The city of modern-day Athens is a complete sprawl. Most likely, the city looked very different in the past when it only had several thousand citizens. These days, the Greek capital has gone beyond those ancient city limits, built past how far the Acropolis could see. Of course, that would freak out the ancient Athenians but in today’s Greece, we have modern technology to close the gaps.
The spread of the city has gone beyond the original city walls hence resulting in complete urbanization.
And yet, it’s still full of wonders and history as Athens used to be the capital of the known world at one point before the Romans took the title away after they completed their conquest of the Mediterranean, making it their very own Roman Sea-Lake. The Romans looked positively upon the Greeks since a lot of their ideals (such as the Gods were shared but different names) so as a result, the Greeks were able to maintain their language and culture while being part of the Empire.
The Panathenaic Stadium, site of the first Olympics, held by the people of Athens where all wars would be suspended so athletes could compete in getting those coveted olive leaf crowns. The modern Olympics now are the evolved commercialized version of it.
Too bad, the ravages of time have been unkind to Zeus, the king of the gods, and his temple. This used to be one of the original/ancient seven wonders of the world because it used to have the Statue of Zeus. Now it sits there as a reminder of what the glorious past used to be.
When you walk around the city, you might quickly fixate your gaze upon the Acropolis, which meant in old Greek, highest point. This allowed city leaders to alert the citizens of an impending attack.
If you do the Acropolis tour, you’ll more than likely take a look into the Acropolis’s theater. Or pantheon theater. People did not have TV or movie theaters back then. Instead, they flocked to theaters like this where orators would re-create the scenes through their actions and projected voices.
Made it to the top of the Acropolis where the pantheon stands. There is some modern day history to this place as well since the Turks used to rule Greece and stored gunpowder in the pantheon which resulted in an accidental explosion. Hence why the pantheon has seen much better days.
Here’s a good picture of the side of the Pantheon. Even the statues look like they are in good shape.
Probably my best photo of the Pantheon…
On the back end of the pantheon, you get a great view of the city.
Tip: There are a lot of day tours to many different places. Athens is a great launchpad into the endless seas of Greekness history and wonders. You must remember that the Greeks have been living there for thousands and thousands of years. That is longer and older than some of the countries that were only created in the past 200, 300 years!
Tip: Food is okay but you have to really look for it because the locals have become accustomed to serving so many tourists from all over the world. They serve the normal stuff but to get quality, takes some hunting skills and/or a dog’s nose.
I found this fried Greek seafood platter only once. I couldn’t even find it again on the second try. But gosh, they got some good seafood. Only that place though.
One place that I recommend going to is the Temple of Poseidon. Down south on the Greek Riviera and not too long of a drive from Athens, it has an amazing view and great weather driving south to get to this pilgrimage site. Yes, I say pilgrimage site. One who is a fisherman must make his way to the Temple or what is left of it to pay respects to the God who provides the excellent fishing all over the world. Whether it was in Mexico or in Peru or even across the Great Atlantic Pond to England or Spain…. the trip was must be made. I don’t think a sacrifice is required there, but you know what they say about gifts – the best gift of all is to be there.
If you look closely, the Temple of Poseidon was built on a very nice view of the ocean.
On a sunny day, it can get blistering hot. The Greeks have chosen a great place for this temple even though it best days were thousands of years ago. When the Persians invaded Greece, en-route to Athens, they destroyed the Temple of Poseidon.
I have made the pilgrimage to the Temple of Poseidon! Many people in the ancient days did the same trip but took longer and was harder to do. As ship-faring people, the importance of paying respects to the Ocean God was very important. I did so myself because as a scuba diver and fisherman, I needed Poseidon’s continued blessing.
The Greeks chose a great site for Poseidon’s temple. It probably also acted as watch tower as well to see incoming enemy or pirate ships.
Athens is definitely worth a visit. Best is to go during off-season (outside of Christmas-New Year’s and the summer months) although summer might be really awesome because it’s just wide-open and all the restaurants and stores are open for business. Catering to the wallets of tourist money, I see.