We strongly recommend the Athens Gate Hotel: very reasonable, very clean, convenient to everything you want to see, and quite friendly and helpful.
The Acropolis as seen from the 8th floor restaurant on top of our hotel.
A 7-image panorama of the view to the east, overlooking the remains of the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
We start our first walk around Athens from the foot of the Temple of Olympian Zeus. More of this temple later.
Our first visit was to the front of the Parliament building where the Tomb of the Unknown soldier is guarded by the Evzones.
The Evzones are the Presidential Guard. Their distinctive uniform is derived from the Klephts who fought the Turkish occupation of Greece.
Notice the steel sole of his shoe!
Begging is rampant in the old-town part of Athens. Children are often the ones who do the performing and solicitation.
Kapnikarea is an 11th century Byzantine church halfway between the Parliament on Sytagma Square and Monastiraki Plaza. It sits in the middle of a very busy street, surrounded by modern office buildings.
Next: Souvlaki for lunch near Monastiraki Plaza. This restaurant, "Thanasis", was recommended by Alex Kritselis, my Greek friend at PCC. It was very good, and full of Greeks who also obviously thought it was good too!
The dome of Panagia Gorgoepikoos, which sits next to the much larger, modern Athens Cathedral that was covered with scaffolding.
Now you know where to find your Byzantine Church supplies .....
Bougainvillea grows well in Greece.
Chris Panagiotidis, my friend from PhotoPoints.com, met us at the hotel to take us for an evening walk along the south and west sides of the Acropolis. You will never meet a kinder gentleman!
With Chris we first visited the Herodion, or Theater of Herodes Atticus, nestled into the hillside below the Acropolis.
The Herodion is still used for concerts. Here the work crews are moving stage sets for the opera Aida.
Friends in the park, near the Acropolis.
Chris took us to Filopappou Hill in order to get views of the Acropolis like this one. Teddie and I visited the Acropolis on our 3rd day in Athens.
6-image panorama from Filopappou Hill. The field at right is where citizens gathered and debated during the earliest stages of ancient Greek democracy.
Chris is a friend from my photo sharing website, PhotoPoints. He manages a jewelry store in old town Athens, and he and his wife Teresa live in the southern part of the city.