Wednesday, February 20, 2013

greece: what's left of athens

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we stopped in athens for a day after our trip to the greek isles. we spent some time out on the town, had some delicious pistachio gelato, and of course--went to see the parthenon, acropolis, and odeum of herodes atticus (or at least what was left of them)

yes, sense the sarcastic undertone.

as fun as it was to see these sites that you've heard about your whole life, that hold such a prominent place in the history books....it was kind of shocking to see the state that they are now in. first off, athens is a pretty dirty city (and obviously their current economic status is not helping anything improve--p.s. we left the day before  the riots broke out and civilians started blockading the airport, stopping americans from leaving. yeah we felt pretty lucky we dodged that bullet.)

secondly, my husband and i now have a theory that there are a handful of archaeologists involved in the maintaining/preserving/restoration of these landmarks. and sadly, we think that they are having a hard time agreeing on what exactly they should be doing. again, this is just our personal theory, but they have random scaffolding lined along certain parts, where it looks like they are doing minor restoration, cranes (yes actual cranes) holding up pillars, and then other chunks that they are just letting people walk all over and crumble apart.

i felt confused.
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but as you can see, it is quite beautiful.
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here we have the odeum of herodes atticus. it was  built in 161 ad by the athenian magnate herodes atticus. you can read more about it here.

fun fact- it was actually the venue for the miss universe 1973 pageant. 

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this tall thing was probably my favorite attraction of them all :) yes, because he's so attractive

(brilliant word-play, i know)

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in the middle of this picture you can see the hephaistion. we actually decided not to stop there for a close up, because we were short on time but you can see more about it and ratings from others who have visited it on tripadvisor.

yes, hubs and i love us some trip advisor.

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this is the main entrance up to the acropolis area. and yes, it took us about ten tries to get this pic without someone walking into it.
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you can see how rough the condition of these pillars are in this pic. you can also see how truly beautiful it is, despite the fact that they may topple over on you at any given moment.
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this is the erechtheion. sadly, you can't get all that close to what is left, but the detail on this building is truly amazing. it was built to accommodate a lot of religious rituals. i recommend reading more about it here.
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i think i was going camera happy on my husband this day. he's just such a nice, put-together model of a man to pose with all the rubble. he makes it look so good.
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i love travelling in general, but having your best friend as your travel buddy makes it so much better. this guy isn't afraid of anything, craves adventure, and is constantly pushing me from my comfort zone.

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lookout over athens.

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the parthenon and yours truly.
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me in front the archaeologist's organized piles of crap that they keep gated off (really though, the parthenon was quite stunning despite it's large amounts of rubble--i just have to speak the truth)

poor greece just needs to figure their stuff out.
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denim on denim on a warm greek day = a strong love for shade
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overall, i don't think we'd go back to athens just for athens, but we do have plans to go back to the greek isles someday, and i'll stop anywhere with the isles as a final destination.

if you missed my posts on the greek isles, you can read about our trip here and here.

as always, if you have any insights on athens, opinions different or the same as mine, or anything to add...please do!

6 comments:

  1. how sad they are being kept in such poor condition... i guess all things can't be "saved" but at least you got some pictures! i'm a sucker for history so i'd love to travel to see these in person before they fall over haha... or are just gone completely. thanks for the link ups!

    xo

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  2. It really is sad! I understand the different arguments and dilemmas, but it definitely could be preserved better!

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  3. My husband and I are going to Athens and the islands in May. I really enjoy reading your posts for insight. Question...what sandles / shoes did you wear? I want to be stylish but still comfortable. Thanks!

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  4. Oh how fun! What Isles are you going to? I'm jealous. I can't wait to go back someday! To the islands, I mainly wore around my comfortable thick-strapped "Report" flip flops that I got at Nordstrom Rack for pretty cheap, and then some chaco flip flops (not as cute but totally comfy) because we were going to a lot of beaches but also walking a lot. At night to dinner, I'd wear some cute strappy wedges that I brought (super light weight from aldo that could dress up an outfit without adding a lot of weight to my luggage--don't pack any heavy shoes--it just takes up too much weight, especially if you're going to be hopping around from island to island)... and in Athens it was really warm, so I just stuck with the comfy flip flops!

    I hope that helps! Mainly, just go with comfy and light-weight. One of my biggest mistakes in travelling was packing thick-soled heavy weight shoes. They are jut not worth it!

    Have tons of fun! Let me know if you have any other questions! xoxo!

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  5. Nice read! I like the suggestions and ideas.

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