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A Few Days in Athens

September 30, 2022

Arriving in Athens on Saturday afternoon, we had to get used to the crowds and noise after our bucolic week in Crete. A hair-raising ride from the airport delivered us to our hotel, the Athens Tower, right in the center of the city off Monastiraki Square. After getting our bearings we found a cute café in Plaka, the oldest part of Athens and the neighborhood at the foot of the Acropolis, where we enjoyed a luscious gyro that turned out to be our lunch and dinner.

Our plan for Sunday was to ride the hop-on-hop-off bus to take in the sights. This is a great way to get your bearings quickly when you’re in a city for only a short time, and the English narration was really good. The route took us past Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Zeus, which these days is shrouded in scaffolding but is still imposing. Hadrian was a Roman emperor of the first century AD, who had a particular affinity for Athens.

Temple of Zeus

We were excited to see what was billed as the ancient Olympic Stadium; but it was, in fact, built in 1896, marking the first modern Olympic Games. To be fair, however, it is built on the site of an ancient stadium from 329 BC.

The highlight of today’s explorations was the Archaeological Museum, an enormous collection of ancient artifacts from all over Greece. I was especially taken with the Vase Gallery.

Tonight’s dinner was at The Artist, a chic restaurant very near our hotel, where we made an early reservation on the rooftop in order to catch one last sunset. Our waitress was not a photographer, or she wouldn’t have included that ugly white building in the photo. But otherwise she was good, and our dinner was excellent.

One Comment
  1. Your photos illustrate the story so well. What a marvelous trip!

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