Railing thru Europe: Stop 19.1 Greece – Athens

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As we edge on towards the country that filled our minds with myth and legends since we were young, we couldn’t help but feel invigorated, regardless of how drained and fatigued we were from the consecutive travelling the past 2 months. This is GREECE! I must admit, this is definitely one of the major highlights of our trip! Mythical entities like Zeus, Athena, Poseidon have always fascinated us not to mention the influence from the games, books and movies that derives from them! This trip to Athens, will definitely be an eye opener for the both of us.

Awaiting for our connecting train to Athens at the Thessaloniki train station.

After a quick breakfast and a sip of Greek Coffee, We were off for a 5 hour train ride to the capital.

The Akropoli metro station in Athens. This is the stop for The Acropolis.

Our journey to the Parthenon begins!

Looking at the remains of the auditorium of the Theatre of Dionysos

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Built in 161A.D. by Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It is located in the south slope of the Acropolis.

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus. From another angle, overlooking the city of Athens.

Finally caught our first glimpse of the famed Parthenon. Seeing it for real still has you doubting if you’re really there at all! The climb from the bottom of the Acropolis was definitely worth it. Look at it in all of its splendour and architecture glory! (Well…sort of…its still amazing nonetheless!)

Overview of the Temple of Olympian Zeus from the Parthenon. It may not look like much now, but during its prime, it housed the largest statue of Zeus and is also well known to be the largest temple in Greece.

The Philopappos Monument, as seen from the top of the Acropolis

The Erechtheion

The famous ‘Porch of the Caryatids’ on the south side of the Erechtheion

Taking our last few snapshots before making our way downhill.

As we move closer to the Temple of Zeus, it became apparent that as ruined as it might be now, the remaining pillars were still very much enormous! One can only imagine how grand the temple would be if all the pillars and structures lie intact.

The Arch of Hadrian

The remains of what was the glorious Temple of Zeus.

Back to the train station where relics are shown in display showcases.

The Old Royal Palace, at Syntagma Square. It houses the Greek Parliament (Hellenic Parliament).

The changing of the royal guards at Syntagma Square

Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea, one of the oldest churches in Athens. It was fascinating to see something so ancient-looking stuck in the middle of such a modern surrounding.

Hadrian’s Library in the evening. It was already closed when we got there so we had to make another trip the next day.

The interior of Monastiraki station. Might be the most unusual metro station we’ve seen yet.

The 18th century Tsisdarakis Mosque, built by the ottoman empire and located just in front of the Monastiraki station.

This was a great place to buy souvenirs

A walk through Hadrian’s Library by the west wall.

The ruins of the Church of Megali Panagia built on the grounds of Hadrian’s Library

Entrance to the Roman Forum

We could still see the Parthenon from the Roman Forum

The Fethiye mosque and the remains of the Roman Forum

Tower Of The Winds. It features a combination of sundials, a water-clock and a wind vane! The design for the Radcliffe Observatory in Oxford, UK is based on this.

Overview map of the Athenian Agora

Stoa of Attalos

The pillars seem to go on forever…

Temple of Hephaestus

Great view of the Acropolis, Parthenon and Stoa of Attalos (to the left) from the Temple of Hephaestus.

Close up views of the Temple of Hephaestus

The remains of the Monument of the Eponymous Heroes.

A drawing of the Kerameikos landscape during the 4th century B.C.

Stopping by for a quick shot of the Athens train station.

Next destination… the romantic and mesmerizing island of Santorini!

love, J and Yee

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