Massive day in Athens today, after I finished my sleep in of course. When I left the hotel this morning, I headed straight for the Parthenon. Unfortunately, for the Parthenon, I had to access it via Monestiraki and the Athens flea market, which caught my attention for about an hour.
I walked towards the Acropolis, actually trying to find a way up, that wasn't son steep. I stopped myself and thought, you idiot, Acropolis means literally, high city, there is no way out of having to climb up the hill! I went in via Hadrian's library and the south slope, I finally saw the theatre of Dionysus, which was a bit disappointing as there is really not much left and what was there seemed covered in scaffolding.
I climbed up to the main event, through the propylaya and there was the Parthenon. In 2006 it had been obscured by a massive crane, and what was there this time? Two massive cranes! I am never going to see this monument unobscured. I did a lap of the temple in attempt to view it with the least modern improvements possible.
Then I went and had a look at the Erectheon temple, built to honour the first Athenian, Erectheus, who sprang from the very soil of the land. I exited the Acropolis and climbed down via Aeropagus hill, which has now had wooden steps installed. I refused to use the steps and insisted on clambering over the slippery marble surface to the top to view the white city that is Athens. Aeropagus hill was the place where the jury of Athens met to hear all the worst cases.
I walked through the ancient Agora, or marketplace along the Panatheniac way, where the Panathenia festival was held. I passed the altar of epomynous heroes of the tribes of the Athenians. I had a look at the magnificent temple of Haephestus, the most in tact temple in the Greek world.
I'm not sure what it was, but I really didn't get the same kick out of the archaeology that I did the last time I was here. Maybe it's the whole, spoilt thing. I've seen much better Greek archaeological sites in Turkey, whole Roman cities in Libya, stone pyramids in Sudan and epic temples in Egypt.
I made my way down from the Parthenon and had lunch in a nice little café at Monestiraki. Then I went back into the flea market and actually shopped. I bought a t-shirt, a dress and some worry beads. I then went back to the hotel for a much needed nap.