Loosely translated as “a high city” from Greek, there are of course more than one acropolis around. But in Greece, only one is so famous that is simply called The Acropolis. Angelo had driven us here earlier during the afternoon but with the hot summer sun beating down on us, we put up the white flag in defeat. There did not seem to be any shade on top of the flat rock and pictures of bacon sizzling on a frying pan filled my mind.
Quite quickly, we opted to come back later in the day when it was not as hot. This carried the risk of bigger crowds but in the end, it didn’t really matter. The Acropolis easily accommodated us all. So, what else can you do around Athens? As we were already in Plaka (the old historical neighbourhood of Athens), the answer was of course the flea market in Monastiraki!
This area is home to streets of small shops selling all sorts of goods that you would want to take home as souveniers. (not to mention heaps of souvenier shops as well and some really good gyros places) In the end, we came back here a couple more times before we were truly happy we had bought everything we wanted.
The Acropolis in the late afternoon turned out to be such a good idea in the end. The heat had subsided and we could really enjoy this marvel of the ancient world that is truly epic. The entrance is through some steep steps known as the Propylaea.
Before arriving at the steps, you will pass an old amphitheatre. This is Odeon Of Herodes Atticus. Built in 161 AD, it is still in use. We caught some performers rehearsing for some event and just imagined how amazing it would be to attend a concert here!
Once inside, the Erechtheum will be towards your left which I posted about in my recent weekly photo challenge, the Porch of the Maidens. Interestingly, the statues are only replicas as currently the originals are being restored. You can see them up close in the Acropolis Museum (a must see).
Then right in the centre which you will not miss is Parthenon dedicated once upon a time to the Goddess Athena, the patron of Athens. There is extensive restoration work going on here. Apparently this has been the case since the 1970’s. In the photo below, you can see the white spots on the columns where restoration work was done.
There is so much more to see here than any of the other sights and we really wished we had more time. Before long, we realized that it was closing time when attendants came around making sure everyone started to make their way out.
The sun had not set yet as the days are long in summer. But the attendants were insistent herding everyone as they must do every day. We tried to hang around for as long as we could and were rewarded with a parting shot of our last moments at the Acropolis bathed in the suns evening rays refracted by a cloud. It was a moment to remember. What a grand way to end our trip.