The Topdeck Mega European Tour adventure continues this morning as we prepare for our early departure from the party island of Mykonos back to the Greek capital of Athens. It’s a long ferry trip back to the mainland but this time we will be back early enough to check out the famous sights around this ancient city.
23 MAY, 2012 – Mykonos to Athens
Once we arrived back in Athens we checked back into the Hotel Novus where we stayed last time we were in Athens and collected our baggage that we left in storage while we were over in Mykonos. Once we were settled in we had the rest of the day to ourselves to explore Athens, but one place was on everyone’s list to see so we all hopped back on our Topdeck coach and were taken to the bottom of the Acropolis.
Luckily this time it was open, the face of the Parthenon is always changing permanently covered with scaffolding as the Greeks continue to take their time to restore this ancient monument, lets face it the scaffolding is going to be there for a long time yet as they have no funds to repair it.
From the top of the Acropolis you gain a birds eye view of Athens making it a good place to start and get your bearings with the original Olympic Stadium in the distance and other landmarks along the way it was time to walk in that direction.
Our first stop was the very modern Acropolis Museum which is located at the bottom of the site, the outside of the museum is built around some ancient ruins with a see through floor so you can see what is below. Even if you don’t plan on going inside or if it is after hours it is well worth the visit just to check this out.
Inside, the museum is full of ancient treasures from sculptures, art, ceramics and parts of the Parthenon itself and it’s well worth a visit especially if you have a student/concession card you can get in for a discounted price, although if you feel bad about the economic situation you may want to pay the adult rate.
Next we walked further down the road past the Arch of Hadrian and the Temple of Zeus, you can’t actually go inside and get up close to the ruins so you have to admire them from the fence but you also get a good view from the top of the Acropolis. Further down the road is a landmark I was really looking forward to seeing, the Olympic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held.
To get inside the stadium there is an entry fee, however you can stand at the open end of the stadium and see it all from there, we decided it was just a bunch of steps and not worth paying the entry but it was still a great experience knowing you were standing where the modern Olympics all started more than 100 years ago.
Tonight after a long day of ferry travel and exploring Athens it was a relatively quiet night as most of us sat up at the rooftop bar of the hotel with views of the Acropolis lighting up at night. This point of the tour marks another point where some of our fellow Topdeck travellers left the trip.
Tomorrow another early start as we travel north to the historic town of Meteora and see how the Monks live in their cliff top monasteries.
DOWNLOAD: Topdeck Athens City Guide