Sunday, March 25, 2012

Favourite Greece Moments: Athens

Athens was interesting to tour. Its history is evident everywhere, yet there are modern elements. Our hotel was done in the art deco style. The elevator could only fit two people at a time (squished) and had the iron screen that went across it. When we got up in the morning we thought we would walk to a bus stop to go to the Acropolis. We saw soldiers with machine guns at the ready and, on second thought, we took a taxi instead. As it turns out, the area we were staying in use to be a very posh, upscale area until the illegal gun trade moved in. Despite this, we were still comfortable walking around the downtown core around the acropolis and other ruins. We watched the changing of the guards at the parliament building - the same spot where the riots have been over the past year.

A guard in front of the tomb of the unknown soldier. I loved our walk around the acropolis. We were given a private tour and the guide reminded me of the father in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" since she dissected English words and related everything back to Greek. When we walked through the Plaka (the market area) we were told by a local which area to avoid due to pic-pocket gangs. Despite this, the Plaka was charming. I wonder if the people who live and work there ever contemplate how they walk in a place where people have walked for thousands of years - some of whom are famous. This thought is awe inspiring to me. For instance, I walked on a rock on which St.Paul preached from. Too cool!

St. Paul's rock
I also thought it was interesting seeing an archaeological dig in the middle of the city. They were digging to expand the metro when they came across some ruins, so they had to reroute the metro and the spot is now a dig site. Even at the Acropolis Museum there is a dig. They built on top of the dig and rather than cover it over with a concrete path, the area out front of the museum in covered in glass so you can look down and see the ruins.

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