We arose early Monday, had a great breakfast at the hotel, and headed for the subway.
I have to note how surprisingly clean Athens was. For a city in hard economic times, I was expecting more trash at the curbs and more grime generally. But it was much cleaner than NYC or even Boston. Istanbul was also a surprise in this way. Naples, unfortunately, was filthy.
While riding around on the tour, I noticed there was a War Museum almost next to the Parliament House. A must see. The exhibits inside highlight the many wars Greece has participated in, right up to the present time, with lots of guns and maps and stuff. Mostly in Greek, though.
As we were leaving the museum, we heard the tramp of boots coming from the direction of the Parliament. We walked out to the sidewalk in time to see this.
After lunch, we headed back to the Theater of Dionysus to continue our cultural enrichment.
We were told by yesterday’s tour guide that the 20Euro ticket would still be honored today. Not true, said the woman collecting tickets. But Betty told her our story and how it was our last day and she relented. Nice lady.
Wikipedia: The Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus is a major theatre in Athens, built at the foot of the Athenian Acropolis. Dedicated to Dionysus, the god of plays and wine (among other things), the theatre could seat as many as 17,000 people with excellent acoustics, making it an ideal location for ancient Athens’ biggest theatrical celebration, the Dionysia. It was the first stone theatre ever built, cut into the southern cliff face of the Acropolis, and supposedly birthplace of Greek tragedy. The remains of a restored and redesigned Roman version can still be seen at the site today. The site was used as a theatre since the sixth century BC. The existing structure dates back to the fourth century BC but had many other later remodelings.
Incidentally, that large black modern building behind the theater is the Acropolis Museum we visited yesterday.
According to Wikipedia: It was built in 161 AD by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It was originally a steep-sloped theater with a three-story stone front wall and a wooden roof made of expensive, cedar of Lebanon timber. It was used as a venue for music concerts with a capacity of 5,000. It lasted intact until it was destroyed and turned into a ruin by the Heruli in 267 AD
After being partially restored by the government in the 1950s, the theater is used today for concerts and events as part of the annual “Athens Festival”. The black and blue bags on the steps contain seat cushions, protected from the weather.
After our personal Acropolis tour, Betty wanted to visit the Monastiraki Square neighborhood, so we jumped on the subway and arrived around dusk.
The people who are being watched.
What a wonderful ten days, happily spent traveling to exotic places with my favorite companion. Several bucket list items have now been checked off, but we have plenty left.
Anyway, this is how we spent our summer vacation. Thanks for dropping by.