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Hot up on the hill, and military funny walks

I set off early (about 8am) to make the short climb to the summit of the Acropolis before it got too hot, and before the bus loads of people off cruise ships arrived to fill up the site. I got to the entry at 8.45 and was pleased to see it was already open. With a hat on my head and a bottle of water in hand I began the uphill trudge to get to the first pausing point. This was a partially reconstructed Theatre of Dionysus (Greek god of both wine and the stage) which was first built on the site in the 4th century BC. The old stone seating is impressive, and I have included a photo of the theatre site as seen from the top of the Acropolis. There were probably another four or five steepish slopes or sets of steps to climb before reaching the impressive gateway to the Acropolis, which is in the middle of extensive strengthening and restoration. Having passed through the gateway the extent of the site lies before you and it is clear that there are going to be many years yet of reconstruction before the site can be cleared of cranes and scaffolding. The largest and most amazing building has got to be the Parthenon. The scale of the buildings is gigantic, with pillars so high and massive, that it overwhelms you when you get close to them. It is easy to see why it has been called one of the treasures of the ancient world. The rest of the site has several projects taking place and a smaller but more complete Erechtheum Temple which has its porch balcony held up by replacement caryatids ( the originals have been transferred to the Museum). The views of the city from one of the highest places in Athens are truly beautiful and spectacular and worth the climb to get there. It was good as I was leaving to see the queues of hundreds of people starting to form and I was glad I got there early enough. Once I had got back to the metro station I decided to check out a site called the Temple of Zeus, and so I made a short trip to the area it was in and got lost. Luck has it that I got lost in front of the tomb of the unknown soldier and found myself there in time to see the changing of the guard ceremony. A couple of hundred people were pushing and shoving to get a good view of this so my photos barely capture what went on, but it gives a taste of what was involved. After that little bit of excitement I did manage to find the Temple of Zeus, but after seeing the Parthenon it was so underwhelming that I didn't bother to include photos. All that was there was a total ruin with a few pillars sticking up in the air. I'm going to check out the ancient Agora site tomorrow then I think I will be totally over classical Greek architecture......

Theatre of Dyonysus seating plan

Theatre of Dyonysus seating plan


Looking down to Museum and Theatre of Dionysus

Looking down to Museum and Theatre of Dionysus


A fairly steep ascent, but doable slowly

A fairly steep ascent, but doable slowly


Stopped for a breather

Stopped for a breather


approaching the entrance

approaching the entrance


The gateway being reconstructed

The gateway being reconstructed


On top of Acropolis

On top of Acropolis


Erechtheum Temple

Erechtheum Temple


Other side of Erechtheum Temple

Other side of Erechtheum Temple


copied caryatids holding up roof

copied caryatids holding up roof


view of Athens

view of Athens


view across Athens from Acropolis

view across Athens from Acropolis


The Parthenon north side

The Parthenon north side


Parthenon south side

Parthenon south side


west side

west side


another view of Athens

another view of Athens


leaving through gateway

leaving through gateway


on the way out

on the way out


as I was leaving, cruise ship 1000's arrived

as I was leaving, cruise ship 1000's arrived


high above the city

high above the city


In front of Parliament and tomb of unknown soldier

In front of Parliament and tomb of unknown soldier


relieving guards arrive for inspection

relieving guards arrive for inspection


same

same


relieving guards

relieving guards


relieving guards

relieving guards


relieving guards approach tomb

relieving guards approach tomb


two sets of guards meet at the tomb

two sets of guards meet at the tomb


departing guards

departing guards


same

same

Posted by astrix7 17:00 Archived in Greece

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