Friday, July 20, 2012

The Parthenon in Athens, Greece

July 9, 2012
Greece/Turkey Trip

We were up at 4:00 a.m. and yes, we made it to the airport and we did board our plane heading back to Athens.  The Olympia Airline attendant at check-in told us she could transfer our luggage direct to Istanbul so that we did not have to pick it up or deal with it in Athens... and the overweight fee would cost less too because we were going on for an international flight!  Sounded like a great plan, but don't think the possibility of having it lost again didn't pass through my mind!  I could just see in going around and around on some carousel in Athens, or in Istanbul ahead of us.  But, she promised it would arrive when we arrived in Istanbul.  I'll keep my fingers crossed!

I thought it was strange that they have no direct flights from Crete to Istanbul, but yet we could make a connection through Munich and arrive the next day!  What!?!  Whatever, we'll just go back through Athens.  Getting an early flight did give us the opportunity to see more of Athens.  There were many places we did not have time to see while we were there previously.

As I mentioned in closing the last blog we had a tour scheduled with Private Greece Tours to pick us up at the airport at 10:30 a.m.  They adjusted the tour for our time frame.  Upon arrival in Athens, we did find our driver, Lambros, waiting for us and we were ready to go!  It was nice not having to wait or haul any luggage.  Off we went for a tour of sites, which we would have never found ourselves.  We might have found one or two of them in the time frame we had... but that was only if no crazy motorcycle driver ran into us again!  Athens had crazy busy traffic as usual and I was glad Lambros was driving this time!  He quickly gave his opinion of those  motorcyclists and pronounced it "dume ass, no brain, organ donors!"  We knew we were in for a fun day with Lambros.  While none of us had anything against motorcycles in general, I do have issues with those that drive like a maniac and do not follow ANY traffic laws.

Our first stop was at the Acropolis, and this time it was open; it looked like an ant farm of people running around.  You literally could not walk but only followed the flow of people for most of the way and it was slow and hot!  It did open up a little on the very top and we hate to site see like this, but the Parthenon is a must-see!  I am actually glad it was closed the first time we came by, at least we got pictures without a sea of people in them.
Pretty cool standing by this huge masterpiece --
The "Parthenon" sits on the Acropolis!
With some help from my friend, Nikos, at "Private Greece Tours" I can tell you that the following monument is called "Erechthion" and the girls are called "Karyatides".  Nikos explained that they actually are quite famous, because using human figurines as columns is quite rare.  All the girls have different hair do's and dresses and this proves that girls were fashion crazy even in ancient times!  He explained that one of the "kores" (young girls as columns) is at the British Museum in London; courtesy of Lord Byron.
This monument is called "Erechthion"
Here is a close up of two of the girl columns.
Herodion Amphitheater on the Acropolis
Some columns were made in one solid piece of marble,
and some were made in sections like these.
We could see the "Monument of Philoppapos"
while we were standing on the Acropolis.
And while it is not part of the Acropolis, but rather
a fair distance away, thanks to my zoom lens
we had a nice view!
Continued... The Temple of Zeus

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