Athens day 3, 2006-01-11


Today we had early breakfast and prepared for a halfday tour around town by bus.
The alarm went off at 6.30 and we were picked up at 7.30 for our tour to the scenic
spots of Athens. As I promised yesterday it will be a lot of stones, rocks and statues
in today's edition of our "Tourist Athens".

Breakfast at 7 in our hotel lobby. Simpel but ok.

Our first stop was Panathinaikon Stadium.

The next stop was the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

History meets today.

From the temple area you have a grand view over Akropolis' backside.

Outside the temple the dogs and cats reigned on each
side of the street. They are all clean and wellfed.

Akroplis needs some more extensive explanation. Is it impressive? Can you feel the historic wing-beat as in Rome? The answer is no. Perhaps because it is cold and the rain is hanging in the air but look at the facts of this ruin that originates from 2000 BC. It is rebuilt on the old ground 438 BC. Even if the Greeks manage to do it in 10 years it is what's left that astonishes you. Almost nothing! Pollution and plunderers have stripped it so most of the original statues and parts of the buildings will be found in England, Russia, France and even Copenhagen. The 6 famous beautiful ladies at the Erechtheion are fake. One is in London, one is for restoration and the remaining four you will find in the Akropolis Museum. The prominent Temple of Athena Nike is dismounted for restoration. Judge for yourself. Here are the pictures. At least we can say "We were there".

This is from the Ministry of Culture's webpage
The Turks used the Parthenon as a powder magazine when the Venetians, under Admiral Morosini, sieged the Acropolis in 1687. One of the Venetian bombs fell on the Parthenon and caused a tremendous explosion that destroyed a great part of the monument which had been preserved in a good condition until then. The disaster was completed in the beginning of the 19th century, when the British ambassador in Constantinople, Lord Elgin, stole the greatest part of the sculptural decoration of the monument (frieze, metopes, pediments), transferred them to England and sold them to the British Museum, where they are still exhibited, being one of the most significant collections of the museum.

From Filopappos Hill are most of the official photos of Acroplois taken. It is also
from this hill the Venetians fired the canons that destroyed the Parthenon.

A panorama with the Roman Odeum of Herodes in the foreground
(Combination of 4 pictures)

Athens is an endles white carpet in all directions. 5.000.000
inhabitants incuding suburb areas. Half the population of Greece.

Fake statues

Real freezing tourists

One of four real statues from the Erechtheion in the museum.

You are allowed to take pictures of any statue but not together with any person.
After a sharp reprimand from the guards Elaine is on her way away from the statue
but it was too late and this picture is probably a solid proof that I violated Greek
laws. If I'm not home on Monday you know where to find me.

The pictures are not taken during an earthquake even if it looks that way...


You can watch a movie where our guide tells about Temple of Zeus and a panoramic view from Acropolis here. (1m41s 5Mb)