Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Athens Day 2: The Acropolis (!!)

Day 2 in Athens was equally action packed as day 1.  After a middle-of-the-night bout with jet lag, we finally got up and got on our way.  Last night Eric learned some key phrases in Greek to help us on our way.  Stuff like "I want" "one" "good morning", etc.  It came in very handy this morning while ordering breakfast at the bakery down street.  The ladies there seemed to like us a lot more this morning than yesterday.

We took the Metro (mastering foreign Metros in other languages.  We are awesome.) to Akropoli station to start off our adventure.

The first stop was the Acropolis Museum.  These ruins were under glass under the walkway.  Apparently this museum was built to house a bunch of artifacts that the British stole (literally sawed off the Parthenon) during Ottoman occupation.  The British said, "Well Greece, we would love to give you these artifacts back, but you just don't have a safe enough place to put them, so we'll hang on to them for now to preserve the patrimony of humanity."  So then the Greeks built this state of the art museum and were like, "Yo British, we'll take our stuff back now, see we have the nicest museum ever to keep it in."  And the British were (and are) like, "Umm, err, uhh."  And the artifacts have not been returned yet, though there are spots for everything they took.

This is the front wall of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.  So pretty!

This is the Odeon from the other side.  I had no idea this was a theater from the front.

Passage Forbidden Danger?!  Uh oh!

This is the Monument of Agrippa framing this lovely vista of Athens.

The Propylaea, grand gateway to the Acropolis!

The Parthenon in all of its scaffolding glory.  It's apparently been under repair since 1984.

The famous reliefs acting out scenes from Greek mythology.

Another scenic view of Athens.

This is the Erechtheion, right next door to the Parthenon.  Notice the Ionic columns (Art words!!)...

Porch of the Caryatids on the Erechtheion.  These lovely ladies are actually replicas.  The real ones are safely displayed in the next door museum.

This olive tree is apparently symbolic of the original olive tree planed here by Athena herself, according to legend.

Another look at the Parthenon.


Anybody need some old Doric capitols?  Anybody?

The fully restored Temple of Athena Nike in its tiny splendor!

Here's an abandoned fallen over column.

After lunch on Souvlaki Row and a taste of home at Starbucks, we went to the Byzantine Christian Museum.  A fun first look of what we will see in Turkey later this week!

We came across this guy on our way back, totally made of glass.

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