We traveled back to Athens from Skopelos and were excited to spend 3 more nights in the city and explore the Acropolis before traveling to Africa.
First we stopped at the Acropolis Museum. The Museum has some of the sculptures and some of the friezes that adorned the Parthenon. They brought it all down the hill and inside for preservation. The museum was worth the 5 Euro entrance fee, and there were nice displays. However, the Greek collection is nothing compared to the collection of Acropolis artifacts in the British Museum in London. British Lord Elgin was a real gem in the early 1800’s when he was the ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and took the best of the sculptures and friezes from the Acropolis and sent them back to England. We were lucky enough to see the ‘Elgin Marbles’ while we were in London, and if you ever travel there, we highly suggest it! Unfortunately, Greece is left with the sadder looking parts of the Acropolis and is still pursing the recovery of their ‘stolen’ artifacts from the British government.
We also went up the hill and saw the real deal! We listened to a Rick Steves audio tour while we toured the Acropolis. There are a few labeled signs in English near some of the ruins, but if you visit, we suggest having an audio tour to listen to.
We also did a Rick Steves walking tour of Athens which gave us good information about modern Greece. Below are photos from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, changing of the gaurd, and 2 Greek Orthodox Churches. The larger looking cathedral is the Greek Orthodox equivalent to St. Peter's Basilica.
While we were in Athens we received an email from the State Department warning us of a Greek Airtraffic Controller strike that would ground flights at the airport. Not good news for our flight to Africa. In true Greek fashion, the strike was called off at the last minute. However, we had gotten an email for a flight change to Africa. Long story short- we ended up staying in Athens for 2 extra days as our departure to Africa got pushed back.
Below are photos from around town. There are random archaeological sites in the metro stations. When they were updating the metro system for the 2004 games, they uncovered ancient aqueducts!
With our extra time in town were able to visit the Panathenaic Stadium- the birthplace of the modern Olympic games! Read the previous post for more on that. We also visited the American Embassy in order to mail our absentee ballots.
Greece grew on us after our 3 weeks there. It was a great ending point to our European tour. It is less developed than the other countries we have visited, and was a great place to get ready for the third world. Africa- here we come!
Here are the places we visited in Greece:
Greece in Total:
Modes of transportation used: Metro, taxi, ferry, car, bus, plane
Total amount spent in Greece: $2513.13 USD
Avg.: $119.67 USD per day
*This is for 3 weeks, and we didn't pay for lodging for about a week of it. You could do it cheaper still though, as we stayed in a pretty nice hotel for most of our nights in Athens, but based on our experience there are some really nice and cheap AirBNB's available there. We also went scuba diving and spent more on travel then you would have to in order to get to some of the other islands as Skopelos was kind of far and therefore more expensive to get to.