Showing posts from March, 2024

Athens: Day Seven

  On our last full day, we decided just to chill and go for a leisurely walk around town. We hiked back towards the Acropolis and found a rocky outcropping to clamber up on top and take in the sights. Behind us, the Acropolis dominated the skyline and the hordes of people that were up on top. According to the sign near where we were, the Apostle Paul spent some time right where we were seated preaching to the locals back in the day. It would have been neat to be able to attend such an event when the Acropolis was in its full splendor.  We ate the last of our picnic supplies for lunch and then the girls headed off to do some shopping while I stayed behind to check into flights and prepare for the journey home. (There had been more strikes the two days before in Germany but there seemed to be no strikes called for our actual travel day.) I was also charged with finding a place to eat when they returned from their shopping trip. I found a place two blocks away that served traditional Gree

Athens to Aegina: Day Six

  My daughter had planned day six to be a day to boat to a Greek island for the day. She had penciled in Hydra island which was a 2+ hour journey each way by ferry but we all had our fill of sitting in mass transportation vehicles and so we did a last minute change and got a high speed ferry to the island of Aegina, probably one of the closest islands of consequence to Athens.  We booked our tickets the night before and arrived at the "departure gate" only to see that the gate was merely an entrance to probably a half mile of docks along the bay, lined with dozens of ferries of all different sizes, none with a sign advertising destination. We walked around confused for awhile before I finally found a bus driver of a tour bus washing his windows and asked him. He said he couldn't speak English and turned back to his work but I thanked him anyway and started to walk away. He took pity on my and said something that I understood to be, "what are you looking for?" I

Athens: Day Five

  On day five, we decided a hike and a picnic was on order. So we headed via subway and walking to the central market marked on our maps. There, a series of alleyway's and stores, each containing some ingredient were located. For example, there was an entire large alleyway dedicated to seafood, another one for beef, another one for lamb, another one for fruits and veggies, etc.  More seafood arranged on the ice. There were probably a dozen other tables that looked just like this one and sold the same basic seafood. From what I understand, each table, ran by a different person, built up a following of customers who always came back to them. But for us tourists, each owner shouted our way about having the best seafood and the lowest price which made selecting something difficult.  Above is an example of one of these alleyways with a covered sunshade. As we arrived near the central market on foot, we saw hundreds of people who had already shopped and were heading back home with a half

Athens: Day Four

Day four was our day to scale the Acropolis and check out the ruins of the Parthenon and other buildings on top and along the way. Because this is the most touristy portion of our trip and can see thousands of people in a fairly small place, we purchased tickets ahead of time for the earliest entry so we could skip the ticket lines. We ended up being the first four people let into the fenced in area and were the 2-5 people up on top. An athletic Chinese guy with a huge camera sprinted past us at one point and beat us to the top. We opted to hike to the top first and then enjoy the sights along the way back at a more leisurely place but I still couldn't help taking a picture from the top of the amphitheater that I peaked at through one of the doorways behind the stage on a previous day. After a long climb, you come in through an ancient gate that kept the riff raff out of ancient days. It was quite imposing as you walked under the arches and onto the Acropolis proper. The Parthenon

Athens to Delphi: Day Three

  We never entertained the thought of a rental car on this trip and in hindsight, I am SO very glad we didn't. Athens was a zoo with parking sort of a free-for-all and very hard to come by. Traffic was pretty bad all day long as well. So our only option to visit sites away from Athens was by tour bus which as it turned out, was a very great option. This was our day to visit the site of Delphi, navel of the Greek world and home to Apollo. It was about a two and a half hour drive there from Athens through some corn and cotton fields and for the final part, mountains.  Delphi was built up on a mountain side with spectacular views of the valley below. If you want to read up on some of the deeper history of it, see these posts written by my blogging friend Toirdhealbheach Beucail who wrote in depth about his trip there last year. Delphi I Delphi II Delphi III Delphi IV By going on a tour bus, we didn't have to fight for the very limited parking and were dropped off right at the entr