Visiting Greece: Part 1 – Athens

Being on our radar for some time now, we finally had the opportunity to visit Greece, which turned out to be a great decision !

One of the great things about living closer to Europe is that it makes traveling somewhat easier, and we are making full use of that fact while out here in the UAE. Greece was of interest to us and we were very curious to see it especially after visiting Turkey, which is also a country rich with history. We did not have much time, so we limited our trip to only visiting Athens and Santorini. We also decided to leave our bigger cameras behind and settled on using smaller mirrorless cameras.

We spent most of our time visiting the historical sites and places, and were rewarded with some jaw-dropping sights. Fortunately for us we chose our base of operations to be near Syntagma Square, which is the ideal location from which to explore this city since it’s close to all the hot spots to visit when time is limited. Our hotel offered the perfect view over the Acropolis and Jaunine wasted no time to get some excellent shots of it straight away.

Blue Hour shot of the Acropolis from our hotel. (Jaunine – Fuji X-T1)

The Parthenon at the Acropolis. (Olympus OMD-EM10)

The Erechtheion or Erechtheum is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis which was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon. (Olympus OMD-EM10)

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis. The building was completed in 161 AD and then renovated in 1950. (Olympus OMD-EM10)

The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion, is an Greco-Roman temple in the center of Athens, southeast of the Acropolis. Begun in the 6th century BC, it was not completed until the reign of the Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. It was at that time the largest temple in Greece. (Jaunine – Fuji X-T1)

A closer look of the Temple of Zeus. Jaunine was lying flat on her tummy for this shot!  The Acropolis can be seen in the background.  (Jaunine – Fuji X-T1)

Jaunine decided to do some digging and excavations of her own 🙂 (Olympus OMD-EM10)

Hadrian’s Arch is a huge archway or gate in front of the entrance to the Temple of Zeus. It was built by the people of Athens to commemorate the generosity of the Emperor Hadrian who started many building projects in Athens. The monument was built out of Pentelic marble and is 18 metres high and 13.5 metres wide with a depth of 2.3 metres. There are  two inscriptions on either side of the Arch. The side that faces the Acropolis says “This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus.” and on the other side, that faces towards the Temple of Zeus that says “This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus.”.   (Jaunine – Fuji X-T1)

 

No visit to the ancient ruins are complete without popping into the fabulous National Museum of Archaeology in the center of Athens.

Inside the national Museum of Archaeology. (Olympus OMD-EM10)

Another view inside the museum. (Olympus OMD-EM10)

“The Kiss” – famous sculpture by Rodin. (Olympus OMD-EM10)

Another beautiful sculpture (Olympus OMD-EM10)

 

Athens is of course not just about the history, the streets are full of surprises too!

Small church. (Jaunine Fuji X-T1)

Jaunine grabbed this shot of one of the markets near Monastiraki square from a moving bus. (Jaunine Fuji X-T1)

Another meat market. (Jaunine Fuji X-T1)

One of the official guards at the residence of the prime minister. The uniform is hand made. (Olympus OMD-EM10)

Jaunine just had to get closer for a shot! (Jaunine Fuji X-T1)

Nice-looking gardens too! (Jaunine Fuji X-T1)

Sailboat harbour close to Piraeus port. Like here, many streets are lined with citrus trees. (Olympus OMD-EM10)

The market near Monastiraki square can be very busy, even chaotic at times. (Olympus OMD-EM10)

Monastiraki square (Olympus OMD-EM10)

 

Then of course there is the food and wine to be explored!

This waiter (Alexander) quickly discovered our interest in wine, and being a wine lover himself he spared no effort in making sure we select the most appropriate wine to accompany our food! (Olympus OMD-EM10)

 

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Athens despite all the walking uphill and downhill, which at times felt like it will never end.

As it turned out, that was good preparation for what was to come – the MANY and extreme hills of Santorini!

Stay tuned for part 2 !    🙂

 

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