Tony & Cynthea Zurich, Turkey, Greece, Mallorca travel blog

The Acropolis from the Ancient Agora

Ancient Agora, Stoa Attalus

Ancient Agora, Stoa Attalus

Ancient Agora, Temple Hephaistos

Ancient Agora, Temple Hephaistos

Ancient Agora

Hadrians' arch

Olympian of Zeus

Olympian of Zeus

Olympian of Zeus

Olympian of Zeus

Olympian of Zeus, Acropolis

Acrpolois from the Olympian of Zeus

Olympian of Zeus, Digby rides a tortise

Athens Gardens

Turtles in the gardens

Palace guards

Palace guard


It is Sunday, and many shops are closed, including the market and most of the street kiosks. It was another noisy night from the protesters, but there has been little sign of the immigrant community down the street where they flog off their stolen gear. Breakfast is the last of the stale bread with nutella nicked from a hotel we were at a while back. We meet Chris and Megan for a coffee before heading down to the metro station. The road to the town hall is closed off, and there are a few police and protesters about.

We head down to the metro and go our separate ways, we are off to see a few more of the ruins on our so-called pass, first stop is the Ancient Agora on the foothills of the Acropolis. The area was where administrative buildings, temples, public services and courts were. We learn that there was jury system in operation as early as the 5th C BC. The Stoa of Attalus houses the museum, and the buggers want a couple of Euro to visit this too. Tony tells the woman he has already paid to visit the site, and says he is sick of being charged extra for these places. She asks if we have the four day pass, and lets us both in, and we don’t use any more pass coupons. Hmmm, there was no mention of the pass when she first tried to get more Euros though! The sight is well spread out, and we are feeling the heat again already. They had water fountains here too, so we filled up our bottles when we arrived, and again as we left.

We climb the slope to the Temple of Hephaistos, built in 460BC this is the best preserved temple of antiquity.

We have a bite to eat at Thissio, and then take the metro around the hill to the Acropolis Station. From there walk down to Hadrian’s arch and on to the Olympian of Zeus where there are roman baths, classical houses and a section of the ancient fortified wall. A total of 16 (of 104) 17m columns have been preserved, one of which remains in pieces on the ground, felled during a storm in the late 1800s. We have to hurry through the visit, as once again the place closes at 3pm. On the way out Tony spots a tortoise and picks him up. He puts Digby on its’ back, and has to wait a while until the tortoise gets going again, but the picture was worth the wait.

Cynthea wants to get on a tram and just go “somewhere”, but we have done that before today. Besides, the massive National Gardens are across the road, and there is plenty of shade there, so we head across and eat our fruit. We have a bit of a map to take us through the gardens, but as with many places here a lot is guess work, the paths don’t go straight, they meander through the gardens, and we end up on the East side, when we needed to be on the West. Bugger. We head out on to the street and meet up with soldiers in traditional costume after the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier, near Syntagma Sq. There are also a couple of guard houses on this street, and Tony takes a couple of sneaky photos, unsure if he is allowed to or not.

Around the corner is the Presidential Guard house, and along this street are many embassies. Signs of unrest are about, “bureaucrats go home” notices on the power poles along the street. We look at the bus tours of Athens, Cynthea has been wanting to take in one of these. As it is after 4pm we can have it half price, use the ticket until 8pm, and come back tomorrow (4-8pm again). But we have already been over the route on foot, probably twice for some parts of it, so we give it a miss.

At the corner is Parliament Building, and along the road is the tomb of the unknown soldier, guarded by two soldiers in the traditional costume (it is not only the Scots that wear skirts!). Tourists are allowed up beside the guards to have their photos taken, but only one at a time. The soldiers are standing absolutely still and expressionless for their hour of duty. Cynthea and Digby get their photo taken with a guard.

We take the metro back to Monastiraki, and head up the hill to the hotel. Most of the shops are closed, including the cafes, so we don’t get anything for tea. We find a kiosk open, Tony grabs a couple of coldies, and Cynthea gets a sprite. We get some bananas from a fruit vendor near the hotel, tea is sorted. There is someone else in the room, but no sign of her when we get back. Tony is up on the roof talking to a couple from Wellington, and the Aussies he met last night.

We head back to the room and have company, a girl from Bulgaria. She is a bit of a moaner, complaining about everything. She says there is a bad smell (wasn’t Tony, he had just had a shower, and the smelly shoes are outside), but Cynthea is dressing a cut on his toe and the alcohol swab smells a bit funny, so we figure it is that. We also have a citronella dot on our arm to keep the mossies at bay, so it could be that too. It looks like she has turned in for the night, and we ask if she wants the lights out, but she says she says it is ok.

No one is downstairs so we grab the computer to book our tickets to London. We get an email from Pol, he did not get his visa to stay in NZ, and had to go home. He is in Mallorca for a couple of weeks, then he moves to Germany. He asks if we want to visit while he is there. Silly question!

This is the first time we have searched for flights since leaving home, it is a nightmare trying to sort out the best price, and we have to watch carefully as many airlines don’t have a baggage allowance. We use Skyscanner for best pricing, but the flights are not direct, and sometimes two different airlines are used, so that will mean two lots of baggage charges, and it very quickly bumps the prices up. In the end we filter out the crap and end up with two choices, both leaving and arriving at the same time. Vueling charges for luggage, and Iberia includes up to 23kg, so we go with them. Then we find out the Iberia flight is serviced by Vueling, so Tony phones the reservation desk to make sure we will not be hit by luggage fees. We will leave at 4pm on Tuesday, and arrive in Palma around 8pm that night. Pol is surprised that we are arriving so soon, and is looking forward to seeing us. It will be great to meet his parents, we spoken a few times on the phone.

