Day two of our trip to Greece and Turkey continues with more hiking around ancient ruins of Athens.

A half day tour took us from the Acropolis which I covered in my last post to the Olympic Stadium, the Acropolis museum, the stadium of Dionysus, and the Temple of Zeus.DSCF3021

Olympic Stadium

Our first stop of the day was the Olympic stadium. This stadium had been updated from the original one that hosted the first modern day games in 1896. During the Games in 2004, the marathon ended in this stadium before the closing ceremonies. Incidentally the term marathon comes from an ancient story. The Athenians were fighting a war and the people of the city were waiting for news from the battlefield. Once victory was assured, a man was sent out from the town of Marathon to hurry to deliver news to the Athenians. The poor guy ran the entire way and upon delivering the news collapsed and died. So now the long run is called the marathon. Anyway, the stadium holds between 40,000 to 60,000 people depending on who you ask.IMG_2300

Acropolis Museum

Down the hill from the acropolis is a wonderful museum where replicas of some of the sculptures and pieces of the frieze can be seen up close in person. The frieze composes the carvings that used to decorate the upper portion of the outside of the Parthenon. The originals are mostly in the British museum but these replicas showed a procession of people which continues around the four sides of the building. The museum also houses ancient sculptures depicting various people throughout the ancient world—how they may have looked and the kind of clothes they wore. Some were monuments to gods or just adornments for their noble homes. Some of the original caryatids (which were the women sculptures acting as pillars outside the porch of the Erechtheum on the Acropolis) were on display.

IMG_2341Stadium of Dionysus

After enjoying the artifacts in the museum we wandered over to the stadium of Dionysus which sits just below the Acropolis. The top part of the stadium had eroded away but we could see some marble seats where the nobles sat—up front in the center facing the stage. Some interesting carvings sat amongst the ruins there.

From there we enjoyed a delicious lunch in an outdoor café—the lamb meat basting on a pole which made up the yummy gyros we had. Kids came by with their accordions for change and we got to sit and relax in the shade before heading out.

Temple of ZeusIMG_2200

Next stop was the Temple of Zeus and Hadrian’s gate. We had walked by this several times as it sits in the middle of the city and can be seen very easily from the Acropolis. The emperor of Rome, Hadrian, finished up the temple of Zeus and added the gate around 131 AD. We strolled around the tall pillared ruins watching as everyone took selfies. BTW, the amount of people taking selfies and people selling selfie sticks was so prevalent I was starting to actually get irritated by it. But I digress. There was a really cool looking ruin here referred to as the bottle caps. You can see from the photo why it is named as such.

A view of ancient Athens, a model at the museum.

A view of ancient Athens, a model at the museum.

On our way home, mom had an unfortunate accident and hurt her leg. She is now in a boot with a fractured foot but doing better. Needless to say this was pretty much the end of her excursions on this trip.

Dad and I ended the day eating souvlaki (Greek skewers) and got some snacks and fruit at a little market before heading home for the night.

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A view of the Acropolis from the Temple of Zeus. Hadrian’s Gate is at the corner of the lot.

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Part of the Parthenon Frieze procession.

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The original Carytids.

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A view of the Olympic stadium from the Acropolis.

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