July 30, 2014

Athens Unknown

There was a time in my life I dreamed of going to Athens. I could only envision the great columns of the Parthenon and the ancient legacy of the 3,400 year old capitol of Greece. However, as I heard more things about the city, I found myself less and less drawn to it. No one I met had much praise for the overpopulated streets. 

Despite being deterred from visiting, en-route to Santorini, Bre and I had a one day pitstop in the metropolis. While I tritely must say I enjoy being able to say I have seen the "wonder of the world" Acropolis, I could have probably skipped the trip to Athens. In all honesty, it was one of my least favorite places I traveled to. A city's vibe is essential, and the one that emanated throughout the ancient streets was not one I enjoyed. 

Still, being eternally optimistic, Bre and I railed on through our day and founds some enjoyable moments throughout the dubious city. We wandered for hours, making our way up to the ancient center.

After trekking through the scour of panhandlers and deteriorating walkways, we managed to find the more endearing crumbling paths of the ancient empire. 

We got our first taste of falling-over majesty in the Agora, before hiking our way up to the top of the city. 

Every wall you see in Athens is coated in graffiti; still, select pieces could warrant the term "street art". 

The higher we climbed, the more expansive we realized the city and its over 3,000,000 people population is. 

Ever adding to the population density is the throngs of tourist that journey, like us, to visit the legendary past. 

Currently, what is usually considered the most impressive structure on the precipice, the Parthenon, is under some kind of reconstruction (as are many things in Europe, it seems). In all my disdain of Athens, let it be known that the ancient relics did not disappoint. Even despite the crumbling of the once great structure, which has been destroyed and remade countless times since its construction, the Parthenon is still a sight to see. The sheer size of the columns is mind boggling. I think we can all agree that the nutties who built wonders like this, or the pyramids, must have some kind of super-human strength, because it is truly inconceivable how they achieved such feats.

If you're an ever curious history buff and would like to know what decorated the now empty metopes, the epic stories now reside in the British Museum in London

Adjacent to the Parthenon is the highly underrated Pandroseion

Some may say it's the grand temple of Athena that makes the Acropolis, and had the great golden statue of the goddess still remained, I might agree. However, that is not the case, and so, I must argue that I find the caryatid maidens (lady columns) to be the most intriguing and lovely feature of the bluff. 

Dreading returning to the depths of the city, Bre and I had a nice long sit on the exceptionally dusty rocks of the Acropolis, just taking in our surrounding and amusing ourselves people-watching the other tourists. 

Eventually, though not in time to prevent the sunburn of my feet, we decided it was time to descend from the ancient center. 

We then clamored our way up the slippery slope of Areopagus Hill, for an excellent view of the Acropolis, as well as the city. 

In case you were wondering, the Aeropagus also makes an excellent slide, if you don't mind a dusty bum. 

Not quite done with ruins we made our way to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, where we met the friendliest Athenian of the day, who greeted us with a nice "meow".  

We also saw the most giant bee I ever seen in my life here. 

Even with a love for bees, after seeing that monstrous fella Bre and I quickly fled in fright, though we didn't make it far before being drawn into the National Gardens

Within the gardens we happened upon a pond where a creepy pigeon had decided to use a turtle as a personal perch. 

Though the park was beautiful, the pigeon was not the only creep lurking around the grounds. Not a place I would like to get lost alone in, that is for sure. 

Our one day (too long) in Athens was winding down by the time we escaped the gardens, and we scuttled through more streets until we found the one thing we knew Greece could offer us. 

Greek yogurt! 

We got back to our hostel, slept through the night, and woke bright and early to once again mob through the streets of Athens.

This mob brought us to Blue Star Ferries, though, which would take us far from Athens and to an island paradise. 

When I heard we had to take an 8 hour ferry to the island, I imagined an open-air, dank, old boat. Au contrare, Greek ferries are basically cruise ships. 

Leaving Athens just kept getting better and better. 

I swear, I love Greece (island style), and all my other posts will be far more excited and look-at-this-beautiful-beach-esc. 

Yours, Kenna

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...