My travels to Greece in 2014 – part 2
Today I was going to visit the Acropolis of Athens, a World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO.
The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.
While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site’s most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike.
It cost 12 Euros to visit all six sites of the Acropolis of Athens and the ancient Agora.
The slopes of the Acropolis has many statues and monuments.
The theatre of Dionysus is at the base of the Acropolis and it was used for festivals in honor of the god Dionysus. It has seating for 17,000 spectators.
The Parthenon is a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron.
The Erechtheion is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens in Greece which was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon.
On the north side, there is another large porch with six Ionic columns, and on the south, the famous “Porch of the Maidens”, with six draped female figures (caryatids) as supporting columns.
In 1801 one of the caryatids and the north column of the east porch together with the overlying section of the entablature were removed by Lord Elgin in order to decorate his Scottish mansion, and were later sold to the British Museum (along with the pedimental and frieze sculpture taken from the Parthenon). The new Acropolis Museum holds the other five figures, which are replaced onsite by replicas.
From atop I could see all across Athens including the ancient Agora down below.
The ancient Agora was the central spot in ancient Athens. The Temple of Hephaestus is located at the north-west side of the Agora.
The ancient Agora has a small museum.
I headed to a viewpoint to look across the ancient Agora.
It was mid-November and warm enough for me to wear t-shirt and shorts.
Next on my sightseeing was the Panathenaic Stadium. The stadium is a multi-purpose stadium used for several events and athletics and hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient Greek stadium, the Panathenaic Stadium is the only major stadium in the world built entirely of white marble.
In the 2004 Olympic Games, the Panathenaic Stadium hosted the archery competition and the finish of the Marathon.
It could once seat about 80,000 spectators on fifty rows of marble steps and currently holds 45,000 spectators.
The next day, I headed to the mountains surrounding the city of Athens. I came across a wild tortoise in the forest.
The Kaisariani Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox monastery built on the north side of Mount Hymettus, near Athens.
The monastery was probably established in Byzantine times in ca. 1100.
I took the metro back to Athens city centre.
Shopping in Athens is a favorite pastime for tourists and Athenians and one of the best places to buy just about anything is the Monastiraki Flea Market.
After my shopping I headed to the marina on the coast.
I was invited by the Qatar’s former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani to have dinner on board his supersize yacht (that was probably paid for by taxes and corruption). At dinner we discuss FIFA 2022 World Cup bribery and rigging. We decided that Germany will win the cup in 2022. The Al Mirqab yacht is one of the largest motor yachts ever built at a length of 133 metres. The yacht is normally moored at the Faliro coastal area of Athens.
It was time to head back to Britain and to put up my Xmas decorations.
– The End –
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