Well, day 2 have come…the day we are supposed to join up with the contiki group. Had breakfast, there’s FETA cheese. Something to share about this cheese.
Feta (Greek: φέτα, also spelled fetta) is a brined curd cheese traditionally made in Greece with goat’s and sheep milk. Since 2005, feta has been a protected designation of origin in the European Union, and defined as having at least 70% sheep’s milk, with the remainder being goat’s milk.
I like the taste of it together with oregano and a dash of olive oil. Viola! Instant greek salad.
Anyway, day 2 is a sunday in Greece and seems that they are rather religious…We chanced upon some kind of military procession outside a church.
Attention, Day 2 Begins!
Plaka not quite the same like yesterday
1st stop, the roman agora.
One of two surviving mosques in Athens. This one is used for storage, and the other one is restored, but used as a museum for Greek folk art.
The inscription of Julius Caesar and Augustus. They say this is only visible during mid day. It is supposed to have said this, The People, from the funds given by the divine Gaius Julius Caesar and the Emperor Caesar Augustus, son of the god, (dedicate this) to Athena Archegetis during the archonship of Nikias, son of Sarapion, of Athmonon, when Eukles of Marathon was Hoplite General, and also Ambassador, who had succeeded his father Herodes as Epimelete.
In truth, it was rather difficult to make it out cos I do not understand greek or roman. Well, then again, digital photography helps here. If you are interested, read this to gain an insight of what’s inscribed and the history behind this forum –> Link
The Gate of Athena Archegetis has a row of four Doric columns and a socle (base) made of Pentalic marble. It was built in 11 BCE with the donations of Julius Caesar and Augustus.
The view of the temple of Hephaestus midway our hike up the Acropolis
The Theatre of Dionysus was a major open air theatre in ancient Greece, built at the foot of the Athenian Acropolis and forming part of the temenos of "Dionysus Eleuthereus". Dedicated to Dionysus, the god of plays and wine (among other things), the theatre could seat as many as 17,000 people, making it an ideal location for ancient Athens’ biggest theatrical celebration, the Dionysia. It became the prototype for all theatres of ancient Greece.
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the south slope of the Acropolis of Athens. It was built in 161 AD by Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It was originally a steep-sloped amphitheater with a three-story stone front wall and a wooden roof, and was used as a venue for music concerts with a capacity of 5,000.
Any visit to Athens would not be completed without a trip up to see the Parthenon upon the Acropolis. Acropolis means Holy Rock.
The Parthenon (ancient Greek: Παρθενών) is a temple of the Greek goddess Athena, built in the 5th century BC on the Athenian Acropolis. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered to be the culmination of the development of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered one of the high points of Greek art.
The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of ancient Greece and of Athenian democracy, and is considered one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments. The Greek Ministry of Culture is currently carrying out a program of restoration and reconstruction.
If you notice the small frame of the lady on the far right of the picture, you will know how great a builder the athenians were. Marble blocks moved meticulously in place all without the aid of modern day machinery. That makes it even more amazing. You can really feel their dedication to their God…
Another view of the Parthenon. The sky was really that blue that day!
The Marble Carvings…Witnessing the wear and tear of time.
The Erechtheum (Greek: Έρέχθειον Erechtheion) is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens in Greece, notable for a design that is both elegant and unusual.
The Theatre of Dionysus was a major open air theatre in ancient Greece, built at the foot of the Athenian Acropolis and forming part of the temenos of “Dionysus Eleuthereus”. Dedicated to Dionysus, the god of plays and wine (among other things), the theatre could seat as many as 17,000 people, making it an ideal location for ancient Athens’ biggest theatrical celebration, the Dionysia. It became the prototype for all theatres of ancient Greece.
It was the first stone theatre ever built — cut into the southern cliff face of the Acropolis — and the birthplace of Greek tragedy. The remains of a restored and redesigned Roman version can still be seen at the site today.
Word of caution: If you don’t like crazy crowds! Then start your hike up the Acropolis as early as 7am location. And not to mention, it will be cooler and probably get better light for photography.
