Day 1 in Athens
Visit Acropolis – the jewel of Greece and probably of the whole Europe. Visit it early in the morning, as it is the most appropriate time for visiting the rocks burned by the Sun, and do not forget to take a bottle of water and a hat. The site’s most important buildings are the Parthenon, Propylaia, Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. You can also view the findings from the archeological site in the Acropolis Museum. Today, the collection includes about 4.000 objects and extends on an area of 14,000 square meters.
Just 500 meters from the Acropolis, the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus are. This is the biggest temple of Greece, dedicated, as you have probably realized, to Zeus, the king of the Olympus. The construction of this magnificent temple started in 515 B.C., but finished just 600 years later, in 129 A.D., during the reign of the king Hadrian. Initially, it was disposing of 104 columns, but nowadays just 15 are still standing tall, the rest of them being destroyed by earthquakes, but also other natural calamities. In the nave of the sanctuary, there was raised a statue of Zeus made of gold and ivory, the king Hadrian placing at the same time his own statue of the same dimension near that of Zeus.
Just in the close vicinity to this attraction you can see another symbol of Athens – the monumental Arch of Hadrian. This is similar, in some aspects, to a Roman arch of triumph and was built in the honor of the Roman Emperor Hadrian for his benevolence for the city. The arch was symbolically marking the line between the old part of Athens and the new part of the city. It is 18 meters high and 12,5 meters long, being famous for its incredible symmetry on all its sides. Until recent times, the arch resisted over time against extraordinary conditions, but in the last decades, unfortunately, the atmospheric pollution caused the fading of the original material of the arch and the degradation of its inscriptions.
Ruins are everywhere in Athens! You can even find them in the Monastiraki district, in form of the ruins of a former mosque, without minaret, that was sometime belonging to the Athenian Muslim Tsisdakaris. But this is not what makes this district famous. In fact, this is one of the main trade districts of Athens. Right in the heart of the district the Abyssinia square is, where every Sunday, since 1910, the flea market is taking place. Here, you can find a grand variety of things, starting with jewelry, furniture, Nazi uniforms, watches with Mickey Mouse, old collections of coins, different objects made of ceramic, tile, and marble.
Stop on the Adrianou street at a cafe or restaurant, relax while sightseeing and delight yourself with one of the tastiest cuisines you have ever tried! You will not be able to forget the taste of a veritable souvlaki, tsatsiki, or the simple Greece salad that will certainly have another taste while enjoying it somewhere in the open air, under some olive trees.