08 May 2013

Athens-All the Rest

On our first day in Athens we went straight to the Acropolis. It seems that admission to virtually everything is included in the Acropolis ticket so I figured that was the place to go first. Unfortunately, since my guide book was written it seems that Greece has changed its mind about the month April and moved it from the Summer to the Winter season-which meant that everything closes at 3 pm. And of course we didn't get there until sometime after 4.

As close as I got to the Acropolis day 1

Instead we joined the Hop On Hop Off bus tour. I've never taken one before and it was actually pretty nice. Because of the open top we were able to see and get pictures of a pretty decent amount. I was hardly taking notes though so I don't  remember when any of these are.

Oh except for this church. I don't remember it's name, only that our British narrator said it had a 'dark history' which turned out to be a total tease. There was an attempted assassination of someone royal here. Attempted. That's a shadowy history at best man.

And there in the shadow of the Acropolis behind what was a Turkish mosque and is now a cultural museum are the remains of Hadrian's library. That guy has been everywhere.


The Olympics! I'm not a fan and look forward to the end of Olympic commercials as I do election commercials but it was pretty cool. This stadium, which seats some 60-70 thousand, was built in 18something something when the Olympics were reinstated. It's a pity that, while they could reinstate the games and build this amazing stadium for it, that they had to insist everyone go clothed from then on. I might actually watch otherwise.

Possibly a presidential palace...?

The tour also went to Piraeus and having been a fan of the Port of Piraeus restaurant on 21st and M NW I was pretty amused to be here.

Lion's Gate

 We also stopped (technically on day two) at the Temple of Zeus.

Hadrian's Gate-see he's EVERYWHERE

And while Greek food is Greek food is Greek food...it was a welcome break from Turkish food is Turkish food is Turkish food. Except that pink stuff. It was like, pureed shrimp salad. Shudder. Best, BEST baba ganoush and tzatziki I've ever had though. The eggplant was roasted instead of smoked and nicely paprika'ed and there was so much garlic in the tzatziki it burned. It was beautiful.

We also had some mood music provided by this organ grinder. Who was sadly sans a monkey and lost a few cool points for it.

And for what is possibly even sadder than the Acropolis evoking memories of Kevin Sorbo...my favorite part of Greece...

Sweet, sweet, reasonably prices alcohol!
The wine! Granted Greek wine, especially the house wine, isn't the best in the world but I'm at the point where I will happily kill for a glass of palatable anything that doesn't cost and arm and a leg. And at 5-8 Euro for 500ml (vs the same price for a glass of bad Turkish wine in Istanbul) I did myself a fair amount of drinking at each dinner :)

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