Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Travelogue: Trip to Greece - Exploring Athens Part 2 (Acropolis)

The Acropolis of Athens overlooks the city of Athens. As you wander around the city, all you have to do is to look up and you will see the Acropolis up on the hill. It is a beautiful structure even from afar. We got to visit the site and luckily on the day where it was the World Museum Day where entry was free :)

Warning: Photo Heavy Post

There are two entrances to get to the top where the Acropolis is. The main entrance, which is by the car park is more popular for the obvious reason. During the height of summer and the cruise ship seasons, that entrance gets overcrowded, so a tip is to get to the Acropolis via the 2nd entrance. 

Chaos at the Acropolis Entrance

Going in via this entrance is advantageous as because of its distance from the carpark, far fewer people uses it and you don't even have to queue for your tickets. Another advantage of this 2nd entrance is you will see much more than going in via the main entrance. Here you will get to see the Dionysus Sanctuary and the Theatre.

View from the South East Entrance
Where we entered - via the south slope
Walking through the Dionysus Sanctuary
Dionysus Theatre
Another view of the theatre
It's a bit of a climb uphill. Luckily for us, it was in may and the temperature was bearable, have it been in the height of summer with the Greek heat, I wouldn't have lasted really long :p

Good thing was - as you climbed up, the views kept getting better and the archaeological remains got more and more spectacular.

View over to the Acropolis Museum

View up to the Temple of Athena Nike

As we climbed up, we came across an amazing site, which is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. This theatre is still used in the present day for Athens Art Festival during May to October.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Birds eye view of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Finally after about a 20 minute walk, we were at the top at the Acropolis with a great 360 degree view of Athens.

View over Athens
Another view over Athens

At the top, this is where people from both entrances crossing path. Be careful when you walk up the steps here, as the floor is made up of marble that has smoothen over loads of feet that had trodden over them.

Tourist everywhere!!! at the entrance

At the entrance or the Propylaea where loads of tourists are climbing their way to see the Parthenon.

More tourists making their way up the Propylaea

Finally after you get up the steps, you will see the Parthenon, the largest temple in the Acropolis and a sight to behold.

The side of the Parthenon with less scaffolding
Close up of the Parthenon
The grand Parthenon against the beautiful blue skies of Athens
Another view of Athens from the Acropolis

Another temple of the Acropolis site is the Temple of Athena Nike. 

Temple of Athena Nike

The final temple at the Acropolis is the Erechtheion.

The Porch of the Caryatids on the south side of the Erechtheion

The Erechtheion

It is just amazing to be standing in such historical site. All the buildings were in around the period of 400 BC. When you get over the awe of being in such an amazing place and tear your eyes away from them, you can cast your eye to the site around the Acropolis. The view around is amazing, it is not wonder when the ancient Athenians decided to build the Acropolis where it was.

View back down to the Odeon of the Herodes Atticus
View of the Temple of Hephaestus at the Agora of Athens

View of the Temple of Zeus

After we were done at the Acropolis, we went to check out the Acropolis Museum. It was a great way to spend a few hours, or actually even more if you are into Greek history. It is also a great way to escape the heat too. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed in there. But it is still worth your money and your time to check out some of the artifacts inside.

Acropolis Museum
Acropolis Museum

The museum lies on the archaeological site of Makrygianni and the ruins of a part of Roman and early Byzantine Athens which you can see in the picture above.

All in all, we spent a fantastic day at the Acropolis, a not to be missed when you visit Athens.

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