Athens In A Day
As most of you know I went on vacation in May to Greece and spent one day in Athens. If you are planning a trip to Greece I recommend simply one day in Athens. You can totally focus on getting a feel for the ancient history of the city instead of the city as a whole, I feel this is all you need to focus on when in Athens and I'm going to tell you why. In my opinion there is not much of Athens you need to see besides the history which you can see if you start early in the morning like I did. I'm going to list the places you must see and some treasures I found by simply walking around. If you are a history buff you can surely plan a longer stay in this city , but if you are anything like myself there is so much history I can see before I need a pool,scenery or beach and for me I didn't feel that vibe in Athens. Greek civilzation has always interested me, so I did however want to soak the history in.
I knew my first stop had to be the Acropolis.The best times to visit the Acropolis are first thing in the morning or at the very end of the day. The crowds are far less to deal with early or late so I chose early. This is also perfect if you want less people in your photos, which I wanted to make sure I got my money shots. I mean the views from up top alone are worth the trip to the top, so I would suggest for sure to make this your first stop early in the morning. Temples were first built on the Acropolis in the 11th century BC. The Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena, the namesake of the city, was completed in 438 BC , it took only nine years to build. The Parthenon continued as a temple to Athena for a couple more hundred years until it was ordered that all pagan temples were to be closed. The Parthenon was later converted into a Christian church, then a Roman Catholic church, and later an Islamic mosque. In the 1600s the Parthenon sustained the most devastating damage when an explosion occurred. Finally in 1801 the Earl of Elgin came and removed sculptures and demolished buildings. As you can see from my pictures its going through a restoration. A little trick to get a great shot try to angle your camera on one side so you are not getting much of the cranes. Also if you want to soak in more of the history you can head right across to the Acropolis Museum. "The Acropolis Museum was firstly conceived by Constantinos Karamanlis in September 1976. He also selected the site, upon which the Museum was finally built, decades later. Today, the new Acropolis Museum has a total area of 25,000 square meters, with exhibition space of over 14,000 square meters, ten times more than that of the old museum on the Hill of the Acropolis. The new Museum offers all the amenities expected in an international museum of the 21st century."
Temple of Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus was one of the largest in the Greek Civilization. The structure started to fall apart in the 5th century AD and currently 16 of the original 104 columns are still standing, one of which fell in a storm in 1852 and continues to lay in pieces on the ground. It truly is amazing to see in person. We end up not going in because we didn't feel the need to spend the money to walk in on a rainy day, but I was able to get some shots of it with my camera and it sure is a beauty
The arch sits outside of the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The arch was erected at the same time the Temple of Olympian Zeus was inaugurated. This beauty was built to honor of Hadrian for his public works and it marked the boundary between the new and old city. Honestly looking at all the structures took my breath away to know this was built so long ago. It amazing to see that the Greeks have built around these monuments and they are still standing.
After all the history we decided to walk the streets and see what Athens had to offer. Plaka is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Athens, located right below the Acropolis hill. It is extremely beautiful , distinguished for its authentic character and traditional layout. The largest part of Plaka consists of Neoclassical houses that date back to 19th century. Plaka is full of beautiful buildings, Byzantine churches, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. This is where we had lunch and I end up stumbling across this park across from The Temple of Olympian Zeus. It truly was magnificent to walk around and immerse myself in the culture. I plan on heading back and spending another day in Athens, but one day for me is enough, maybe not for you.