Saturday March 16'th
Dinos was "technical responisible" for this trip. They had
booked a place on the plane from Olympic
Airways - and booked a hotel room at Hotel Arethusa right in the center of Athens
So all I had to take care of was the train to
Kastrup - get on-board a little more than half-full Olympic-airwais plane, get out in the
all new airport in Athens - build for the olympics coming on - and then take an
airport-bus til Syntegma, the central place in Athens. From there it's a short walk to the
hotel - and here I was.
Some kind of carnival was going on around here.
In the evening you could "enjoy" the local folklore at Syntegma. You can say a
lot about greek music - but it's certainly different.....
Sunday March 17'th
I get up pretty early to take a
closer look at Athen. Today mainly some traditional sigths.
First sight is the local market at Monastiraki.
It's a short walk from the hotel. The open up early - and is the reason why I got up so
It's close to an area know as the "tyrkish
bazar", så there are a lot of things going on. Whether you actually buy anything,
I'm not sure about - but at least you have the chance. A lot of so-called
"antiques" are for sale, and copys of figures and pots seems to be highly
From Monastiraki I walk to the parliement. A
crowd has gathered to watch the changing of the guard. I skipped that - and headed for
another Athens-must-see - Acropolis
|The walk to Acropolis is best done through the
old part of town known as Plaka. All you have to do is go up - then you will reach
Acropolis is very old. You can
actually see that. It's not what it used to be. But thats what make it famous I think -
the age. Now they have finally realised that they have to do something about it. Cranes
and stagings all over. Honestly guys - it's to late - the place is demolished - it's too
late to save it. You should have thought of this some thousand years ago.
The highlight of Acropolis in the Parthenon-temple. Actually
it's just a bunch of Doric columns, with a part of a roof on the top. There used to be a
frieze with nice pictures on all around Parthenon. But the brits stole it, and now you
have to visit British Museum in London to see it.
If you are thinking of doing the same as the brits - then
dont. They sure not like you if you take any stones away from the area. You might end up
Later that day I also take a walk to the Olympic Stadium
in Athens. Or what was the Olympic Stadium at the first modern olympic games back in 1896.
It's nicely restored and ready to meet all new olympic-tourists in 2005. As far as I know,
it will not be in use for any events.
Monday March 18'th
It's a long walk from the hotel to Mavromateon
Bus Terminal. From here there is a bus every hour to Cape Sounion and the Poseidon temple.
But on the way you pass Athens Archeological
Museum. And since there are something with Greece and archeologi, you better have to
check it out
It's pretty exiting. My Lonely Planet guide has
a good description of the museum. Lots of sculptures and pots etc. Some of the things
might have been known to me, if I have paid just a little more attention in
After a couple of hours I finally reach my
"busterminal". Well - it's more like a street-corner, where an old bus is parked
- that in two hours will take you to Cape Sounion. You have to take a little care. We have
left the traditional tourist-route, so all signs etc. are made with the local alphabet. So
it's a good idea to ask someone if you are on the right bus. On the other hand - it's only
4 Euros for the trip - if you take the same trip on a touristbus it will set you back 30
For some reason that I don't know, the locals
have this day off, so there is a lot of traffic along the coast to the Poseidon-temple. But its a
nice trip - the temple - or the ramains - and the area is nice. So to is the weather. I
spend a couple of hours walking around down there, before I head back for the big city.
Tuesday March 19'th
Sometimes you have to do it - even if you don't really like it -
take a tourist-bus to see things that you would like to see. Today it's one of the worst
of its kind - a whole bus full of tourist - mainly americans, an extremely talkative guide
- in 2 languages - english and french, and worst of all - a joint tourist-lunch en
But you have to suffer to get to Pelopones. Its way to difficult on
The compagny that arranges this trip is called Chat tours. And we
start at the hotel at 7 am.
First stop is the Corinth-canal. 130 years ago they built this
canal so the ships didn't have to make a long trip around to Peloponese when going from
the Ionic sea to the Aegeic-sea.
It's also a lot easier than back in the
13'th-century. At that time they had a transportation-route on the spot. The ships where
lifted onto some "rolls", and slaves where then pulling the ship across the
land, until you could put it back into the sea.
Back in the bus - on to Epidaurus. It's very beautifull
is a huge amphitheater. It was - like Poseidon and Parthenon - build in the 4'th century
b.c., but is very well preserved. It holds 14.000 spectators - all sitting down. In summer
its used for it's original purpose, namely old greek tragedies..
And the acuoustic is fascinating. Even from the back rows of the theater, you
can hear someone dropping a coin in the center of the scene.
