M.Góral Acropolis

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Welcome to Athens, the ancient Greek city-state in Attica. It used to be (or maybe still is) cultural and political center of exceptional importance.

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According to a legend, the first king of Athens was Cecrops. There are few myths related to the city, the most famous is about Theseus, who is considered as a person who joined the Attic municipalities into one city. The first law rules Athenians owe to Draco and socio-political organization – to Solon. The earliest traces of settlement originate from … Ok, ok … I see some of you have already started to yawn 😉 Time has changed since 567 years b.c. and there is no need to plan 6 weeks in your schedule just to get to Greece (it is easier and faster with plane now) but we are still humans and have our needs. So get a good coffee, sit back and have a pleasant journey with my story :)
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We are starting on Monastiraki where you can get a nice frappe (it is a better option when there is 30ºC outside) and then we will head to Hadrian’s Library. I do not know which one of you was careful during history classes, but it takes only 3 minutes to recall that there were 3 types of columns: Dorian, Ionic and Corinthan. And if you prepare yourself, you can always try to impress your travel buddies. Obviously Hadrian’s Library gives you a first glimpse of ruins that are left after prosperous time when Greece was a powerful region. It is actually a well kept building if we compare it with others.
You may also buy here a combo ticket for 12 euros that gives entrance to: The Acropolis, North&South Slope of Acropolis, Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library, Kerameikos, Olympieion.
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M.Góral - Hadrian's Library
M.Góral - Hadrian Library 1
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The next visit before we reach Acropolis is Roman Agora and Ancient Agora of Athens. There is not much left from those beautiful places but if you are a day dreamer as I am, you can actually imagine how loud and interesting place it must have been 2000 years ago.
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M.Góral  - Roman Agora
M.Góral - Temple of Hephaestus
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The exit to Acropolis is in the north. We obviously cannot miss the National Observatory of Athens on the way. Not only has it the closest view to Acropolis, but it is a good place to sit down for some time and observe beautiful Athens. I am not sure does it happen every day, but there is a lady who sells bottles water on top, so there is no need to carry it all the time with you.  The next stop of course is our main attraction which I know every one was waiting for. I hope you all made it till this point, I promise we have a break right after. Ladies and Gentleman, please enjoy beautiful Acropolis with the most interesting buildings including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and temple of Athen Nike.
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The Parthenon.
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View over Zeus temple.
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Lykabettus hill from the distance.
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The Erechtheum.
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Those activities mentioned above set you till 3ish p.m. So around this time we all deserve a break for ambrosia and wine. It was supposed to be Gods and Goddesses snack, but hey! It is 2015, don’t you think we all deserve it?. Some bloggers suggest to be prepared and have own food/drink in a bag, I say go and see Dionysus Theatre and then walk down the street and relax in one of the caffeteries or restaurant. As Greece is wide and long, you will see Greek salad in every menu and trust me, it does have a different taste every time. So doesn’t it sound like a perfect lunch? It does, do not hesitate then to grab one and remember, you can always share it with a friend.
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M. Góral - Dionizos theathre
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Ok, now when the break is over, I believe you have enough energy because we have to walk 1 km to Zeus Temple and then 750 m to Panathenaic Stadium and then … only 2,3 km up the Mt Lykabettus hill to see beautiful sunset. The plan sounds hectic but I gave you the distance on purpose. Actually I think that all historical  places, that are on the list of most tourist, are close to each other. I can quarantee you will not be that tired if you do few breaks for a glass of wine,  which Greece is famous for.
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View over Acropolis from Zeus Temple.
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Last glance over Zeus Temple before we get to Panathenaic Stadium.
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View from Lykabettus Hill.
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Unfortunatelly this place is always crowded.
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The time when the sun goes down varies depending on the month, now in September it is 7ish p.m.
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So that is how basically a first day in Athens should look like (in my opinion). Of course there is also National Gardens and Zappio Megaro which I also recommend but you can leave it for a spare day.
The second day in our trip is reserved for Kerameikos, Flea market, beach time and Fillopapou Hill, which is an icing on the cake.
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3 reasons to visit Kerameikos are:
– it is a good place for a walk
– it is relatively quiet, even on busy days in the height of summer
– … [a place for your own recommendation] Any ideas?
I am just joking 😉 The third reason is simple. Kerameikos is the most important archaeological sites of Athens.
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Fans of vintage items should definitely visit Flea Market on Sunday, from jewellry to books, porcelain and even furniture.
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[P.S. This mirror below was my choice, it looks so nice with those books on the ground and if only I have had my own flat I would have bought this at first place. Reality however is slightly different … I will wait for the right time then.]
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From Flea Market we will walk to the most famous square – Syntagma. There are few good caffeteries or shops on the way. It is also a best place to take a tram that takes us to the beach. The journey is quite long, but the view is worth this 50 minutes of commitment. Public beaches start from Paralia Glyfadas stop till the last one and even little bit further.
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And here comes the last stop on our trip – Fillopapou Hill. I left it for the evening as it is the best place to see a front of Acropolis in the night and also spend some time with your friends. However if you are bored with the view or feel like eating some Mousaka, head to Apostolou Pavlou street (the first one to the left when you exit from the gate). There are lots of restaurants on the way but what is more important – you can get a nice jewellry as well – not just those flamboyant or poor quality earings everyone sells but real pearl of handcraft. You just have to have your ayes wide open 😉
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