On to stop #3 of our Mediterranean cruise…Athens, Greece! Athens is the capital of Greece and the birthplace of democracy. The city itself looks like a typical metropolis, until you look up and see the Parthenon staring down at you like a gift from the gods.
Our tour of Athens included 3 main stops:
- Panathenaic Stadium– This stadium was originally built in 330 BC and rebuilt several times over history. In 1896 it was the site of the first modern-day Olympics, hosting the opening and closing ceremonies and 4 of the 9 events. You do not have to pay to see this site.
- The Acropolis– The Acropolis is the site of several important historical buildings: the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike. The Parthenon was built in 438 BC as a temple to Athena. It was designed to be built on the highest point of Greece and truly looks like a heavenly temple looking down on all of mankind.
- Plaka District– This is within walking distance of the Acropolis. It is a shopping district with many delicious restaurants. We did a little shopping (bought some olive oil and soaps at an amazing price) and then sat at an outdoor restaurant for some yummy kabob and a large bottle of water. We were a sweaty mess by then!
Athens has a different feel to it, compared to the other more romantic stops on our trip. However, it is a must-see for sure. I was simply blown away by how advanced the architecture was considering the lack of technology in ancient times. These buildings have stood the test of time and remind me of the wonderful gifts that God has given mankind to be able to create such breathtaking structures.