After a great night of rest I covered almost eight miles or 17,410 steps. It’s Christmas Eve here and the city is packed with people. The Stanley is close to the city or Syntagma Square where it is decorated for the holidays and very lively. Right outside the hotel is a stop for the Athens Hop on Hop off tour bus. The ticket was €16 for two days. That’s probably the best price I’ve seen.
By the way, it was the most gorgeous day. Clear skies and sunny. I boarded the bus and reviewed the map, outlining everything I would like to see. Athens dates back to the 5th century BC, so while there are modern structures in the city, you will find yourself stumbling upon ancient statues. My first stop was Syntagma Square. At this stop, if you look directly up, you can see Acropolis in the distance. This is also one of the areas that I took my pictures with Michalis. I strolled over to Hadrian’s Library. Most structures are just columns and not the actual building. After a few photos I got back on the bus to travel to Acropolis.
(Church ruins at Hadrian’s Library)
(View of Acropolis from Syntagma Square)
However, I was sidetracked and stopped at the fresh market. According to the recording on the bus, this market is very important as it sets the prices for meat products throughout Athens. I held my breath the whole time I was walking through. Also, I kept envisioning myself having an accidental fall and sliding in dead animal blood (just horrible). It was very busy; I suspect people were buying items for Christmas dinner.
Before heading to Acropolis, I stopped through Plaka and the south slope of Acropolis. Also, you can veiw Herodes Theater from the outside. Once going in and climbing the first set of steps, I was able to view the theater from an elevated area. The theater named after Odeon of Herodes Attica was used for music concerts and had a seating capacity of 5,000. It was destroyed in 267 AD by Heruli.
The next structure while at Acropolis was Parthenon. It was dedicated to Athena, a Greek goddess. Documentation alluded to it being used for a treasury, church, cathedral and mosque.
The Temple of Athena Nike was also dedicated to the goddess. Nike means “victory” in Greek.
Erechtheum or Erechtheion is a Greek temple dedicated to Athena and Posedion. It was named after Erichthonius who was Greek hero. Others suggest it was built in honor of King Erechtheus, who may be buried nearby.
I spent about an hour just walking around. It’s also a great area to take in the views of Athens from all directions.
I went back to the Hellinic Parliament/Syntagma stop and walked through the lively square. The City of Athens had a stage set up with live music which would go into the late evening. The performer was covering Prince’s song “Kiss”. She had the whole crowd rocking with her.
As I continued along I noticed that there were multiple street performers. An older African American man that sounded like Ray Charles, a younger band with a girl singing songs similar to Joss Stone and Adele. There was a guy with no shirt dancing to 90’s music and many more. I really enjoyed the entertainment.
After all of this I was hungry. If you don’t know where to eat, go to the place that is crowded. I found an eatery called The Greco’s Project. I ordered the taziki sauce with pita bread and an Amstel beer as a starter. I don’t know which was better, the taziki or the bread. It was a perfect combination. The taziki was fresh and creamy. It had strands of cucumbers and whatever else ingredients are included. The pita bread was small and round. It also had a buttery flavor. The waiter suggested that I try the chicken kabobs with salad and french fries. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the fries because in the picture they were similar to potato chips and I thought they may have been hard. Boy, was I wrong. They were perfect and I used the leftover taziki for dipping. The salad was fresh and the chicken was savory. Just what I needed to keep moving for the day.
After my extremely late lunch (like 3), I continued walking through the shopping area. So many shops I’ve never heard of with innovative clothing designs. I also went down the side street which included more shops like a flee market style. I know it sounds crazy, but my favorite purchase was a charging case for my phone. With the amount of travel and sightseeing that I do I hate dragging along my 3 portable chargers (I might have a fear of being stranded with no battery). Now if my phone is fully charged, and I have the case and one backup I should be good.
I caught a Beat back to the hotel and had drink on the rooftop while admiring the illuminated Acropolis.