Thursday, September 16, 2010

Athens in a Day

This will likely be the shortest of the trip installments for the ol' bloggity-blog, as we were only in Athens for a whopping 21 hours.

We left Atlanta at 4:30 pm on a 2-3-2 plane. (I do not identify planes by their make and model... I can't keep the 7__7's straight or tell a Boeing from an Airbus, so I just use the "how many seats are in each row from left to right" method.) Matt and I cozied in to our 2 seats on the right side of the plane, he at the aisle and I at the window. There was no fight for armrest supremacy, since after two years of marriage, we have (thankfully) learned how to share. The flight was uneventful with poor movie selection (we were not fortunate enough to snag a plane with TV's in the head rests). We snoozed as much as possible, which wasn't much, and arrived in Athens around 10:30am their time. Made it through Customs in record time, checked into the Hilton Athens and were off to explore.

We walked from our hotel through the Plaka (once we found it). On the way there, we passed by the site of the first modern Olympics games held in 1896. Let's just say that the stadium was just a wee bit smaller than what is needed today. We had lunch at a horrible gyro place in the Plaka and made our way up to the Acropolis... no easy feat. We had a map, and we are both typically good with maps, but holy hell the Plaka is one confusing, winding, dead-end road neighborhood. After climbing some mystery stairs and a hill, we were finally where we needed to be.

I couldn't help but think back to my Humanities classes in 12th grade and all that we learned about ancient Greek art and architecture. Unfortunately, that was 10 years ago, and I couldn't really remember much. But, I do know I learned it at one time, and I did remember something about Ionic columns. Since I knew Matt had no idea about any of that stuff, I spouted off some things that made me sound smart and I have absolutely no idea if any of it was correct. What he doesn't know won't hurt him. But, it was awesome to be climbing up this hill to see ruins of things that were built 2500 years ago.

The first thing we saw was the Theater of Herod Atticus. It was there that we ran into a nice, young American couple from Miami, and since it was a good backdrop for pictures, we asked them to exchange photo ops. We took their photo, and then we had a big surprise planned for ours. The UF alumni magazine publishes photos of Gators' travels all over the world, either wearing Gator gear or holding a flag or something. So, I brought our Gator flag in my purse and we whipped it out for a few pictures. BIG no-no, folks. This is apparently frowned upon by the powers that be at the Acropolis. So, they confiscated our flag (we were able to pick it up on the way out) and made us delete the photos from our camera. We used our little point and shoot, and although I am 100% positive it went back into my purse, that is actually the last time I remember seeing it. No idea what happened to it... I'm almost fully unpacked and still can't find it. Thankfully, it had no pictures on it and was pretty old anyway, so I guess I'll just have to suck it up and get a new one.

So, after the flag fiasco, we headed further up hill to the Parthenon, Erectheum, and Propylae. This provided a great view of Athens, and I enjoyed marveling at how civilizations were able to construct these amazing monuments without modern equipment. The skill and craftsmanship is just awe inspiring to me. We got our fill of the top of the Acropolis and decided to head back down, fetch our flag (which never made another appearance on our trip) and check out the Theater of Dionysus and Temple of Zeus.

After several hours of walking in the warm sun on little sleep, we were ready to head back to the hotel for a swim and dinner at Milos Estiatoria. The swim was refreshing and the food was delicious. We snapped a few photos of the Acropolis all lit up at night... unfortunately, my nighttime photography leaves much to be desired. Then, it was off to bed for an early morning ferry to Milos! To be continued...

Acropolis from our hotel balcony

Theater of Herod Atticus


Model pose in front of the Parthenon... take that, Gisele!

Lycabettus Hill


Theater of Dionysus

Temple of Zeus

Athens at sunset


Marden Family said...

Love love the pictures but I seriously cannot believe they took your gator flag. Rude!

Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin said...

So weird they took your flag :(

I refer to planes the same way!

Amy said...

What an amazing trip!!! Love all the pics.