A.D.M. Was Here: Athens, Greece

The bus from Sofia brought me into Greece and, after a pit stop in Thessaloniki, I went straight down to Athens where I stayed for two nights (i.e., more than I’d stayed in the previous three countries combined). I spent these nights in the Apollo Hotel which was reasonably priced and only a short subway ride to the city’s main attraction: the hills and temples of (and around) the Acropolis.

Now that I think about it, I may actually have gone from Bulgaria into Greece on Christmas Eve as opposed to Christmas day. Anyway—

After finally getting some rest in a proper bed (and not the Train from Hell as described in my last post), I took the subway in the A.M. to Acropoli station and began to explore. The first place I tried to get into was the Acropolis to see the Parthenon, but the place was closed for Christmas.

It wasn’t a big deal, though, I just had to come back the next day; there was still a lot of Athens to see. Somewhat aimlessly, I wandered southeast to the Arch of Hadrian and followed the road up to Zappio Megaro where there were a bunch of people doing holiday stuff, and tiny horses which now reminds me of Parks and Recreation:

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Arch of Hadrian. Not to be confused with the other ones in Italy or Jordan, or Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England (aka The Wall keeping out the Wildlings).

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The view of Temple of Olympian Zeus… from over a fence.

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Zappio Megaro. Apparently, it was built for the first (modern) Olympic games and is now a conference center (Google says so, so it must be true).

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Ligo Sebastian?

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For some reason, after going east of the Acropolis I circled all the way around to the southwest (quite a walk) to the Hill of Muses (Philopappou Hill) and its surrounding woods and whatnot. There, I visited the jail cell where Socrates was supposedly held. Then, I moseyed over to Areopagus Hill. According to myth and Wikipedia, that giant rock was where Ares, the god of war, was tried and acquitted for murder (Halirrhothius raped Ares’ daughter, Alcippe, and Ares killed him for it).

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I am rather fond of the greens in this photo.

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Socrates’ Cell

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Part of a considerably lengthy path to get on top of the Hill of Muses.

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View of the Parthenon (being fixed up; stinkin’ cranes ruined so many photos) from the Hill of Muses.

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Column Face sees all, except for the view of the city behind it. I guess that’s why he looks so sad.

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The Temple of Haphaestus.

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Stoa of Attalos

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Yup, Athens.

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Eventually, I wandered down from the hills to find some food (and alcoholic beverages).

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After another restful night at Apollo Hotel, I woke up early to return to the Acropolis. I took some photos of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus on the way.

There was a small fee to get into the Acropolis; it was worth it.

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From the side of the hill on the way up to the Parthenon (I think).

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Odeon of Herodes Atticus aka a theatre.

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Another view of the theatre.

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Erechtheion, a temple dedicated to Athena and Poseidon.

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Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus

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The Parthenon

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The Temple of Olympian Zeus (not in the Acropolis, but nearby)

Sometime between all the touristy stuff, I did my laundry at a laundromat located between the Fish Cafe, where I ate one of my meals, and Athens Sports Bar, where I spent one of my evenings drinking with some Englishman (his wife and children had gone to Japan for a funeral; rather than go with them, he went to vacation in Athens).

The next morning, I took a bus to Patras and hopped onto a cruise ship. Since it was so close to Christmas (and cold out), people weren’t looking to go on cruises, so the ship wasn’t anywhere close to capacity. Parts of the vessel were entirely empty and rather eerie (aka fun). I wasn’t looking for a cruise either; I just needed to get back to Western Europe and my Eurail pass gave me passage.

The ship sailed past the home of Odysseus, up the Adrian Sea and left me at Ancona, Italy to fend for myself.

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Not sure who was in charge of naming these ships…

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So empty. This bar on deck was closed since it was so cold out, but other bar(s) below were open.

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The ass/stern of the ship.

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Most of the bunks in the dorm were vacant; it was creepy down there.

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The side of the ship reminds me of the beginning of Metal Gear Solid 2 (where Snake can murder soldiers and throw them overboard).

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The sunrise. Too bad my camera sucked (pretty sure I took this using my non-smart phone).

On the way, I watched Hairspray in the ship’s lounge, downed a number of alcoholic drinks, ate some mediocre cafeteria food, and slept in a creepy dorm with about 23 empty bunks all around me.

Arriving in Ancona, I grabbed some food and walked 3.5 kilometers (2.17 miles) to a tiny train station to catch my ride to Paris which would see so much more of my shenanigans than Athens (still, between the ghost ship and the ancient ruins, I think Athens provided decent fuel for writing inspiration).

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