And on we go with the bus. The area is incredible vigorous. Lots of
olive-trees, lemon-trees and orange-trees. Never have I seen such big and delicious lemons
and oranges - you can pick them from the trees - or buy them at small stands along the
road. But this tour is programmed, so we havent got time for such things.
our tourist lunch we reach Mychenae. Back in 1600-1200
b.c. one of the most developed places on earth was placed here. Among others Homer tells
about Mychenae in his famous works The Illiad and The Odyssee.
The ruins at Mychenae was excavated at around 1870 and is now a very exiting
place to visit.
At the entrence at Mychenae you find Agamemnons
tomb. Well - honestly - it has almost proven a fact, that Agamemnon never was buried her -
but why care about such a detail....
The trip ends at a local pot-maker-shop, where
all the happy tourist are allowed plenty of time to buy different kinds of mass-produced
ceramics. I take a little walk in the tiny village instead. We are back in Athens in the
evening. I don't like this kind of travelling like a hord of tourists, but if I hadn't, I
wouldn't have seen all these very interesting places.
Wednesday, March 20'th
Sometimes you are allowed to be a little naive. So I start this day
by taking the metro to the homeground of Panathinaikos, looking for tickets for tonights
important champions-league match against Real Madrid. But of course - they are sold out.
Back on foot - downhill - towards city-center. I pass several more
traditional living-areas, all made out of quadrangular concrete-buildings. They tend to
build their houses solid - this is potential earthquake-area.
Later it's time for a visit at The temple of
Zeus. It's not as old as Acropolis. It was built about 100 years a.c. when the romans
were in control of Greece
I finish my day with a walk around Plaka. Plaka is the
nicest and most cozy area in Athens, with old houses, small streets and paths, with plenty
of opportunity to get lost.
Plaka is placed on the foot of Acropolis, and
closest to Acropolis you find the oldest part of Plaka known as Anafiotika. Here you find
small white-washed houses, while you walk around on small paths almost like you are in the
middle of a labyrinth. There are lots of flowers and green plants - and a great number of
wild cats as well. A lovely place to walk around.
As usual - late dinner - before I head for my hotel - and champions-league with
Panathinaikos - on the telly.
Thursday, March 21'stOff we go - pretty early in the morning by metro to Piraeus.
Piraeus is the harbour-town of Athens. It's only 15 minuttes by metro out there. There is
a lot of life in Pireaus. And if you don't like a lot of traffic and a lot of people -
then stay away from Piraeus
From Piraeus you call sail to almost all
greek islands. That means a lot of ships in the harbour - big ones - small ones - some
even very big.
I take one of the small ones, and the shortest trip available. It takes 45
minuttes and brings me to the nice island of Aegina.
|If Piraeus is the area for dust and dirt, then its very peaceful at
get a delicious lunch at at Taverna at the harbour. A group danish schoolchildren are the
only other people there.
Then its time for a walk around town. It's a little tourist-town, but since we
are way out of season, there are almost no tourist. There seems to be no locals as well -
but thats because we are in the middle of the siesta - so I'm almost the only person in
I spend a few hours looking around - before I take my hydrofoil back to
|Friday, March 22'nd
Last day in Athens. I tage the new effective metro
to the suburb of Kifisia. This is the rich mans neighbourhood. You can see it at the shops
around here. Designershops and fashion-shops all over. I take a walk around the
On the way back I make a stop at the olympic area, which host most
of the venues for the 2004
Its not a very nice area. Concrete all over - but its huge - and
Back to Athens and my hotel. For the second time on this trip there
is a demonstration right in front of the hotel. Not that anyone has anything against the
hotel, but the ministry of education is just opposite, and that is what the protests is
about. There seem to be much more police than demonstraters afterall.
Later another walk to Plaka. Head for a Cafe and
has to try one of the local specialities - a Frappé. It's a strange drink made out of
milk, sugar and cold coffee. It's just as disgusting as it sounds.
End my day at my favourite eating-spot. Cafe
Neon at Syntegma. A kind of sophisticated McDonalds - local fast-food dishes, but they are
Saturday, March 23'rd
The weather has been very well all through this trip - except for
this morning where it's raining cats and dogs. So this is the right time to leave. Get up
early - no breakfast - out into the rain - to Syntegma - and a bus to the
Check in - and finally time for some breakfast. The plane is late
due to the weather, so I have plenty of time. We get another delay, when we have to land
again shortly after take-off due to technical problems. "Nothing to worry about"
says the captain. Some do it anyway.
It takes some time to fix the plane, so we are in Copenhagen with a
2 hour delay. But from here it's easy - first train to Vejle - and I'm back home.