Thursday, August 02, 2007

Athens- So many things to tell

Of the city

Athens is one of the oldest city in Europe. It is divided into 2 distinctive parts, one is of the old city with ancient monuments whereas the other part is the real city itself. Everyone thinks that Athens is a city with skyscaper buildings like Kuala Lumpur, even me myself was fooled by it but NAnanO, the town was kinda run down i would say, with small little convenient stalls around, so called periptero selling papers and periodicals. It's just like our country's faithful neighbour Golok, Thailand.However, there are still tonnes of highlights during my trip! A trip BACK to the ancient ages..

Of Athens International Airport
Frankly, the size of the Airport is not as huge as KLIA. After claiming our luggage, take a left turn, there u are, the arrival hall...i was once told the airport is small but i never imagine it is so small!! And surprisingly, we didnt have to go through any immigration upon arrival. There is no authority there to certify our passsport, to check on us. Unconditional TRUST is what they practised, i supposed:) abit hard to believe, aint? AND the airport charged one euro for each airport trolley, can anyone say 'Money suckerss!!':P
Of the Weather
It's summer when we were in Greece. Silly us didn't check the weather hence weren't aware of the extreme temperature which was 42 degrees! We were like in a hot oven being baked while outdoor. The scorching sun was unbearable eventhough i'm so used with the temperature in Malaysia. Luckily my genius mummy brought an umbrealla along. We were the only people walking with a PINK umbrealla..Haha, Asians.

ATHENS was best! Everywhere you looked, there was something interesting. It's a city filled with history, lots of museums with different provincial collections and archeological sites with ancient buidings built during 5th BC which are still standing strong!
The area around Acropolis was the centre of public life in Athens.

Breathtaking night view of Acropolis ( my sis claimed she can't see anything in this pic, can u?:)

At the back of my sis is the Theatre of Dionysos.
It's the first theatre built of stones.

The Propylaia, it's the new entrance to Acropolis.

Next to me is the Theatre of Herodes Atticus. This small Roman theatre seats 5,000 spectators and it's still used today as an outdoor concert hall
The Parthenon- it was built as an expression of the glory of ancient Athens, still remains the city's emblem

Porch of Caryatids

Tower of Winds- It is set within the ruins of Roman Agora. Was used as a combined weather vane and water clock. The reliefs on the upper most of the tower indicates that each wind was given different personality to its characteristics:) Amazing rite?!

*Ancient Agora*

Here i am at the Stoa of Attalos, which is now reconstructed as a museum to house finds from the Ancient Agora site.

Temple of Hephaisterion

The *Parliament House* also known as Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, decorated with a relief of a dying Greek soldier. The National Guards are on continuous patrol infront of the Tomb dressed in their traditional uniform and pom-pom clogs.The changing of guard occurs every hour and we were lucky enough to see the whole process, the way they marched in was so hilarious but i must salute them for being so disciplined, standing there for one whole hour without moving eventhough we tried to make lame poses while taking picture.....

Temple of Olympian Zeus with Hadrian's Arch(-->) just next to the temple. The triumphal arch was erected in honour of Hadrian or his many public works in Athens....

The Zappeion- The Olympic exhibition hall used as a conference centre today!

Kallimarmaro Stadium- This huge marble structure was the stadium used for the first modern Olympic Games on 5 April 1896.

2004 Olympic Games Stadium at Irini,Athens....However, the place is kinda deserted now...Wat a waste ne...
Kerameikos- This ancient cemetry had been a burial ground since 12th BC.On the left is called the Street of Tombs with grave steles seen. On the right is called Grave Stele of Hegeso. It shows Koroibos' wife, Hegeso, admiring her jewels with a servant. There are thousands of grave steles with different carvings on them bringing different meanings. It's scary when my sis and I walked along the street because there were not many tourists and we were surrounded by thousands of tombs in which some of the bodies were still intact...Goose bumps:{

Magnificant night view of Athens University.....Wondering when will our IMU become like this..*_*

Of the flea Market- Monastiraki

This flea market is the best place to shop. From arrays of antiques, souveniers, clothings, food, dolls, you name it. You can practically get everything and anything here! The market starts from early morning till very late at night. Though it's a shopping paradise, the things there are still expensive if we convert it to our currency=(So we mostly did window shopping....

Of the Food
Speaking about FOOD, I don't really enjoy Greek food. They were quite blunt and tasteless. Except for their Kebab which was really good. We had it almost every dinner. And the price was quite reasonable:)

As for breakfast, we were fortunate enough since our hotel has provided American breakkie during our stay there. However, the breakfast we had was the SAME for our 5 days stayed there....Hehe. My mum and I were ok and just ate everything on the table after a long night sleep
. But my picky sis decided to have instant maggie we brought along instead=P

Greek Food from left: Pastaka(Cheese, minced meat, and pasta prepared in layers), Greek salad called Choriatiki salata, and Vine leaves stuffed with minced meat and rice

Yummilicious:Fried calamari(Squid), grilled chicken(Souvlakia), grilled salmon(Scharas)

Of the snacks & desserts

This firm, sesame-covered or slightly sweet rolls in rings is called koulourakia. You can see a lot of bread ring sellers along the streets. Greeks usually have it for breakfast

Coconut sticks...

Of the Transport

Most of the time we took "Bus no. 11" to walked around the town so that we could see how the town is. Unfortunately, due to the blistering hot weather, we had blisters on the sole of our feet. However, there is Metro which has 3 lines, and is a reliable means of transport in Athens. Most of the stations also display archeological finds excavated during constuction of the Metro lines. That's why sometimes as we walked along the streets, we could see many archeological sites IN the metro station. Athens is just like a city built on another sunken city.Interesting huh? We bought a daily ticket one day which costed 3 Euros each and we were allowed to use all the public transports available which include the 3 Metrolines and buses. Out of curiosity, we hopped into a bus at Plakentias Station and had a sightseeing on the residential area:) Later on, we took the Metro to Pireus, a port for ships and ferries. It was really fun:):)

Of the Aftermath

I'm sure a lot of you out there would be thinking why we choosed to visit Athens instead of the gorgeous Italy, the fashionable Milan, gushing Paris and so on. Hmm, I myself wasn't sure at first.. I guess I was convinced by my dearest sister of its steeped and myterious history hidden! In all, this trip was indeed an eye opener for me personally. It was a once in a life time educational trip to learn how this country was inhabited since the Neolitic ages. We went there withOUT any tour guide. We as tour guides ourselves explored every nook and corner of Athens. Who to thanks? Grace to our heavenly Papa who has constantly looked after us and led us the way........

wasSup Doc: Discovering the soul of a city is much more than a quick tour around its monuments and sightseeing.... You will see and love more than you can ever expect:3


lynnx01 said...

It's so good to see that you're having the time of your life over there.. with your sis's graduation and visit around Europe. Miss ya'!

Salene said...

Interesting to know.