dimanche 13 mai 2007


We arrived in Athens in the late afternoon on Sunday. We headed into the Psiri neighborhood, which was a few blocks from our hotel, for dinner. Psiri is an up-and-coming area with lots of restaurants and bars. Lots of folks were sitting outside in cafes there; Greece is the land of the outdoor cafe. I tried an ouzo which may have contributed to us getting confused and walking in circles trying to find a place for dinner.

The next morning we got up and hit the major sites: the Acropolis, the ancient agora, the Kerameikos, and at the end of the day we strolled along the pedestrian street that circles the Acropolis, the dionysiou areopagitou. I think we could now write a section for guidebooks called: how to see everything in just 2 days!

The Parthenon is undergoing a reconstruction in order to repair mistakes made in an earlier reconstruction, so they were taking down stones, tagging and rearranging them.We liked this little horse's head peeking out because it seemed very mafioso. Here is a amphitheater on the south slope of the acropolis. Athens itself was a not particularly gorgeous city, with blocks and blocks of unbeautiful midcentury apartment buildings. Although I wonder if that architectural style will come back into favor as the midcentury furniture has-- but that is a different story. Anyhow this theater is called the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. After lunch we walked around the ancient agora, which was a sprawling area which included the main squares and marketplace in ancient times as well as the buildings for the senate, other administrative buildings, and the prison where Socrates died. This is a view across the agora to the acropolis.
Here is a building in the Agora. We were instructed that the Greeks pretty much invented everything, including democracy, theater, our architecture, philosophy, the legal system, organized sports, etc. Not to mention the pythagorean theorem and the hippocratic oath. They also could not have a block of marble without someone carving it.
And here is a cute little church called the church of the holy apostles, from the 10th century, which was built to commemorate St Paul's teachings in the Agora.The Kerameikos included an ancient cemetary and ruins of the old wall that surrounded the city. Here is a bull on top of the Tomb of Dionysios of Kollytos.
And after all this we had a drink in the Plaka!

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