Thursday, July 11, 2013

Around Athens: Scorched Goddesses

The previous daywas uneventful. We were brimming with energy when we arrived at Athens Studios to meet our tour guide for the walking tour - costs €6. I warned Marj that these walking tours are very tiring, and it doesn’t give you time to take photos/camwhore.

The tour started at around 9:00 am. Lots of Australians (there are always Australian backpackers), some from other EU countries. From Asia, there’s just us and some girls from Singapore. I feel some kind of kinship whenever I see someone from South-East Asia backpacking around the world. Surprisingly, there were no Americans.

We made our way to Syntagma Square, into some side streets (that I can’t recall). At some point, we stopped for some snacks and a toilet break. Very important. Better empty your bladder even if don’t feel like it. There will be no time to pause after this break. I bought a banana from a fruitstand for €0.20. I like our local bananas better.

It was a flurry of ancient stories. All interesting to me. Learned so much about Greek history. Greek history used to be all about mythology to me. History is much more interesting when not taught in school. One of our “tourmates” said she eventually got bored walking around the Parthenon because everything looked like “pretty rocks” or “pretty ruins”. The whole complex had more context if you learn about its history.

One amusing story was about the Battle of Marathon.
Athens defeated the Persians in Marathon, a village in Athens. A Greek soldier (I cannot recall the name) ran from Marathon to Athens without stopping. After announcing their victory, he collapsed and died. The distance between Marathon and Athens is 42km.

And that’s why you run 42 km in a full marathon. Ang COOL NO!!! The story - not the soldier dying.

Our tour guide was the guy in blue shirt

The group parted ways at past 1pm. We were craving for some airconditioning so we went back to the hostel to rest for a bit before having lunch. Replete with food and rest, we bought the combination ticket to the Acropolis for €12.

Let the camwhoring begin.

The purple camera case made it to Athens.
The Threater of Dionysos featuring me and my payong.
Wag mahiya mag-payong. This is for your survival.

 Hindi sya sure. Kung hindi ka sure, pano na???????

Temple of Themis?????? Unsure labels.

  The Parthenon with all the steel stuff and a crane.

A bit slippery here.

There are some angles that are breathtaking alone. Don't put your face it it. Better leave that view alone.


Enjoy and savor the moment. Until the heat makes its way to your brain. We were lucky that we had sun. We were unlucky that there was heat.

Were people giants back then? Why do these structures have to be so big?
Sun salute at the Parthenon. Cover-photo worthy.

There were loads of tourists, but we were able to empty the frame sometimes. It will be hard to completely get rid of the photobummers. But we try.
Feeling like goddesses

We made our way out around 7 or 8 pm – the sun is still up during that time. There’s this lemonade slush stand nearby. The cool slushy costs € 4.50. A tourist trap. I still bought one.

Some tips:
  • Before exploring the Acropolis, be well-fed and well-rested. 
  • Prepare for the heat. Wear sunscreen. Seriously. 
  • Bring one bottled water. There's a drinking fountain near the toilets.
  • Bring your cap/hat, sunglasses and an umbrella. We are Asians. We use umbrellas for the sun. Wag mahiya mag-payong. Drop the umbrella when you want your photo taken.
  • Wear footwear with a good grip. Some rocks/marble-paths will be slippery. 
  • If you want wear a dresses (diyosa lang ang peg), like what I did, better wear some leggings with it. You may need to take huge steps at times, and wa-poise naman yun with your dress.

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