We named him Rick. Every time I turned around to take his picture he looked away like he was trying to be sneaky. Seriously. Here's the proof. That face has guilt written all over it. We got several laughs from Rick.
This church has been under construction since like...forever. Or something like that. And it won't be done for a really long time. And that's the only reason I took this picture.
Street food. The ones covered in sugar are waaaay better than the ones covered in sesame seeds. Not like that's shocking news or anything.
We walked over to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and waited for the changing of the guard ceremony. We were waiting behind the fence (you can see it on the right), but a couple minutes before the new guards showed up, Dusty went to see if we could get on the other side. He found a way in, and motioned for me to join him. As I approached the entrance, these three (huge) Athenian men came right around the corner. I turned in right behind them and the guard didn't even blink at me. I was pretty much in love with Athens at this point. There were only a handful of other people there, and we were the only ones on the inside of the fence.
They do a completely entertaining dance as part of their ceremony. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it.
Those are some mean looking men. I guess you have to look tough to pull off a skirt with 400 pleats (one pleat for every year of Turkish rule), and shoes with giant pom poms on top.
After watching the changing of the guard, we walked through the streets of Athens...making our way to some of the top historical sites.
The Temple of the Olympian Zeus
Apparently this place brought out everyone's crazy side.
This one was for my rock star friend Jami! Chuckin the deuces.
Another shot of the Acropolis
There were dogs aaaaall over Athens.
Taking the "back door" on our walk and winding through some very Greek looking neighborhoods.
A good view of Lykavittos Hill, which is actually the tallest point in Athens, not the Acropolis. Why wouldn't the Acropolis be built on the tallest point? Well, apparently Athena was out trying to find a mountain to use for the Acropolis, when she heard some bad news. In her anger she dropped the mountain she was carrying (now Lykavittos), and decided she couldn't build the Acropolis on a "mistake," so she settled on the next tallest one. I learned on the cruise that the Greeks find an explanation for everything. And if they don't know, they make up a good story involving the gods and their mischief.
The next several photos are in Monastiraki Square.
Monastiraki Square is famous for their flea market. Dusty and I could have stayed here all day! There were so many treasures. Most of which were either too expensive or too big to bring home. Or both.
I wanted this so bad. But not for the price tag. We also came across this super cute vintage fire truck that I didn't take a picture of, and I'm still wishing I would have bought.
In the Ancient Agora...where everyone came to hang out in Ancient Athens. Again, me looking like a fool. I do it all for my honey.
Close up of the Temple of Hephaestus...one of the most well preserved temples in Athens.
View of the Acropolis from the Ancient Agora.
This is the statue of the Emperor Hadrian. He was a lover of Greek culture. At the bottom you see Remus and Romulus (twin sons of the war god Mars) who were raised by a she-wolf. They both decided they wanted to build a city on the shores of the Tiber. One problem, they both wanted to be king. Romulus ended up killing his brother, and established the city of Rome. Athena is standing on their back, symbolizing how Hadrian believed Greek culture to be supported by Rome.
After the Ancient Agora, we came back to the Plaka for some yummy local grub.
It dripped greasy juice all over my pants. The price you pay.
Here I am acting like Paul preaching to the Athenians on Mars' Hill...and covering up the huge stain on my pants from the lunch incident.
Dusty, not quite as animated, but no stain to cover up. I'm glad I managed to capture that lovely trash can.
After Mars' Hill, we finally capped off the day at the Acropolis!
The Erechtheion, an ancient temple with the six female statues known as the "Porch of the Caryatids."
The Parthenon was a temple dedicated to the Greek's patron goddess, Athena. There was all kinds of construction and scaffolding happening inside and on the other side. It is the most photographed side. Not going to lie, scaffolding pretty much ruins the ancient beauty of things. I was a wee bit disappointed from a photographer's perspective, but still amazing to be standing here.
A view of Athens from the Acropolis. You can see the Temple of the Olympian Zeus where we were earlier in the day (big green field in the center). There is also a famous arch close to that temple, and a street that almost seems to lead up to the Acropolis. I wonder if that is the route the ancients use to take...visit the temple, pass through the arch, and up to the Acropolis!
When the Germans invaded Greece in 1941, they ascended the Acropolis and ordered the soldier guarding the flag to take it down and replace it with the Nazi flag. The soldier did so, but refused to give the flag to the Nazis. Instead, he wrapped himself in it and jumped off the Acropolis to his death. This act of heroism united the Greeks and helped them fight back against the German invasion.
Goodness...I can't even remember what this is. The books we checked out for our trip have since gone back to the library, and I don't even know what to search for on the internet. Obviously an amphitheater or something like that.