Europe 2002

From Ashford to Athens

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(days 18 to 18)

Alpine adventure (Days 1-4)
Viennese whirl (Days 5-9)
Slovenian theatre (Days 10-12)
Bombing it through Belgrade (Day 13)
Litohoro lazing (Days 14-16)
Olympic ideas (Days 17-19)
We are sailing (Days 20-21)
Assisi amblings (Days 22-23)
Breton brouhaha (Days 24-26)
Encore en Foix (Days 27-28)
Barcelona and back (Days 29-31)

Full diary [fast connections]

Day 18: Athens

We thought by getting up early we could be able to beat the tourists to the Acropolis. We were right: just not early enough.

Not quite early enough

The tour parties were already piling in as we arrived and headed up through the Temple of Athena Nike. Despite the crush and the inevitable 'restoration' work (scaffolding everywhere) the huge scale and beauty of the Parthenon and the smaller Erechteon was striking.

Look! I'm in Athens!

Parthenon (under construction)

Athenian Pigeon

Parthenon (under siege)

The Museum had some fragments of the Elgin Marbles that Elgin hadn't nicked, plus lots of statues and columns.

Horsing around

After a quick detour to the Theatre of Dionysus to strike some classic poses, I parted company with Andy, who went off to climb a hill in the midday sun.

Theatre of Dionysus

To be, or not to be

I stayed in the shade of the National Gardens, home to a rather worrying sign:

Off next to the National Archeological Museum, home to myriads of ancient remains, then the historical theme to my day continued at the Greek Agora and the Roman Agora with the 8-sided 'Tower of the Winds'.

Athens was fun to wander in - lots of streets to walk around, always unsure if round the corner you'd find a flea-market, a designer fashion outlet or another Ancient Greek ruin.

Another Ancient Greek ruin

Soon it was evening and I met up with Richard and andrew for a meal: I had the intriguingly named "Chef's Madness". One more day in Athens tomorrow before we move on.