Hope you enjoyed the short but fun recap of day one! Now onto day two.
Started with a crazy spread of food at our hotel’s complimentary breakfast; I’m talking every carb on the planet, olives, sweets, seriously name it and it was there! No complaints from these breakfast loving folks :) After loading up and getting in as much caffeine as possible it was time to explore some old stuff.
First stop was just around the corner from our hotel, Temple of Olympian Zeus.
We opted for the ticket that was more money that included seven locations but since we only made it to two of them, didn’t really pay off but it wasn’t that expensive overall. Keep in mind the hours of the sites because we didn’t and they close earlier than you’d think. If you do miss them being open, they are close to paths and behind rod iron fences so you can still see them. More info here.
It was hot as hell so we had to hide in shade in-between photos and guard our face and eyes from the dust but we really enjoyed seeing something so old that’s still standing, well, most of it’s still standing.
After the temple we spontaneously decided to hit up the National Garden. On the way, walking down a very busy street we spotted these underground remains that were discovered while they were digging to make an air vent for the train in the early 2000’s. So crazy! Just digging along a city street and you find the above, I’m sure it was annoying for workers to have to go around but how fascinating. Glad they kept them intact.
Another unplanned visit was the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern olympics was held. We just so happened to walk by so we took a closer look and I gave a shout out to my buddy that helped me plan the trip, well if you want to be exact, shoutout was given to his alter ego-Philotheos!
Outside of the stadium we found an olive tree that appeared to have ripe olives, watch video to see if we were correct…
If you can’t tell, we were easily distracted *per usual* which is something I love about traveling with Dustin. He’s always up for a change of plans or just living spontaneously! Earlier in the day we saw this turtle just trucking along a hill and then right outside the gardens we heard rustling around in some leaves to discover the following dude trying to get up a curb into a bush. We gave him a lift but before I gave him a personality via Snap:
The gardens…what to say about the gardens. Well, there were tall trees! Even some palm trees. But overall sorta disappointing. Of course we made the most it, documenting silly pics and videos, but I’d say unless you just wanted a pretty walk, don’t bother for exotic plant sightings. I suppose I’m a little snobby about this because it’s something I’ve always done having a dad that’s plant obsessed and Atlanta having a beautiful botanical garden. The moment that I was like “meh” was when we tracked down my favorite tree exhibit, the ginkgo, and discovering there was one sad tree, ha!
But it got better, or worse(?), when we stumbled upon the saddest zoo ever. See Zoologist Dustin debuting the star of the zoo:
One pin for real had goats and rabbits free range living together! It was sad and silly all at the same time. After being landed on by one too many flies, we bounced out:
Never a good thing when you see a fly on a foreign bird that then lands on you…
So it was off to the First Cemetery of Athens.
Why did we visit a cemetery? Cause we always do on trips to old cities! New Orleans, Savannah, even walk around the Oakland Cemetery here in Atlanta from time to time. There’s a certain kind of beauty about them.
Beauty in the previous generations of families being remembered by a display of their favorite keepsakes, poems, scripture, plants. I especially like when plants are incorporated because to me, it’s like a part of them keeps growing. It’s a place for family and friends to go and remember them while they shared time together on earth. Something about cemeteries to me is just, peaceful.
Feet and back were hurting so we sought out a nearby cafe for brews and water. On the way spotted a shop that makes the marble figures for cemeteries. The doors were wide open, dust flying out and a couple of men were inside hard at work. Couldn’t help but watch in captivation.
Right before our trip Sprint added Greece to their free international plan allowing us to use our phones a lot more than we did in Mexico. Basically we could connect to internet wherever there was WIFI but in addition they had deals with Greece’s phone companies and in some areas we were roaming for free and had decent service. Whenever we had the chance though, we’d (well, I) would ask for the WIFI password. Ended up becoming a big joke later in the trip.
In route to food we popped into a tiny church in the center of Athen’s downtown.
With several strangers we lit some prayer candles. Raised as a Southern Baptist I had never done this but enjoyed the symbolism.
So we wouldn’t miss the sunset we hightailed it to the Acropolis on the prettiest of paths!
It was quite the hike. Lots and lots and lots of stairs and slippery marble but we made it! Toured around the top until the Greek army came and took down the flag-that was special to see. Then we plopped down to say goodbye to the sun.
We know you’re not supposed to stare at the sun but it was moving so fast and we couldn’t help ourselves! I wish I had saved the video of it disappearing because it was so cool, I said “goodnight sun!” and poof, it went behind the mountains and we hiked back down.
On the way to our hotel to get cleaned up there was a concert about to take place at the amphitheater which is the venue under us in the photo where we are standing on the rock. We got to hear sound check!
Night two was more Ozou for Dustin, Greek wine for me, shopping around Plaka and enjoying the last few hours in Athens.
Congrats to me for finally getting in the swing of posting about Greece and to all of us for making it to hump day! Santorini is coming up next!