Actual date of this event: 7-9 June
While in Athens we did more than just visit the Acropolis and "compete" in the Panathenaic Stadium. We had barely half a day and then a full day (so two nights) to do everything we wanted. A good amount of people don't spend much more time than that in Athens because there isn't a whole lot to do. That is true, but we actually could have spent more time in the city. (What we did not get to do that we would have liked to: Go up Mount Lycabettus, See the Royal Gardens, and Explore the area of Kolonaki) We were satisfied though with what we did because Athens is so dang hot!
visiting the Acropolis on Saturday...
Ancient Agora (which we visit the next day, noted later in this post) and walked around in Plaka for a bit. Athens is what I call a very rugged city, but it is very lively and feels "real" rather than "fake" like some places we have been. We eventually settled for a cafeteria-style place to eat dinner. It was pretty tasty! We continued walking, stopping for some walking beers and ice cream, and in the process, one of us lost a cell phone. But the honest Greek-man returned it - yay! Imagine that!?? We also went to Barley Cargo, which is a great bar with tons of bottled beer, and was one of the only places I have been in Europe that felt like an American bar. Becca and I ended our night here, while Luke and Eric stayed up much later and went out for a few more drinks.
Hadrian's Arch and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. These pillars were massive, and it was interesting how some of them were laying down as if they just fell over yesterday. It poured rain for a few minutes, so we huddled under a tree for a protection - we left our rain gear at home because the forecast said 0% chance of rain, thanks meteorologist!
visit the Panathenaic Stadium...
National Gardens, but did not go in. Here, we saw orange trees lining the road and several Royal Guards, which was next on the list. Orange trees are all over Athens!
Syntagma Square to see the changing of the guards. These guys are very serious about their routine. Each of them gets a uniform check, and then they do their little march to switch places and pay tribute to Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which is what they are guarding. Their moves are in slow motion, but the little balls on their shoes still bounce around which is the funnest part about the event.
Monastiraki and the ancient flea market, but none of us had much interest in anything so we passed through very quickly. Next on the list was visiting the Ancient Agora. It is full of ruins, has a beautiful view of the Acropolis, and would have been much better to visit with a guide, but we just chilled... in the heat. Fortunately, there is a small museum of old stuff that allowed us to hide from the sun for a few minutes.
Kerameikos Cemetery. It seemed like such a trek, but it was really the heat that slowed us down. Again, I cant imagine what it is like to visit Athens in August... yikes! The cemetery is completely run down, so it looks like a bunch of rocks. Thankfully, we were given a small map to help us learn the important things (I forgot what those were though...). And again, we were able to hide in a small museum for a few minutes.
Thissio View, and even decided to make a reservation for dinner that night. We still had a few hours until dinner, so we moved along.
Acropolis Museum as we knew it would take hours, and after already being in the heat for hours, we would not have had the strength anyway, so we walked by it to check out the ruins underneath which can be viewed thru the glass and a few open holes on the ground.
Anafiotika, which is a small area that looks like a Greek island with white homes and blue accents. I had to ask the barkeep at the hostel where it was because Google maps has its location incorrect. We walked back up the hill slightly to the north side of the Acropolis where the name of the street is actually Anafiotika. It was a very small little area but it was very quiet and secluded and actually did look pretty similar to a Greek island.
Other posts from Greece: Intro, Corfu, The Acropolis in Athens, Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, General Athens, Island of Milos (Day 1), Sarakino in Milos, Island of Milos (Day 2), Santorini Sailing, Santorini Wine Tour, THE Santorini Sunset, General Santorini, Wrap-Up
The tallest hill in Athens is Mount Lycabettus at 277m (almost 909ft). A funicular is available for those who do not wish to walk to the top.