If you missed part 1 of the Greek Holiday series (oh yes, it is going to be a series), just click here. Now, onto part 2!
Athens (Day 2)
On our second day in Athens, we continued our Greek God quest by kicking off the day at the Temple of Zeus.
The building was commissioned by the tyrant ruler of Athens, Peisistratos in 515 BC, but after his fall, the people refused to continue building. It was picked up again for 9 years between 174 BS and 163 BC, and finally completed in AD 131 by Emperor Hadrian.
Originally there were 104 columns, but only 16 remain standing now.
A number of smaller temples also stood on those grounds throughout history, however very little remains now. At the far end of the grounds, there is a beautiful arch named after Hadrian. Is there a major city in Europe that doesn’t have an arch? Feels like most of them do.
After the Temple of Zeus, we made are way back to the foot of the Acropolis where the Dionysus Theatre is located.
The theatre is named after the god of wine and patron of drama, and seated around 15,000 people. Built in 325 BC, tragedies and comedies by playwrights like Sophocles and Euripides were performed at the theatre.
The theatre was located near the temple of Dionysus, and the seats in the front row were reserved for the priests of Dionysus. The seats in the front row still contain engravings, perhaps indicating who the seat was reserved for.
The theatre eventually fell into disuse, but was went under some restoration in 61 AD by the Roman emperor Nero.
After visiting the theatre, we moved on to the Roman Forum and Tower of Winds. Between the 1st and 19th century, the Roman Forum was a commercial and administrative centre. Not much remains there now, and therefore I failed to take photos. Sorry 😦
That evening we went to a quaint, family run restaurant near our hotel. Tucked away at the bottom of Lykavittos Hill, To Ouzadiko offers traditional Greek food at reasonable prices. I ordered a delicious lamb and eggplant dish.
When we finished dinner, we headed back to the hotel, the Hilton, where we had access to the executive lounge. The lounge is only available to guests staying on the top three floors, and every day they offered breakfast, afternoon tea/coffee and cakes, and evening cocktails and appetizers. All of this can be enjoyed on the fantastic balcony, which happens to have a view of the Acropolis. This also meant we had a fantastic view of the sunset every night.
And that sums up the Athens portion of my Greek Holiday!
In part 3 of the Greek Holiday series we head to Santorini! Check back soon, or just sign up for the mailing list to stay up to date on blog posts.