Athens

For years I have wanted to go to the Acropolis for my birthday so on this trip we made that a major point. We got to the Athens airport and waited by the baggage carousel. Our bags never came. As we waited we realized that everyone connecting in Copenhagen from Oslo was not finding their bags. Because our flight to Copenhagen was delayed they didn’t try to load our bags. We were at the next gate over! We waited in line for over an hour to file the paperwork for our bags. Fortunately, our really nice driver waited for us! We went to our apartment and went to bed.

This morning dad was tired so we let him stay at home. Mom and I went to the changing of the guard. The formal one only happens once a week and it was amazing. Around 40 soldiers and a band marched up the main road that was closed for the event. They stopped and did an inspection before doing the whole ceremony where they march very slowly and stomp with the nails on their boots. They did the switch and the whole group marched away. We walked up to see the guards and saw that 5 minutes into his shift one looked like he was about to fall asleep. I hope he did not fall over… We walked away and found a street vendor selling pretzel things that looked like a hoop. We also got some corn on the cob. We went shopping at H&M for all the clothing we needed to replace since we did not have our bags. Later we went on a walk to the old sport theater where the ancient Greeks held many events like running races. It was excavated, restored, and reused in both 1896, and 2004 when Athens had the Olympics.

 

 

Today we went down to the marina and beach. We took the subway to get there. I loved the subways because the whole city has old ruins under it so when they expanded it in 2004 for the Olympics, they dug up thousands of artifacts and the museum could not hold them all so they left them and put glass walls so you can see them. We got to the beach and enjoyed a long walk seeing boats and yachts. We also saw a famous church with bright blue domes on the roof. As the sun was starting to set, we went to a little park to watch. It was a spectacular sunset. We went to the exercise park for a few minutes and saw what we think is one of the biggest yachts in the world. We wandered back to a bus stop and took it back to our house.

Today we mostly explored the city. We saw Hadrian’s library and even a church under a modern skyscraper.

Vesta’s Birthday was December 19! Happy birthday, puppy dog!  We decided to go to the Acropolis Museum. Mom was not feeling well so she stayed at home. Dad and I were amazed by the fact that the building is built on stilts over the ancient ruins. We went in and saw models of the Acropolis over time. We saw how it has evolved over time from a small set of buildings to a huge religious center. The Parthenon has even been a Christian church and Islamic Mousqe at times. We walked up a ramp seeing vases and pottery from thousands of years ago. We saw parts of the buildings before the Parthenon and that co-existed with it. The top level was the parts of the Parthenon itself that have been recovered over the years. It was laid out with the east part of the Parthenon facing east. At the east end, we saw all that was left of the east frieze showing the birth of Athena. Other than some horse heads and a random body part here or there, there is not much left. We then walked along the north side and saw the statues of centaurs. At the west was the competition between Athena and Posiden of protector of the city. Yet again not much is left but as with the east side and many things on the north and south, Drawings from the past tell us what it would have looked like. We know one could see Posiden gifting a salt water spring and Athena gifting an olive tree. Obviously, the people of Athena deemed Athena’s gift more valuable and made her goddess of the city or It would be called Posidena. I greatly enjoyed the Acropolis Museum and am excited to go to the Acropolis tomorrow.

 

8 Responses to “Athens

  • Christina
    7 months ago

    I am so excited that your birthday wish came true! As soon as I have the kids again I’ll share this update with them!

  • Janet Shown
    7 months ago

    So my question is, what made you want to go to the Acropolis for so many years? I can’t think of any other person I know who had that goal! It’s amazing that you are so interested in the world that the Acropolis has special meaning for you.

  • Happy Athenian Birthday Rhys (a little late now so let’s also add happy Christmas from sunny Australia) – annabel

  • Barb Walker
    7 months ago

    How will you ever top that birthday? Where do you want to visit on your next birthday?

  • Lina Shipman
    7 months ago

    Great Blog Rhys. Can’t wait to read what you have been doing this week. Hope you are enjoying the country where I was born. If you have time you should go North to Thessaloniki. It is the second largest city in Greece and where I was born. It is much m ore beautiful than Athens. Surrounded by water and great restaurants and food. It may be a little cold there as the water makes it colder.

    Happy New Year, Lina

  • I enjoyed reading about your birthday in Athens 🙂
    How old are you this year? I will look forward to reading about your travels. Thank you for inviting me to your blog. Tell your mom and dad hello for me. Tina

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