Monday, July 3, 2006

July 23, 2006


Day 32
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Athens, Greece

We are in Athens and are looking forward to our tour today called A Taste of Ancient Greece.  Our tour guide (Penny) tells us that this is a unique tour because we get to tour the Acropolis, the Plaka, and also have lunch at a restaurant that prepares dishes according to the ancient recipes.

Our first stop is to see the Old Olympic Stadium which was built to host the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.  It was also used for the 2004 Olympic Games for Archery and also the finish of the marathon race.

Then we head to the Acropolis, which means ”High City”.  Our walking tour begins with a walk up steep steps through the Propylea, which is an ancient gate and secular building leading to the Parthenon.  Adjacent to the entrance stands the Temple of Athena Nike (or Wingless Victory).  Beyond the Propylea, on the highest point of the Acropolis, stands the Parthenon, which was dedicated to the Virgin Athena, goddess of wisdom.  Beyond the Parthenon lies the Erectheion, a temple honoring Athena and the sea god Poseidon, best known for its porch supported on the heads of six maidens (caryatides).  There is a massive restoration project underway at the Acropolis.  They are making sure that everything will be restored according to the original design even though they are using new marble.  It will be a breathtaking sight to behold when it gets finished.

After we leave the Acropolis, we head to the Plaka where we shop and have a light snack at one of the cafes at Cathedral Square. 

After leaving the Plaka, we head to the restaurant where we’ll have lunch, The Ancient Tastes Restaurant.  The restaurant serves a feast of dishes prepared according to ancient recipes.  In keeping with the theme, the dishes are prepared with the produce which was available in ancient Athens.  Lunch is served family style, without forks (only spoons were available at the time) and is accompanied by wine fermented according to ancient practices.  We are also entertained by Greek dancing.

We are so full that we decide not to have dinner tonight in the dining room.

Tour of Athens, Greece

Old Olympic Stadiumm built in 1896 for the first Olympic Games in Athens



















Old Olympic Stadium (used in 2004 Olympic Games in Athens)



















View of the Acropolis (High City) from the Old Olympic Stadium



















Theatre of Dionysus in Athens (oldest Greek theatre)



















Parthenon at the Acropolis


















View of Athens from the Acropolis


















Temple of Athena Nike (Wingless Victory) at the Acropolis


















Pat in front of the Temple of Athena Nike


















Mike in front of the Erectheion and the Porch of Caryatides


















The Porch of Caryatides at the Acropolis in Athens


















Restoration process showing the original and the new marble
Original and new marble restoration at the Acropolis


















Restoration of the Parthenon in Athens



















Propylea at the Acropolis


















The Plaka in Athens


















Plaka street scene


















Dining at the Ancient Taste of Greece Restaurant in Athens

Restaurant we ate lunch at in Athens (Ancient Taste of Greece)


















Having lunch at the Ancient Taste of Greece


















Beautiful Greek dancer at the Ancient Taste of Greece


















Greek dancing during lunch
















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