Home > Travel > Honeymoon, Day 13 — The Acropolis

Honeymoon, Day 13 — The Acropolis

May 2nd, 2009

We set aside this day for the Acropolis–and a good thing, as if we had delayed for one day, it would have been chilly instead of warm, and the tour would have been much less pleasant. As it turned out, all but the last day in Athens was warm and pleasant. We seem to have had quite good luck with the weather on this trip, at least relative to what it could have been.

Before we took the subway, Sachi wanted to stop off for a bite to eat. She got a spinach pie at one of the ubiquitous shops that sold these kinds of food.

Spinach Pie Breakfast01

The one I liked was ham and cheese. The pie is made up of many layers of pastry bread.

Pie Counter01

We headed off to Acropolis Station, which had an interesting feature: a kind of museum display as you came out. A few stations had displays like this, including one (Monastiraki) that had a whole section of a preserved ruins. Acropolis Station has this:

Acropolis Station-01

While I’m on the subject of stations, Sachi and I were puzzled by how they work. There are no gates and no watchers at the ticket-taking machines. There are no barriers to keep anyone from walking through, and no checking of tickets at all upon exiting. It seems as if there is nothing to stop someone from simply walking into the station without a ticket, riding the train, and then leaving–all for free. Sachi and I never tried so we didn’t see how such a transgressor might be caught, but I could not figure any way of doing it. (We encountered a similar experience with buses in Rome.)

Acropolis Station-03

Back to the narrative. We left Acropolis Station and followed the signs to the Acropolis itself. The entrance was via other sites, notably the Dionysus Theater. Built in the 5th century B.C., it could seat between ten and twenty thousand people. You can go up and sit in the stands yourself, this being a slightly more hands-on site than others.

Dionisos Theater-04

Dionisos Theater-01

Dionisos Theater-02

Dionisos Theater-03

A bit farther up the path is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, another theater built about 400-500 years later–and one that is still in use, being partly restored.

Acrop Climb-01

Herodes Theater-01

Acrop Climb-04

Along the way, there were other exhibits. Sometimes the marble pieces were almost scattered, as if left where they fell when buildings collapsed. Others were collections of pieces. One exhibit contained several pieces which, strangely, consisted of engravings on marble blocks above carvings of male genetalia.

Littered Marble01

Littered Marble02

Acrop Climb-03

Acrop Climb-02

When you make it up to the top of the Acropolis, you enter via the Propylaea, the gateway to the top of the mesa. The Acropolis is the name for the area itself, not the individual buildings (many mistakenly identify the Parthenon as the Acropolis).



Just about everybody goes through here, so the traffic is heavy, but often interesting.


After you get through, the Parthenon dominates the view. Built at the roughly the same time as the Propylaea, it was originally used as a temple and a treasury. In the middle ages, it was taken over and used as a Christian Church and then as an Islamic Mosque. A lot of the damage to it happened when an Ottoman ammunition dump housed there exploded when attacked in 1687. When we arrived, it was undergoing some reconstruction and/or maintenance, so there was scaffolding obstructing much of the building.






We made our way around the building, to an observation platform bearing the Greek flag to the rear, and the other temples and structures on the Acropolis.





Sachi was patient with me as I did some birdwatching as well. Along with the many sparrows, swallows, and magpies, I also saw falcons, I believe Peregrine Falcons; they were elusive at first, but I eventually got a pair that were gliding in front of the Propylaea.




Of course, there were spectacular views.

Athens View-01

Athens View-02


At the exit, there was no shortage of enterprising salesmen who understood that no drinking water was available on the site.

Acrop Salesmen

Later on, we were accosted by cats occupying an abandoned building on the path down.


That evening, Sachi and I tried out a place called “Joy’s Cafe.” We were looking for an intermediate-quality eatery, someplace cheaper than Hermion, but still good. Joy’s was not what we were looking for; the food was not good at all. The bill came out to about €25. Later on we found a different cafe that cost about half that and the food was a lot better.

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