Last Day in Athens

Another early morning to ring in April fool’s Day the right way. Cause you know we never sleep in on a vacation. Our breakfast consisted of hard-boiled eggs, coffee, watered down orange juice, and bread with sandwich meat. Such an unorthodox breakfast for an American, but completely normal for a European.

A metro ride to the Parliament building started our day like a V for Vendetta movie. We snapped photos with the guards who never move and waited in front of the building for the guards to change shifts. I caught this debacle on camera.

Meanwhile, I really felt like I was in London. We had to be extra careful not agitate the guards; we have a habit of being pretty riled up. I suspect that since we are American, the guards made every excuse to deny us entrance into the library of parliament. First it was electronics, then it was backpacks, finally it was Mike’s shorts.

For whatever reason it was, we just decided to walk back through the national garden and

into the Zappeion building again for a quick minute. Admiring the garden for just over ten minutes before finally walking back to the Temple of Zeus, where I did a cartwheel in front of it was very exciting. The Greeks did a tremendous job building this. The columns are over 17 meters high! Free entry for students into this monument and the Acropolis was a blessing.

We got to the crown jewel of Athens, the Acropolis with almost three hours left to enjoy it. We saw the Archaic and more recent temples of Dionysus as well as the theater dedicated to Dionysus as well. We climbed the hill and checked out the view from the eastern slope before admiring the theater of Odeon Herodes Atticus. This was built in the 2nd century A.D.

The top of the slope was the rest of Acropolis, which in ancient Greek time was a place for spiritual, intellectual, and cultural worship and development. At the summit, we saw another part of Greek’s holy triangle, the temple of Athena. As I learned the previous day, this is actually the temple of Athena Minerva.

The Parthenon

What I and every other tourist came to see, though was the sacred Parthenon. This placed was used for The Parthenon was a dedication of the Athenians to the protectress of the city, Virgin Athena, for the salvation of the city and the victories of Athens against the Persians. It was built during 447-438 BC and it belonged to the big construction program of Pericles, which expressed the grandeur of the Athenians in its greatest peak.

I had to stop and admire this for twenty minutes though because I remember doing a project on this in middle school. My mom and dad helped me make a 3-D scale replica of the building. I learned so much about this place back then, that finally experiencing it meant so much more. I frequently get the feeling of disbelief when I finally see something I thought I would only ever have the opportunity to read about.

I couldn’t leave Greece without having Baklava, yet another traditional Greek dessert. So after filling my belly, we hopped on the subway to get to the airport to catch our flight. Even though I was sad to leave, I had a fantastic time exploring Greece and look forward to returning one day. There is just was too much I left without seeing.

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