Athens 2019 – Day Four – In the Footsteps of Olympians

After our aborted attempt yesterday today we made it to the Ancient Agora. Strangely there isn’t actually as much there as at first appears. Looking down on the Agora from the Acropolis it seems to cover a vast area and offers glimpses of hidden sights. However, there are only two buildings and a lot of rubble, and one of two buildings was built in the 1950’s!

The Temple of Hephaestus, however, is another matter. At over 2000 years old it is still incredibly well preserved and has the most beautiful carvings on the front at the top. The only thing to spoil it today was the hoards of Italian children posing for the best ‘gram picture in front of it.

The Temple of Hephaestus

The weather remains glorious and I’ve caught the sun! It seems weird to be wearing shorts and a tee shirt when the locals are wrapped up in coats, hats and scarves! Others found more colourful ways to dress. In a couple of places in the city we came across groups of men and women doing what I can only assume was traditional Greek dancing. The only where they stand in a circle and more slowly round in a stepping motion. I’m not sure if this was just for the tourists but I suspect so.

After lunch we decided to take one of the walking tours offered in the GPSMyCity app. This one took us through the gardens behind the parliament building and over to the Panathenaic stadium where some of the events in the first modern olympics were held. It is an amazing place and beautiful too given its marble construction. It is also odd as it appears to be incomplete as it is not a complete oval. I had seen it before but never been in and so it was great to walk through and up the stands.

Traffic is as bad now as it seemed to be thirty years ago when I visited. The narrow back streets don’t help and, I guess, nether does all the ancient architecture that has to be avoided when building roads.

Something that is new is the proliferation of scooters that seem to be dotted everywhere. This seems to be a like the cycle schemes that are popping up elsewhere where you hire a bike and just abandon it anywhere ready for the next hirer. However, scooters are something that I associate with children so I am not convinced that I could bring myself to get on one.

Hipsters and Children Only

Tomorrow it is back home but not via scooter!