  It was a good introduction to the general area.

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Posing with the reconstruction of the frieze on the top of the Parthenon

Posing with the reconstruction of the frieze on the top of the Parthenon

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The back of the pillars gracing the smaller temple.  I love the braids.

The back of the pillars gracing the smaller temple. I love the braids.

From the outdoor café of the museum - with the Parthenon as back drop

From the outdoor café of the museum – with the Parthenon as back drop

After the museum we then purchased our tickets and started the long climb up to the top of the Acropolis.

Theater of Dionysis

Theater of Dionysis

The sun was beating down, but we took the time to enjoy each site.  There were theaters and temples and about halfway up, the most beautiful music coming from around the bend.

Heading up - what these stones have seen!

Heading up – what these stones have seen!

A postcard perfect view

A postcard perfect view

We slowly approached and then realized that a musical group was doing a dress rehearsal in the recreated theater ahead.  The acoustics were stellar, even though the group was over a hundred feet below the amplification was perfect.  We must have spent 20 minutes there – listening, enjoying, absorbing.  It was magical.

The top of the theater, musicians were far, far below

After rousing ourselves, we then approached the Acropolis itself.  It’s huge – meant to inspire awe and the entrance itself is stunning.  We took many shots trying to capture the beauty that was there.

Climbing up

Climbing up

The pillars are so big - truly not on human scale

The pillars are so big – truly not on human scale

And then finally, we were there.

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Our trip to Greece was starting really well.  We had only been there slightly over twelve hours and already seen so much.  After taking a break in the shade we moved out to continue exploring.

Sometimes trips really hit it out of the park – this one started with a bang.  Have you had a trip like that before?

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12 Responses to “Athens – Day 1 anticipation”

  1. Sherri October 10, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    Wonderful! I’m loving these Greek posts for obvious reasons. I bet it was very hot though, and you were glad of the shade 🙂

    • gkm2011 October 10, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

      Yes, the first day was definitely warm – towards the end of the trip it got progressively cooler, but for the first few days we were happy for shade.

  2. Giovannoni Claudine October 11, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    It has changed quite a lot… a lovely reportage!

    • gkm2011 October 11, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      When were you last there? We had a great trip.

      • Giovannoni Claudine October 11, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

        Too long ago, my dear! I left aviation 17 years ago and since then I wasn’t in Athen anymore… pity, it’s a lovely city indeed! Thank you for bringing back to me sweet memories! Wish you a lovely w.e. :-)claudine

  3. ottominuti October 11, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    Athens!! So Greece it was…one of my favourite places on Earth. Enjoy the sun and the atmosphere!

    • gkm2011 October 11, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      We did – and after living in China it didn’t feel crowded at all, even in the heart of the tourist areas!

  4. ladyofthecakes October 11, 2013 at 1:28 am #

    I’ve got column envy now…

    • gkm2011 October 11, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      I think that may be a common side effect when viewing photos of Greece!

  5. thirdeyemom October 12, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Oh I love Greece! My husband and I spent three weeks there on our honeymoon! Are you going to any of the islands?

    • gkm2011 October 12, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      Yes – we went to Crete and also Santorini! More to come!

      • thirdeyemom October 15, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

        Yeah! Santorini was my favorite. Spent five wonderful days there and unforgettable.

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