11 January 2010


We started 2009 with a January visit to Belgium and throughout the year we got to visit a lot of new places including: Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Scotland, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, and Israel.

I don't know what 2010 will bring, but its off to a good start with Greece !

On New Years Day we hopped on the train for a 5 hour trip south through some breathtaking scenery....unfortunately I only snapped one picture in the north of Greece. Once we got to the south I had my nose pressed up against the window, mouth open just staring.
(Kelly was sleeping)

Our destination was of course Athens.
(Another destination we have been wanting to tackle for a loooooooong time.)

above, the Temple of Hephaestus ( Vulcan to you Romans )
(please click on the picture to see a bigger picture)

Incredible. The city is massive and is littered with ruins and remnants of Ancient Greece.

Ahhhh Athens....how much history can one absorb in 3 days ? The answer is : not nearly as much as one could, if one spends hours lounging in outdoor cafe's eating olives and swilling wine.

Ok, its no secret that the Mrs and I love Mediterranean cuisine, so as you can imagine we put a dent in the local olive supply and drank delicious Greek wine by the jug.

Waiter: Would you like some warm bread ?
Chris: Yes please...and more Olives
Kelly: and another Jug of Wine please.
Waiter: Ok, anything else?
Chris: Did we say Wine already?

Upon our arrival in Athens, we checked into our hotel and headed straight to the nearby Plaka district. We decided to sit, enjoy the weather and get drunk errrr I mean have lunch at an outdoor cafe. What to order? Souvlaki of course!

Kelly had Chicken Souvlaki while I opted for the traditional Lamb.

Mine was dry, hers was fantastic....damn!

Two jugs of wine later, who cares.

We spent the evening walking around and checking out the Plaka....pretty freakin nice.

Photo shoot ! Pretty girl with her new shawl from Jerusalem front and center... Parthenon lit up in background....

Back at our hotel, we sat up on the roof top terrace and sat staring at the Acropolis...we might of also had some more wine.

Beautiful huh?
(This is where I again remind you that you can click on pictures to make them bigger)

The next morning we got our bearings (kind of hard not to know wher you are going when you are headed for the hill in the middle of the city) and struck out for the Parthenon to see what all the fuss was.

As you can see the weather was beautiful and as you get up to the Acropolis the views get better and better.

Kelly was disappointed to find out that there were not only signs telling her not to touch anything but also eagle eyed security people. She only got yelled at once, she was very well behaved.

If you've ever seen the SNL skit about marble columns, there are loads of em up on the Acropolis. Maaaaarrrbbblle Collummnnnns.

Ok its impressive. You win Greeks, ya got some impressive stuff here. Fancy building, good location...very nice.

...but.... Once again, why does everything always have scaffolding on it! When is it going to be done !

You can't even go in the damn thing. No problem, walking around you get some pretty spectacular views of Athens and some other sites...

below, the Theater of something-or-other

below, the Temple of Olympian Zeus

Athens is everything you would expect...fantastic.

On the way down to the Temple of Hephaestus, through the Ancient Agora, Kelly was delighted to be able to pick olives...although she had to jump for most.

The view of the Acropolis from the Agora. Incredible. Breathtaking. All that.

The Temple of Hapheastus is the best preserved Ancient Greek Temple. Built by one of the dudes who built the Parthenon.

After a great morning of exploring, we hit the Plaka for lunch.

You guessed it....Greek salad...bread...olives....wine. The tzatziki dip was especially good.

We lounged at this cafe' for a good long while...when I realized...uh oh

Look at number 53

Another damned Funicular railway! They are everywhere!

Alas, we weren't headed to that particular area of town today, so we went to the Roman Agora to see some Roman ruins.

The picture above was taken seconds after Kelly got yelled at by mean Greek security lady for touching the tiles. Probably a good thing or Kelly would have mailed it off to Kathleen & Michael in Florida.

She was able however to molest this marble block without being yelled at.

We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the back streets of the Plaka, and even walked to Hadrians Arch (above) and the Temple of Zeus beyond, but it was closed by the time we got there. We walked through a big park and then back to the hotel to freshen up before dinner.

Our last night in Greece. We sat in a cafe', had another delicious meal, then retired to the hotel.

As it happens sometime, I ate something that didnt agree with me (I think it was the Meat & Rice Balls in Egg & Cucumber sauce I had for dinner, Kelly thinks it was the 700 olives)...I spent the night sitting on the Porcelain Temple but by our midday flight I was ok.

Greece. can't recommend it highly enough.


Kelly said...

I have to laugh at the faces I make whenever I am compelled to touch something I am not supposed to. If it makes me that uncomfortable, why must I touch it? A mystery.

Anonymous said...

i have been to Athens 13 years ago and renovation has been in the same place - lame greeks! don't get that part with not to touch or take anything, we came to Acropolis at 6am and saw army trucks bringing over stones because everday thousands of tourists are stealing them from there so all stones arond are not really acient they are from stone pit!- Alex