We got up quite early and headed down to breakfast, we grabbed as much as we could as there wasn’t much left. Same stuff, boiled eggs and toast. Filled me up though. We went down to the supermarket that we found on Sunday and had a look around – we bought some snack bars and some Orange juice – we’d come back later for lunch/dinner stuff. We then headed to Acropolis which is the large mountain in Athens and on top is some very old and impressive structures such as the Parthenon. We found the entrance and were unlucky and failed at getting student discounts so we paid full price 12 Euro’s each and hiked up the mountain to see Acropolis.
The first structure you hit is called Propylaea and you walk through to get up the top, not much is left of the temple – a few walls and columns but it’s massive – you feel small looking up at the large columns. When you get through this temple – that’s when it hits you… not the wow sensation but the WHAT? You hear the bobcats beeping, the loud drilling from all over the place and then you see the Parthenon… Covered in METAL. There is scaffolding all on one side, a large crane next to it and all throughout the Parthenon is Metal… as you keep walking around the structure on one side there are all these “short-term” buildings with one saying started in 1983… You look up at the Parthenon now and you see they have a crane inside of it… you keep walking round and there’s a train track leading to the Parthenon.. The back side of the structure is the only side not with metal on it but you can see the crane nicely in the middle.. That’s all I saw was metal and all I heard was drilling/beeping and noise.
We kept walking around and the views were amazing, there are soo many houses packed into Athens – It’s insane to see how many houses there are all the way to the horizon. We kept walking till we saw the Erechtheion, which is a smaller structure to the Parthenon… and then I saw the beauty – It was lovely, the detail in the columns, and to one side they have these women columns and the detail in them is unbelievable.
Overall, I am very disappointed and annoyed about Acropolis, I can understand that a country would want to keep their history alive and the importance of it, but when it’s and ANCIENT site and you have to pour millions of money into making sure it doesn’t fall down – too me its a waste. You can’t go there and say – It’s wonderful and it’s lasted all this time.. It’s only lasted all this time because they’ve ruined it with metal. I’d rather go there and see only a handful of columns still up and see what it was like – not what it is – a construction site. I don’t mind them doing some work on it… but since 1983?? Come on. Greece’s GDP is apparently millions in the red, since we’ve been here there have been 2 demonstrations in front of parliament building… Surely they should focus on the present and make their current civilisation something worthy of the history books and not living in their ancestors pockets gleaming as much money as possible from them. (I believe it’s the same in Egypt as well, Sure Egyptian were amazing and ahead of there time back in the BC and early AD… but what are they now?) They should make their country great now – and not live in the past. I’d compare it to Scotland, England, France – They have a lot of history there too, and yet they don’t bog themselves in the past but are looking to the future. Enough of my ranting.
We walked down the hill and saw the theatres (Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus) – and that was good to see. We then went into a little camera shop and put our disposable cameras in to be developed and put it on CD. We then walked back to the hostel and had a rest, after that we headed to the supermarket to grab stuff for lunch. We got some ham and bread and I got some other Greek beer to try. We had lunch and some fruit at the hostel and then we headed to the Temple of Zeus. This was awesome! It’s like in the middle of a park so it’s surrounded by trees, and it looked amazing, the was one column on the ground but you could see all the pieces of the marble they had used to make the one column. (they are like the Egyptians who used one piece of whatever to make what they made). It was still great. Much better than the Parthenon even though it’s much smaller. We made a friend here too – this random cat ran over to us and started jumping and crawling all over us… quite cute. After this we decided we’d walk and find Olympic Stadium which was the first stadium for the Olympics… As we were walking there we see these big blue police buses (the riot proof ones with the windows all caged) out hop these cops with bullet proof vests, body armour and a helmet and their plastic see through shield… it was quite intimidating.. they closed down the road.. and we kept walking very briskly. We found the stadium and it was really cool they had marble stones that had engraved on all the Olympics started in 1896 was the first stone there. After that we walked back the way we came – we thought we go check out the info centre. Going there… the traffic was building up because of the road closures… and up the hill (where we were going) you could see more big blue vans and LOTS of cops all wearing the riot gear. Then you saw the Protesters… Who knows what they were protesting… they had massive Greek banners and yelling in Greek.. they didn’t look too happy… So they were there and the cops – didn’t look to alarmed as they still had there helmets off… We found the info centre again and headed into it… It didn’t really have any pamphlets or anything… just people.. so we didn’t have any questions – I was just hoping to get some brochures of things to do around Athens We headed back to the hostel.
We’ve decided we’re going to get a ferry from Patra to Bari in Italy after our stay in Athens. The weather isn’t that good in the Greek islands and it’s quite pricey to go there and it rain. The ferry to Italy is quite pricey too, but it goes overnight and we get a 25% winter discount. Our plan is to get the ferry to Bari, then stay a night in Bari – then bus to Napoli and stay 2 nights there. We will do a day trip to Pompeii from there.
So that’s the last day and what we’re planning on doing. Today we’re going to go book our ferry tickets and find out how to get to Patras from here.
Hope all is well.