2nd April 2019 by emmadurnford

2nd April 2019

Day 2 of our exploration of Athens. We had a much more organised and early start as we aimed to climb the Acropolis before the hoards of tour groups later in the day. It seemed that a number of other people had the same idea and so there were a lot of people up there. It was satisfying to pass the crowds as we had our group entrance ticket from yesterday and it was quite a quiet walk up… until we reached the top. There were literally thousands of people, posing, shouting, running past and knocking into us. All this noise was accompanied with loud whistles by the Parthenon guards to stop people crossing the barriers at the same time as we were buffeted by a strong wind.

It was quite disappointing as I had built my impression of it from a scene from ‘The Little Drummer Girl’ drama! There was a lot of scaffolding and just too many people. I managed some photos and the views were amazing over the city. The high point was spotting a wild ‘Marginated Tortoise’ (Europes biggest tortoise!) on the way up! When we were on our way down we spotted a beautiful temple in the distance and some nifty work with Google Maps revealed that this was the Temple of Hephaestus. We decided that we should be able to walk to it from the Acropolis and set off down the hill. I had hoped to see the many cats of the Acropolis but in the event even they had disappeared and I only saw three.

We arrived back in the Monasteraki district and were able to visit the Roman Agora and get a closer view and go inside the Temple of the Winds. Afterwards we had an excellent lunch in a lovely taverna with views of the Acropolis which looks much better from a distance. The restaurant owner seemed to take a liking to us and offered us complimentary bread, red wine liquor and a nut cake. We were rather full after what was meant to be a light lunch. We finally made it to the Temple of Hephaestus and it was lovely. The Temple is situated in fields of archeology with wild flowers including poppies, daisies and rosemary - growing between fallen pillar. We even spotted another Marginated Tortoise - a really big one which was walking very fast. It was such a contrast to the Acropolis.

Afterwards we kept going and caught the metro to close to the bottom of Lycabettus Hill. It was quite a walk uphill to the funicular and what looked like roads on the map turned out to be large flights of steep steps. The funicular takes three minutes to ascend the hill, all of which is in the tunnel so no views. However the views were worth the effort, over the city towards the sea and Port of Piraeus. The Acropolis looked rather insignificant from this height. We managed an iced coffee and ice cream even after our large lunch before we headed back down again and back a different route home.

We popped into our local well stocked supermarket for dinner as we were still pretty full after our lunch - a good day!

More photos from the day: https://www.facebook.com/pg/EmmaDurnfordPhotography/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2304210226298312&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARDNT7b1YjC3onAtOaC9Yl0AYI8Z_L2LWxmsEdpRiQi9mpH59cdwKiBsfGoNx1sFYArn6fYR3uzOkG-79I7Re8gqfyPlBdsUbXfFH-12nblE2rAD_HjHkfOG48SPKLEyOUicecQQGu6Io4VJe52aPTk-DDEQhjTjmUoB2RXiwk39FQOok8qtCXYgGiDBxOr04TWVkOG9fqjRKwNnr2ym6NVH43QrE1Iug3v36BrAPtFKrxFfZrQHMmWnUMCKqZkmMogAb6cV81mAtTkyw-5y3BWbFqz-Hpy_HUwLeZOkl9ADqfn8IkKgvCgl_c7-Q5s_a5pa7kEtIcBWLVhwfvquyTHZOSyEEXRKwhyovtt_p8emzFXP940xPYFvFlUrh2epWITCZdhnJEV4J6qFYd5wzqWbYvIfUjlC9bihoFhynNj3GIoD7-ViLWEMxH-2hzkfc4Ovhyea072zlmVcAJSQ&__tn__=-UC-R

Footstep count for today - 13,801 (including a lot of steps)

Leave a Comment
Sign up for a free account or Sign in to post a comment.