After a trip to Barcelona I decided to take the short flight to Athens Greece for a long overdue visit to see old college friends and the famous city.
To say that Athens is crammed with cultural and historical sights is an understatement and to pack as much as possible into a 1 day trip was a challenge.
Arriving early evening I took the metro into town which took around 40 minutes to get to my destination, the Hilton Athens, which I had booked the day before through www.Govaluedestinations.com saving around 30% on the regular rate.
First impressions of the modern day Athens were unexpected. It is a busy, loud and crowded city with a wealth of ancient history often stickig out quite abruptly form the urban sprawl.
The Acropolis rests high on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens containing the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.
First stop was the hotel to drop bags and fuel up for the evening as I had been promissed a lively introduction to Athenian nightlife by a group of friends.
The hotel itself was very central and has fantasic views of the Acropolis from the Galaxy bar playing great electro and a fine selection of cocktails.
Next was a short taxi ride to meet friends in a superb bar called Brettos which makes its own liquers and as been on the go since 1909. The colorful bottles and lighting make for a perfect ambience. Athens has a very active nighlife and it was a great, late night.
Next morning I left the hotel early and embarked on a sightseeing and cultural tour of the city. Here are some of the highlights:
The Panathenaic Stadium – site of the first modern Olympics in 1896, which was reconstructed from the remains of the ancient Greek Stadium.
Sites at the Acropolis included:
Theater of Dionysus - One of the earliest preserved open-air theater’s in Athens. It was used for festivals in honor of the god Dionysus.
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus – This stone theater originally built in 161 AD by Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife is still in use today.
Erechtheum - Located on the North side of the Acropolis.
The Temple of Zeus – an ancient Greek temple in Olympia, Greece, dedicated to Zeus. Built between 472 and 456 BCE
Hadrian’s Gate – built in the name of the Roman emperor Hadrian.
Parthenon -The Parthenon, constructed between 447 BC and 438 BC, was dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron.
The Acropolis Museum – This museum used to be conveniently located on-site at the Acropolis with the entrance included in the ticket fare.
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