June 2nd – 3rd, 2014
Fred and I love to explore a place ‘on our feet’. Our hotel in Athens, The Athens Gate, was conveniently located within easy walking distance to the major sites. We were able to explore all morning, then return to our hotel for a bit of a rest in the afternoon, before heading out again in the evening.
There were many small streets lined with restaurants and shops. Our favorite little restaurant, however, turned out to be just around the corner from our hotel. We stopped by in the afternoon on our first sightseeing day for coffee and dessert (very yummy Baklava). The next evening, we had a wonderful dinner (I tried the Moussaka, an eggplant and potato dish), Fred tried the Souvlaki (a grilled chicken and vegetable dish) and we enjoyed the Greek Salad so much, we came back to have it again on the next day. It was a fun way to enjoy wonderful food while people watching.
As we wandered the streets of the Plaka and the Monastiraki, and up and down Ermou St., we came upon reminders of Athens history.
This little church…….
This gate……so picturesque, it just begged to have a photo taken.
Any number of monuments. This one is dedicated to the 8 winds (I am not sure how they got 8 instead of the usual 4 winds)……
The carvings are so detailed!
The next big ruin we discovered was the Library of Hadrian, which was built in 132-134 AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
I thought that it was wonderful that the ancient Greeks loved learning and books enough to build such a library. THIS is where I would have been ‘hanging out’. : )
It was such a contradiction to see all of these ruins right next to the more modern buildings.
The people of Athens must just get used to seeing these sites every day, and living with this amazing history as ‘just a part of life’.
On our final morning of sightseeing, we happened across the Athens Flea Market…….
A lovely couple of streets, lined with little shops and booths. You could buy just about anything here!
We picked up some last minute souvenirs, then hopped a taxi to the port of Piraeus, where our cruise ship, Windstar’s ‘StarPride was docked.