As I’ve mentioned in other posts, being in the Mediterranean during July and August is really setting up yourself for multiple forms of torture, in that you’re going to be subjected to crowds, higher prices, low availability and brutally hot weather. Although this is one form of pain, you will also get spectacular pictures because the lighting and the weather are so fantastic. I guess you just have to take the good with the bad. Personally, as long as you stay out of the dread tour groups and do your own thing, there shouldn’t be that much problems … just stay hydrated!
One of the big ticket items in Athens is obviously the Acropolis. It is the icon of Athens and probably the icon of Greece … of course some will beg to differ. Everyone wants to go for the view from the top of the Parthenon in the Acropolis and of course, it’s breathtaking. This view is the end product of a long and torturous journey.
Fun fact, although the Acropolis in Greece is regarded as “THE” Acropolis, it is actually one of 24 such sites.Here are a couple more facts …
– Acropolis in Greek means “The Sacred Rock, the high city”.
– There are many Acropolises in Greece but the Acropolis of Athens is the best known.
– The Acropolis is primarily dedicated to the Goddess Athena.
– The Acropolis echoes the grandeur and the power of the Athenian empire.
Once you manage to get to the Acropolis itself, then you’ll have to make the trek uphill … in the heat, with no water and shitty policy about opening hours. Do ensure that the place is going to be open when you get there.
We got there around 2pm and they close at 3:30pm on Sundays … you can imagine that there were quite a couple pissed off people who missed the entry. If you’re on a cruise ship and you have a couple hours to see the thing and you miss, I’m sure you’re going to be pissed also.
I took the path where you had to pass the Theatre of Dionysus. Fourteen staircases in a radiating arrangement divide the auditorium into thirteen cunei (segments). The rows of seats consist of large finely carved blocksof limestone, quarried at the coast of Piraeus. The seats of the front row are exquisite examples of marble carving. The most elaborate seat,in the middle, was reserved for the priest of Dionysos, the god to whom the Theatre was dedicated.
The Theatre of Dionysos became derelict following the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and its features gradually disappeared over the following centuries. It was rediscovered by excavation between 1862 and 1895.
There was a lot of repairwork being done when I visited, and this somewhat marred the view of the Partnenon. But repairwork is for the greater good – I guess!!
There are 5 points of interest to check out when you get to the Acropolis …
1. Beule Gate and Propylaea
2. Temple of Athena Nike
3. The Parthenon
4. The Erechtheion
5. View of Athens from the top
The “erection” … (There were some American gay guys there … who couldn’t stop pointing at it and saying that …”The Erechtheion is another temple located near the Parthenon. According to the Frommer’s Travel Guide, it was built between 421 and 407 B.C. as a tomb for Erechtheus, ancient king of Athens. The Erechtheion’s most notable features are the Caryatids, six maiden-shaped columns supporting the structure. The intricate carvings on these pillars deserve a close look but it was so hot and I was so tired that I couldn’t even bother using my zoom lens to get a closer picture of the Caryatids … so the pictures below were the best I could do