Posted by: Scotty | September 11, 2009

Athens at 2am! The Acropolis, Parthenon & Zorba’s

Jet lag-arammah! The flight to Athens didn’t get in until after midnight and I had some baaaddd jet lag. Our cab driver didn’t speak any English but he was helpful in communicating non-verbally, pointing to maps and by listening and speaking similar sounding words. We were staying downtown, which was about 20 miles from the airport. The speed limit was 80km and we were flying a good 120km along with the flow of traffic, (I think my mom was on the verge of a heart attack!) I noticed a lot of Graffiti along the roads and city streets, not something you see in Grand Forks.

The area we stayed in was in the heart of the downtown Athens business district, not anywhere you would want to be caught walking alone after midnight (like any major city). The next morning was bustling with business men and women walking every which way to work, it reminded me of city life in downtown Minneapolis or Chicago. Small shops and little kiosks stands lined the streets. Police officers were walking the streets and directing traffic at the intersections, which was nice to see. We ate lunch at a restaurant just around the corner from the hotel called “Everest,” a fast food chain similar to a Subway, but with unique Greek foods, coffee and pastry.

Our first full day in Greece we went to visit the Acropolis, which is where the Parthenon is located. It was only about a 10 minute taxi ride form our hotel. Amazing, stunning–a wonder of the world is all I can even begin to say. To be apart of such history is so cool! (Check out the video and pics!) On top of the Acropolis, it’s a beautiful view of the entire city. Mountains surround Athena or Attica,  (Athens) in the distance you can see the ocean. Athens is named after the Greek goddess Athena Parthanos (the goddess of wisdom), in which this Parthenon was built (in the 5th century BC!!!) as she guards over the city.

However, this isn’t the first Parthenon, the original was called the Temple of Athena, destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC, re-constructed again in 447 and completed in 432, and then partly destroyed by the Venetians in 1687. Since 1975 the Greek Government has taken on a huge effort to restore all the monuments that sit on top of the Acropolis. The Parthenon is a cultural symbol for ancient Greece and the Greek Athenian Democracy. There is just a ton of cool Greek Mythology and history that you get to learn about. We met some people from New York and Chicago and had a few fun conversations about our experiences in Greece thus far.

We ate dinner at a unique Greek place called Zorbas, it was literally on the water in a sail boat harbor surrounded by clubs and restaurants. Great sunset! We had a table by the water and could feed the fish sitting at our table. It’s a sea food restaurant and you could taste the fish were caught that morning. I asked our waiter how to say a few words in Greek and got to hear and try out the dialect. Yeah, I had to ask pronunciations more than a few times over again! Great fun.

Until next time…

-Scotty out!

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