Stairs from Hell

Trip Start Jun 14, 2009
Trip End Jul 03, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

We were planning to go to the Acropolis today. You are advised to go there as early as possible
to beat the heat and large crowds from cruise ship tours. I had the alarm on my phone set for 7am. I turned it off and woke back up about 8:30. By the time we'd gotten ready and eaten breakfast at the hotel we decided to postpone the Acropolis until tomorrow.

Instead we went to the National Archaeological museum. It is a very large museum which contains artifacts that have been discovered dating back several thousand years up through about the third century. The first room had things from the 8th century B.C. I walked around and looked at everything in about five minutes and Vicki read the descriptions of each item which took about half an hour. There are maybe thirty to fifty rooms in the whole museum. I gently suggested to Vicki that if we took that long in each room we would be there for two days. We managed to see everything in about 3-1/2 hours.

Next we took the metro to Syntagma Square. The Greek Parliament building is here. There are guards dressed in ancient Greek costumes that stand perfectly still in front of the Parliament building. Every half hour they have a changing of the guards ceremony.

Then we decided to go to the top of Lycabettus Hill. This is the highest point in Athens and
has panoramic views of the whole city. To get there you walk to the base of the hill and then
take a funicular (a kind of tram that goes through the mountain) to the top. It was a few blocks
walk from Syntagma square to the funicular station. What I soon found out was that it was all uphill. After a block or two the street turned into many many flights of steps. Some girls on the funicular with us called these the "stairs from hell". When we got to the top of the hill I took Vicki's picture overlooking the view of Athens. A nice old man came up and offered to take our picture together. I started to hand him my camera and he said that was ok he had his own, a polaroid (do they even make those still?). He got ready to take the picture and then said, ready? Yes. By the way, six euros. I should have seen that coming. I said ok and he took the picture. At least after that he took several with my camera, which were better than the polaroid.

We got back to Syntagma square about 6:00 PM. All the time we were walking around I had been looking for an electronics or computer store to see about replacing my netbook. The one I found was closed. A lot of businesses close in the afternoon for a siesta (greek word?) and open up again later. I looked in my guidebook and found that there was a mall right by a metro stop. It turned out to be at the other side of Athens but we had a 24-hour metro ticket. From the metro station there was a stairway path that went right into the mall. The mall has hundreds of stores, a 15 screen movie theater and lots of restaurants. In the basement of the mall I finally found two large electronics stores. In the second one I found an Acer laptop almost exactly like my other one except it has Greek characters on the keyboard along with the latin characters.

By this time it was after 9:00 and we hadn't eaten so we went up to the fourth floor of the mall where all the restaurants were. They had a food court (kfc, starbucks, etc) and a few stand-alone restaurants. We celebrated our 25th Anniversary eating at a traditional Greek restaurant called Ruby Tuesday.


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