21.07.2011 - 29.07.2011 38 °C
My first stop here in Athens, Greece is about to come to an end, flying down to South Africa tomorrow. Thinking back, I can’t believe it has been 10 years since my first time here in Athens. TEN YEARS!! That was my first big European trip (I am sure Farah and Janice remember that trip well I don’t remember what my first impression of Athens was. We were here only for a few days and it was the last stop of our 5-week trip. Athens is an old city. Streets are narrow, cars and motorcycles everywhere, many buildings and even children’s playgrounds are unfortunately marked by graffiti. Currently Greece is going through a tough time economically. The country has borrowed billions of euros, but yet the downfall continues. Many people have lost their jobs or have taken large pay cuts. Unhappy with the drastic measures that the government has taken to avoid bankruptcy, there are more frequent protests and strikes (since I have been here, there has been no taxis on the road). On a better note, tourists are still pouring into the city and nearby islands for their vacation. So I hope things will turn around soon.
On my first visit to Athens, we did try to visit the landmark attraction, the Acropolis, but we got there too late, not to mention, we got scammed by the taxi driver. How many people go to Athens and not visit the Acropolis?? So ten years later.........my third time here.........I have finally made it up to see the Acropolis! This landmark dates back to around the 5th century BC. It’s incredible that parts of it are still left standing (okay there has been many renovation projects taken over the years to preserve the structures). To my surprise, I found out later that parts of what I saw were actually replicas of the originals! Many of the sculptures and structures have been taken to museums, in fact, if you are ever visiting London, UK, you should go visit the British Museum (excellent museum!)---Why? Because they have some of the original pieces from this rich historic landmark! One thing that is interesting as you walk around Athens and around the based of this Sacred Rock of the Acropolis is that you are bound to come across ruins from the Ancient times. Some are protected archeological sites, while others are simply left surrounded by a fence.
Onwards to Africa for the next four months! Ironically I am looking forward to escaping the heat of the summer by going to South Africa! I need a break from the heat
Til next time......