Sunday, September 5, 2010

Come to Athens with us!

Somwehere above the Dutch Land our adventures begin...

Chris got a very good workout on the streets of Athens:

We began our culinary exeprience by eating a classic Greek dish- grilled octopus at Paradosiako (Traditional) Restaurant

Komboloi beads: a Greek tradition that is meant to relieve stress and pass the time. "Worry beads" are derived from the knotted prayer strands used by Greek Orthodox monks and in modern times are mostly used by men.

Steets filled with merchandise

After getting settled in our hotel, we explored our first ancient site: The Ancient Agora:social and commercial center of ancient Athens

modern Athens also uses it as a commercial site

The Roman Forum: build by the Romans, who conquered Greece around 150 B.C. and stayed for centuries.This square was the commercial center, or forum, of Roman Athens

Tower of the Winds, built in the first century B.C., this building was an ingenious combination of clock, weathervane, and guide to the planets.

After a few minutes, Katia's interest in ancient history dwindled and she was ready to head back to the hotel.

Street musician from Africa

Attempting to revive Katia with some coconut

... and fruit

It didn't take much to revive Chris

Much to Katia's delight, Athens is filled with dogs and cats

no signs of PETA

charming resident

Greeks are nuts about nuts!

After leaving Katia and Chris at the hotel, I explore alone...and my first stop is the Acropolis.

Climbing up to the Propylea- built in five short years(439-432 B.C.)

Ancient ruins overlooking modern Athens

Doric column

The magnificent Parthenon

The scaffolding, cranes, and modern construction material surround Parthenon and are part of an ongoing renovation project.

The Erechtheion with the Porch of the Caryatids: according to one legend, this was the spot where Athena and Poseidon fought for naming rights to the city. You know who won the contest...

Lykavittos Hill, Athen's highest point

The Greek flag with nine stripes symbolizing the nine syllables of the Greek phrase for "Freedom or Death"

Once a year, Acropolis stays open until 1 am so the visitors can admire its splendor in full moon. I was so happy to be able to witness this event. And I was not the only one as the crowds began to gather at the Acropolis...

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