September 16, 2010

A Whirlwind in Europe - Athens (Day 2)

Athens was my most anticipated city at the start of my trip. In the end, it was the least of my favourite among Paris, Athens and Rome. There was a certain deteriorated aura to Athens; and the number of people and cars in most areas were busier than anticipated. There was also certain unsafe feeling among dense crowds even away from the tourist attractions. However, the ruins of Athens were breathtaking and their beauty should be appreciated beauty. In saying so, I do love Athens and anticipate visiting Athens again.

I arrived in Athens at 4pm. Again, my time in Athens was extremely limited with only one evening and one morning in Athens. The itinerary was extremely packed and there was a 3pm ferry to catch the next afternoon. There was no room for error.

The first destination of the early evening was Hadrian's Gate…

…and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Just across the street was the Zappio Megaro. What an elegant structure!

Somehow, I was unable to find the Olympic Stadium! Looking at the map later that night, I realized a wrong turn was made and it was just a short backtrack away! Since my time was limited, I could not explore too much. Next time…there’s always next time :D

I backtracked a bit to the giant walkway of Dionysiou Areopagitou…

…leadin to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and Acropolis.

The plan was made to visit Acropolis during sunset. However, the lady at the gate said there was only 30min left until closing. This was an issue since I bought a combination ticket that only allowed a one-time admission to the Acropolis. I decided to save the ticket for the next morning.

Unexpectedly, with time on my hands, I wandered under the Acropolis to find a staircase to a rocky outcrop with a view!

Toward dusk…

…and into the night.

Returning to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, crowds were just arriving for a theatrical event. There were vendors selling cheese pastries and the temptation was just too great.

A toasted chicken pita with more cheese finished off the meal for the night.

It was advertised that my hostel has a lively bar scene at night. I returned to the hostel at 10pm to find the bar was closed? It was a little disappointing to say the least :( Instead, I headed to bed early.

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