We sadly say goodbye to Syros, our favourite of the three Greek islands that we were lucky enough to visit on this trip.
We are headed to Athens and excited to be spending a couple of days here before heading home to Australia.
First stop, the ancient remains at the Acropolis of course!
Before we even start, we are gob smacked by what is left of the amphitheatre at the entry to the site. We sit here for a long time on the stone seats marvelling at the workmanship that has gone into creating this impressive area.
Some of the remaining stone seating looks like it’s been carved with letters – we wonder if they are people’s names or villages? we don’t know. It’s humbling to be sitting here. How on earth did they do this??
But that is just the beginning, as we walk through the massive entrance pillars that takes us through to the Parthenon and temple of Athena, we can’t believe what we are seeing.
The sheer size of the columns are truly amazing and we can’t imagine or comprehend just how huge this structure was in its hey day when it was complete.
The entire Acropolis area looks a bit like a construction site with scaffolding and cranes, and we wonder how many more artefacts will be discovered by the archeologists in this ongoing. restoration project.
Ivan’s observation that you wouldn’t be able to plant a tree in Athens without finding a ruin is probably spot on. I had my eyes peeled for something precious or noteworthy the whole time. We were also being ever mindful of the worn and slippery stones – so smooth and shiny from being walked on for centuries.
The Acropolis Site looms over the city and the views are incredible. There are so many photo opportunities, however with the huge scale of everything here, my pics can’t capture the beauty and awesomeness that we are seeing.
We marvel at all this greatness surrounding us and Ivan needs to stop trying to figure out how they built this originally and now all these years later how they are putting it back together. We will never be able to figure it out.
Next stop, the Acropolis museum which houses the artifacts found. The sheer size and intricacy of the pieces are amazing and once again we are in awe at the magnitude of this project. We spend a good couple of hours wandering and soaking up as much as we can.
Athens is a bustling city full of museums rich in history, and we are staying near the Plaka area with its cafes and restaurants all serving delicious Greek food, so once again we are in foodie heaven.
We take a walk to The Temple of Zeus, the light was stunning and so captivating we also returned the following day for a second look.
We love the streets of Athens lined with fruit trees and olive trees and think that’s a lovely idea that could be adopted in our hometown of Bridgetown Western Australia. Ivan did get into a little bit of trouble from one of the shopkeepers when he was trying to get some foliage down for a little old lady, but thats another story.
As we are limited for time here, we buy tickets for the “Hop on, Hop off bus” – this way we get a birds eye view of the main attractions accompanied by an informative commentary.
We see the University with students milling around, the Archeological museum just one of the many museums here (not surprising), various places of worship and lots of other interesting buildings, all with their unique architecture.
We drive by the Hondos Centre at the busy Omonia Square and I realize I’ve missed a really good shopping opportunity here. Probably just as well, as our hand luggage cases are now bulging to the max, nearly three months into this trip.
From the bus, we see a common sight throughout Greece – men smoking, drinking coffee – or is it something stronger, whilst playing backgammon. Simple pleasures.
Our bus is a more leisurely ride than some of the taxis we’ve caught. Ivan reckons if you want that Formula One experience just get a taxi in Athens.
Another area we spotted from the bus that we would have loved to have had more time to explore, is the Thession area – the Soho of Athens – full of antiques, books and interesting looking wares.
Also the Monastirski district with more antique dealers, restaurants and tavernas all serving traditional Greek food – so tempting.
When we get to City hall we get a really good view of the food markets with their huge array of spices, fresh meat and fresh fish.The smells are wafting up to us on the top deck. We also saw a film crew making a documentary – all very exciting. We would have loved to had more time to get in amongst it.
We’re not historians by any means, but learn some more history about the Turks invading Greece. So many countries we’ve visited on this trip have been invaded by Turks, Ottomans, Venetians, Romans and they’ve all struggled hard for their freedom and continue to do so. We know how lucky we are living in Australia.
The more we explore the more we realize that we need to come back for longer next time. Two days is just not enough!
Efkaristo (thank you) Greece, you’ve been great and we look forward to returning one day. We’ve got one last delicious meal and a litre of wine to see us off and then we are homeward bound – Bridgetown here we come!
We hope you’ll continue to follow us and our life on the farm, running a bed and breakfast and planning the next adventure.
Jenny and Ivan x