Acropolis. Do I need to say more.
Really didn’t know what to expect of the Acropolis. I only knew about the history from school and it was one of the biggest attractions to see in Greece. One recommendation I read online suggested to go to the Acropolis Museum first and then head over to the Acropolis and up to the Parthenon second, good tip.
Two reasons, first, it is one of the best museums you will ever go into and second, most of the ancient artifacts from the Acropolis are housed within the museum.
Luckily for us it was raining, cloudy and overcast in the morning and cleared up in the afternoon. So we left the hotel approx. 1030 headed for the metro and got off at Acropolis Station 1100 and then made our way to the museum. Before you go in the entrance to the museum, the walkway is made of glass so you can look down at the ancient town and some of the archaeological digs.
Just inside the entrance we watched a short clip on TV revealing how they delicately transferred large marble sections of the Parthenon into the museum. We got our tickets and went over to the scale models of the Acropolis and Parthenon at different stages of its life, pretty cool. All bags in the storage section and then enter.
We were immediately blown away as both sides were lined with ancient artifacts and the floor still has glass sections to look down at the ancient town below. We made our way up the path to the sculptures on level 1, truly impressive stuff. They have examples of how different chisels and tools are used to make the marble sculptures. We made our way to the top section and this is dedicated to the removed and preserved detailed sections of the Parthenon. These large slabs of marble called ‘metops‘ display mythical stories. Autumn is up on her Greek mythology and filled in the detail for us like she was our personal guide.
Not to scale, we think, they have built a replica of the roof and placed each metop in the order it was on the Parthenon. They have also recreated the two ends of the Parthenon called ‘pediments’. So you end up walking past both the West pediment and the East pediment at eye level. We kept reminding ourselves that this is marble, heavy and detailed and was put in place without any motorised cranes.
Took photos from the top section over to the Parthenon.
Walked back via the Café and had a look at the view from the terrace, it was a great view. Then went via the kids section, they have built a Lego model of the Acropolis, pretty funny and it has all the kids characters hidden in the caves like Indiana Jones, Harry Potter.
We easily spent 3 hours in the museum and felt like we could have stayed longer. Like I said before one of the best museums I have been in. We ate our packed lunch and then went into the Acropolis Archaeological site and made our way up to the Parthenon. Awesome is all I can say as you make your way up past a theatre and up to the huge entrance.
It is a massive structure really cannot grasp how they would have built this back in the day.
The rock that it is built on just juts out of the ground and then on top is this massive marble structure. Lucky for us on our way up the rain clouds were going and the blue sky was trying to poke through. Once at the top the views over Athens are truly amazing. You walk the path it is just packed full of tourists and surprisingly a lot of Aussie accents. It felt like we were in Melbourne again.
Spent an hour at the top and then walked the rest of the Acropolis, Zeus’s cave and then did a lap of it by accident mind you, then decided to walk over to the Temple of Zeus. Used the same ticket to get in as the Acropolis so really well organised. The rain clouds came back over and I couldn’t get the classic photo from the temple over to the Parthenon.
We then walked over to the Olympic Stadium. This is where the first modern Olympics was held. Yep the one that started it all, for what it is today. It was 1845 by now and the place shut at 1900 so we left a little sad but we would return tomorrow to check it out.
Jumped on the tram to where we thought it would be close to walk back to the station. We actually found all the hire car companies and decided to arrange a hire car for a few days. Then walked over the road to a Café were the service was awesome and the food spot on it really capped off an excellent day in Athens.