Saturday, 3 August 2013

Hellas Calling - Day 2


Today I woke up at 7:00 am and after shower and breakfast I was out for my walking tour at about 9:00 am. First, I went to see St. George Church which is situated on a nearby mountain called LYKABETTOS. 

 There are two ways to go up, by cable car or by foot. I decided to go up by foot and believe me it was fun walking up all the way. For me, coming from a hot climate, the weather in Athens was a bit cold, so I wore my jacket. I have no intention to fall sick on a tour, I have a lot on my list to discover and getting sick is not an option.  

At the top, it was not crowded. I sat on a bench and enjoyed the panoramic view of the city. There I met an Australian couple and I assisted in taking a few pictures for them. They were both very nice and polite. While having the chat, the guy told me that he works at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and since I belong to a Cricket crazy nation and a player of the game, we entered into sports conversation.     

After a while, I decided to descend and went to see the National Gardens, it’s a big garden surrounded by tall trees, grass, fountains and colorful flowers. Adjacent to the gardens is Parliament Building. The traditional Greek guards stand by at their posts and after short intervals they perform their movements which I can’t perfectly describe. I also witnessed the guard changing ceremony, very interesting. Did you  know, the rifle these guards  carry weighs 7 kgs!!

A few blocks away I found myself at Syntagma (constitution) Square. This is a very busy place, crowded mainly by tourists. Shopping, cafeterias, taverns you’ll find all of them here. If you are interested in shopping then this is the place, a bit expensive though!

Moving on to my today’s next destination, the Acropolis.

The Acropolis of Athens  is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and containing the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis comes from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, "edge, extremity") and πόλις (polis, "city"). It is always crowded with tourists.

I spent 1.5 hours there and then decided to head back to hotel. But on my way back, I took a few wrong turns and was lost in a residential area. Now what? For about an hour or so I wandered in wrong directions. I was tired and hungry and due to Easter holiday, the traffic was thin. Finally, I came in small square where I found a newspaper stand. Now came the language barrier. The vendor couldn’t understand me, so sign language came to my rescue. I showed the location of Hotel Caravel on the map to him and he pointed towards the bus stand and repeated the words, “Syntagma” couple of times. What he meant to say was, get to Syntagma Square and from there you’ll get to the hotel easily. So, I bought the bus ticket from him, and waited for the bus. Finally, the bus came and I reached Syntagma square, I knew the way from there, so I walked back towards the hotel.

I reached back at 4:45pm. Tired and hungry. Took a shower and a little nap. Woke up at 7:15 pm. I went out for a walk, found a small play ground and a bench to sit and rest. Reviewing the guide map, to identify what to do tomorrow. There was basket ball game being played by a father, son and daughter. I enjoyed watching them for a while, then it started become cold for me. So I came back. 

On my way back, I picked up a few brochures from the reception about local tours. Before I go to sleep, I have to decide which one suits me and then make reservation. See you tomorrow!

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