After the hike up to the Acropolis, we made our way down to the ancient Agora.
The lower left…..The location where the ancient agora is.
The Agora, the marketplace and civic center, was one of the most important parts of an ancient city of Athens. In addition to being a place where people gathered to buy and sell all kinds of commodities, it was also a place where people assembled to discuss all kinds of topics: business, politics, current events, or the nature of the universe and the divine. The Agora of Athens, where ancient Greek democracy first came to life, provides a wonderful opportunity to examine the commercial, political, religious, and cultural life of one of the great cities of the ancient world.
Byzantine church of Agii Apostoli (Holy Apostles)
The portraiture of Jesus on the dome of the byzantine church
Bust of Roman Emperor Hadrian with Athena supported by a wolf sucking Romulus and Remus, at the Ancient Agora.
The Temple of Hephaestus and Athena Ergane (Greek: Ναός του Ηφαίστου και της Αθηνάς Εργάνης), also known as the Hephaisteion (Ηφαιστείον) or Theseion (Θησείον), is the best preserved ancient Greek temple. It is a Doric order peripteral temple, located at the north-west side of the Agora of Athens, on top of the Agoraios Kolonos (Αγοραιος) hill. From the 7th century until 1834, it served as the Greek Orthodox church of St. George Akamates (Ἀγιος Γεώργιος Ακαμάτης).
At this point, the sun is really getting fierce…we decided to hide away in our hotel room and come out to play after lunch. Next stop, the Middle Stoa within the Ancient Agora plus the temple of olympian zeus…and Arch of Hadrian.
We had a gryos each for lunch and a can of coke to share. Damage: 9 Euros . It is really nice and yummy.
Street Art in Athens…
Some of the artwork we see while walking around in Plaka…
After lunch, we took the metro to visit the Kerameikos archaeological site
Kerameikos site also boast a museum where archaeological pieces from the site are actually housed. I took quite some pictures..I guess this one is what the viewers of the blog would like..
The hot outdoors….
The area took its name from the city quarter or dēmos of Kerameis, which in turn derived its name from the word κέραμος (keramos, “pottery clay”) from which the English word “ceramic” is derived. The “Inner Kerameikos” was the former “potter’s quarter” of the city and “Outer Kerameikos” covers the cemetery and also the dēmosion sēma (a public burial monument) where Pericles delivered his funeral oration in 431 BC. The cemetery was also where the Iera Odos (the Sacred Way, i.e. the road to Eleusis) began, along which the procession moved for the Eleusinian Mysteries.
The walls of Kerameikos
The view of the Parthenon from Kerameikos, Street of Tombs…
Temple of Zeus and the Arch of Hadrian awaits…
At 5plus..it is time to head to the temple of Zeus…
We passed this house while heading towards the Temple of Olympian Zeus. This area is called the Anafiotika. It is the cluster of small houses built on the slopes of the Acropolis above the Plaka. It’s like being on a Greek Island. It’s named Anafiotika because the original inhabitants were stone masons who came from the island of Anafi to build Athens in the mid 19th century.
The Arch of Hadrian is a monumental gateway resembling – in some respects – a Roman triumphal arch. It spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens, Greece, to the complex of structures on the eastern side of the city that included the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It has been proposed that the arch was built to celebrate the adventus (arrival) of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and to honor him for his many benefactions to the city, on the occasion of the dedication of the nearby temple complex in 131 or 132 AD.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus (Greek: Ναός του Ολυμπίου Διός or Naos tou Olimpiou Dios), also known as the Olympieion, is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of the Greek capital Athens that was formerly dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD some 650 years after the project had begun.
During the Roman periods it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world.
That’s all we had time for…We had to head back to the hotel to meet up with the tour group…I guess this is goodbye…Athens..We shalt return in 6 days after the cruise before we set off for Rome..
By the way, sample our dinner on mooncake festival in athens…
Our dinner, thanks to the damm filling Gryos…We can decided to celebrate moon cake festival in our room with our ration. Very nice and round moon at Athens..
Tommorrow, it is the port of Piraeus and then our first port of Mykonos…