Athens, Greece - Days 1 and 2
Our flight originated in Lake Charles at 5:45 PM Sunday evening with a short flight to Houston. We left Houston at 9:10pm and arrived in Istanbul, Turkey eleven hours and ten minutes later. We changed planes and then flew from Instanbul to Athens, Greece. We arrived at the Athenian Callirhoe Hotel around 10:30 pm on Monday night.
Our hotel is located at the corner of Petmeza and Kallirrois, an easy walk to the Acropolis, Haidan’s Gate, The Plato (shopping area) and many must-see sites in Athens. After breakfast at the hotel we set out walking around town to see the sights. Our first stop was the Old House of Parliament.
Check out the fashionable shoes worn by the guards! These are their summer uniforms. The picture below represents their dressier uniforms.
After seeing the Old Parliament House we walked to the Olympian Stadium and were able to see the very end of the opening ceremony for the kids. There must be an official band for such occasions because the band was all adult males.
The stadium was excavated in 1869 and hosted the Zappas Olympics in 1870 and 1875. After being refurbished, it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and was the venue for 4 of the 9 contested sports. It was used for various purposes in the 20th century and was once again used as an Olympic venue in 2004. It is the finishing point for the annual Athens Classic Marathon. It is also the last venue in Greece from where the Olympic flamehandover ceremony to the host nation takes place. It is the only stadium in the world made entirely of marble. Record attendance was 60,000 although the stadium officially holds 44,000.
The next stop was the The Temple of Olympian Zeus. The construction began in the 6th century B.C.during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world. It was not completed until 638 years later until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. The temple only lasted around 100 years when it was pillaged during a barbarian invasion. It was probably never repaired and bit by bit pieces were used to construct other projects.
At its peak the temple had 104 columns, Fifteen columns remain standing today and a sixteenth column lies on the ground where it fell during a storm in 1852. Nothing remains of the cella or the great statue that it once housed.
This was Hadrian’s Gate. On one side is inscribed: "This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus.” On the other side the inscription reads, "this is the city of Hadrian, and not of Theseus"
After eating lunch at one of the outside restaurants in the Plaka area , we walked the whole area and went inside most of the shops to look around.
This is the old town market called the Plaka. Dan, Brenda and I walked these streets and checked out the merchandise along the way.
We walked 8.07 miles-19025 steps before dinner.
Tonight at 7:00 we had a meeting with some drinks and light snacks to meet the people we will be spending the next two weeks with. The group consists of 41 people from Washington, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Texas, Illinois , Florida and Illinois that I can remember . After the meeting we went up to have a dinner and the eight floor. It was a beautiful room with one who wall opened to see the Acropolis
This was taken in the restaurant. One compete wall opened to get a great view of the Parthenon.