The following day, we ventured to the great city of Athens. Athens was such a stark change from Santorini. Santorini was quiet, remote, beautifully blue, and just plain simple. Athens was crowded, bustling and urban in every way. Walking the streets felt very much like walking through one of the crowded big cities in the United States, but off in the distance, on the top of a 500 foot hill, you couldn’t help but notice the Acropolis towering over us.
The Acropolis, translated in Greek as “city on the extremity,” held the famed Parthenon — a temple dedicated to the Greek goddess, Athena.
To reach the top of the Acropolis, one must ascend a long and dusty uphill path, pass the Theatre of Dionysis, and walk by the pillars of the Propylaea, where you are then greeted by the majestic Parthenon, which began construction in 447 B.C. and was built of marble, using approximately 13,400 stones.
When you reach the top, you also get to see a breathtaking 360 degree view of the city below. The whole time I just kept wondering how they managed to get all that marble up there back then.
When you descend to the bottom of the Acropolis, you pass by Mars Hill, which is the place where the apostle Paul preached the sermon as described in Acts 17:16-34. Paul’s sermon was engraved on this plaque, where he expresses his distress for the abundance of idols in the city.
On the way back to the place where our ship was docked, we got the chance to explore the city a bit by foot and by train. Once again, it was like being in two very separate worlds.
I had to stop and take a picture of this man looking through these hanging newspapers — something just drew me to it.
We also stopped at this Greek restaurant on the way back. They had the best gyros, which everyone kept raving about. Their secret was putting spiced french fries into the gyro itself — so good!
Next stop — off to the beaches of Mykonos!