Back in the room It is noisy outside, and Tony goes to shut the window, but moaning milly is still bitching about the smell and doesn’t want the window closed, so Tony closes the shutters and curtains and finds the air plugs.

It is Sunday, and many shops are closed, including the market and most of the street kiosks. It was another noisy night from the protesters, but there has been little sign of the immigrant community down the street where they flog off their stolen gear. Breakfast is the last of the stale bread with nutella nicked from a hotel we were at a while back. We meet Chris and Megan for a coffee before heading down to the metro station. The road to the town hall is closed off, and there are a few police and protesters about.

We head down to the metro and go our separate ways, we are off to see a few more of the ruins on our so-called pass, first stop is the Ancient Agora on the foothills of the Acropolis. The area was where administrative buildings, temples, public services and courts were. We learn that there was jury system in operation as early as the 5th C BC. The Stoa of Attalus houses the museum, and the buggers want a couple of Euro to visit this too. Tony tells the woman he has already paid to visit the site, and says he is sick of being charged extra for these places. She asks if we have the four day pass, and lets us both in, and we don’t use any more pass coupons. Hmmm, there was no mention of the pass when she first tried to get more Euros though! The sight is well spread out, and we are feeling the heat again already. They had water fountains here too, so we filled up our bottles when we arrived, and again as we left.

We climb the slope to the Temple of Hephaistos, built in 460BC this is the best preserved temple of antiquity.

We have a bite to eat at Thissio, and then take the metro around the hill to the Acropolis Station. From there walk down to Hadrian’s arch and on to the Olympian of Zeus where there are roman baths, classical houses and a section of the ancient fortified wall. A total of 16 (of 104) 17m columns have been preserved, one of which remains in pieces on the ground, felled during a storm in the late 1800s. We have to hurry through the visit, as once again the place closes at 3pm. On the way out Tony spots a tortoise and picks him up. He puts Digby on its’ back, and has to wait a while until the tortoise gets going again, but the picture was worth the wait.

Cynthea wants to get on a tram and just go “somewhere”, but we have done that before today. Besides, the massive National Gardens are across the road, and there is plenty of shade there, so we head across and eat our fruit. We have a bit of a map to take us through the gardens, but as with many places here a lot is guess work, the paths don’t go straight, they meander through the gardens, and we end up on the East side, when we needed to be on the West. Bugger. We head out on to the street and meet up with soldiers in traditional costume after the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier, near Syntagma Sq. There are also a couple of guard houses on this street, and Tony takes a couple of sneaky photos, unsure if he is allowed to or not.

Around the corner is the Presidential Guard house, and along this street are many embassies. Signs of unrest are about, “bureaucrats go home” notices on the power poles along the street. We look at the bus tours of Athens, Cynthea has been wanting to take in one of these. As it is after 4pm we can have it half price, use the ticket until 8pm, and come back tomorrow (4-8pm again). But we have already been over the route on foot, probably twice for some parts of it, so we give it a miss.

At the corner is Parliament Building, and along the road is the tomb of the unknown soldier, guarded by two soldiers in the traditional costume (it is not only the Scots that wear skirts!). Tourists are allowed up beside the guards to have their photos taken, but only one at a time. The soldiers are standing absolutely still and expressionless for their hour of duty. Cynthea and Digby get their photo taken with a guard.

We take the metro back to Monastiraki, and head up the hill to the hotel. Most of the shops are closed, including the cafes, so we don’t get anything for tea. We find a kiosk open, Tony grabs a couple of coldies, and Cynthea gets a sprite. We get some bananas from a fruit vendor near the hotel, tea is sorted. There is someone else in the room, but no sign of her when we get back. Tony is up on the roof talking to a couple from Wellington, and the Aussies he met last night.

We head back to the room and have company, a girl from Bulgaria. She is a bit of a moaner, complaining about everything. She says there is a bad smell (wasn’t Tony, he had just had a shower, and the smelly shoes are outside), but Cynthea is dressing a cut on his toe and the alcohol swab smells a bit funny, so we figure it is that. We also have a citronella dot on our arm to keep the mossies at bay, so it could be that too. It looks like she has turned in for the night, and we ask if she wants the lights out, but she says she says it is ok.

No one is downstairs so we grab the computer to book our tickets to London. We get an email from Pol, he did not get his visa to stay in NZ, and had to go home. He is in Mallorca for a couple of weeks, then he moves to Germany. He asks if we want to visit while he is there. Silly question!

This is the first time we have searched for flights since leaving home, it is a nightmare trying to sort out the best price, and we have to watch carefully as many airlines don’t have a baggage allowance. We use Skyscanner for best pricing, but the flights are not direct, and sometimes two different airlines are used, so that will mean two lots of baggage charges, and it very quickly bumps the prices up. In the end we filter out the crap and end up with two choices, both leaving and arriving at the same time. Vueling charges for luggage, and Iberia includes up to 23kg, so we go with them. Then we find out the Iberia flight is serviced by Vueling, so Tony phones the reservation desk to make sure we will not be hit by luggage fees. We will leave at 4pm on Tuesday, and arrive in Palma around 8pm that night. Pol is surprised that we are arriving so soon, and is looking forward to seeing us. It will be great to meet his parents, we spoken a few times on the phone.

Back in the room It is noisy outside, and Tony goes to shut the window, but moaning milly is still bitching about the smell and doesn’t want the window closed, so Tony closes the shutters and curtains and finds the air plugs.



Advertisement
OperationEyesight.com
Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |