We all made a conscious decision the night before to actually sleep in for once and hit up the Acropolis toward the end of the day. So, in the Uncle John and I strolled down the street and picked up some things for the crew for breakfast (real Greek yogurt!) and stopped at this incredible bakery where we bought some Baklava, and some other cake that was dripping with honey. After sampling some of the best, most gooey and crunchy Baklava I’ve ever had- along with the tangy goats milk Greek yogurt- I was ready to head out to explore Athens!
Not sure if you knew this, but um, the Acropolis is a massive hill- the Parthenon sits atop it. Oh, and yeah, you have to get your booty up there. Thank god for the several days of walking around Rome and Cairo so our bodies were ready for the tens of thousands of steps we were about to embark upon. Similarly to Rome, ruins in Athens are everywhere. Obviously on the Acropolis slopes… it was so cool to see the ancient Dionysius Theater, and the newly reinforced theater that hosts musical performances from time-to-time. Imagine that- sitting in an ancient theater, with modern music, staring at the ruins around you… yes please, sign me up. Maybe next time I visit. We made our way up to the top, stopping all the time for photo ops, and to put our hands on the ancient stone…..DON”T TOUCH- whoops, yeah, found that out the wrong way! Ha ha! Apparently they don’t want you touching the thousands of years old remnants of the Acropolis. That’s ok, with a little photo perspective manipulation, I got my “hands on”photo so it looked like I was touching the Acropolis!
Wandering around the Acropolis we marveled at the incredible 360 views that you can see…sprawling Athens and the mountains on one side, all the way down to the sea on another, looking down to Zeus’s Temple and over the trees. Athens is HUGE- but from above it seemed so peaceful and quiet. Heading off the giant rock we went down the backside of the Acropolis and wandered down a walking street where we got some ice cream and stumbled upon an older woman weaving bracelets made from soft string and blue buttons. I’ll always remember her- she had the sweetest smile and was so proud to sell me her bracelet- she clasped it around my wrist and I couldn’t have been more happy with handing over several Euros to her. We wandered through lots of pop up stalls of people selling their things and came upon the Ancient Agora of Athens where the Ancient Athinians did trading, had speeches, and meetings. We saw remnants of Ancient Greek Baths and Ancient Greek Sewer Systems. Leaving the Agora we thought that it would be a simple wander back to our place- but we ended up in the labyrinth of the streets of Athens asking locals for help…this is where we first learned the meaning of a “Greek 20 minutes” or a “Greek 100 meters” we laughed as we got conflicting messages from different people, but eventually popped out into a main shopping street and then before we knew it we were on the street we needed to be on. Such a fun way to figure it out…even if it didn’t feel that way at the time. We settled into a dinner before we even went home- this time some souvlaki- which was essentially just grilled meats on a skewer. I had chicken but tried lamb and pork, too. We had the best pitas and tatziki, too! So far aces for Greece in the food department! Mom, Aunt Jerri and I decided to wander and shop a bit around the Plaka area while the boys went back to the apartment.