Monday, December 03, 2007

Athens


I think quite honestly that this may have been my favorite stop on this trip. We arrived early in the morning and made our way to Athens Backpackers Hostel very near the Acropolis. Check in time wasn't until one o'clock so we left our bags and went up the hill to see the sights. Within two hours of being in the country we were sitting on top of the Acropolis in the shadow of the Parthenon. The whole experience of walking up the hill through the olive trees, past the ancient marble, through the scaffolding, between the throng of retired American tourists was just fantastic. The view from the top of the Acropolis is marvelous. No matter how many pictures or postcards you have seen of the Parthenon and the other temples at the top of the Acropolis nothing comes close to being there. Standing in front of ruins that old really put me in awe.

The hostel was nice but it was a bit difficult to sleep with all the other people in the room having different schedules requiring them to either come in late or get up insanely early. Staying there though did provide us the chance to meet other travelers and hear their stories. One of the best parts about traveling is meeting other people from around the world and hearing their perspective.

Greek food is wonderful. It was such a nice contrast from the Korean food we had been consuming for fourteen months. Everything is cooked in large amounts of olive oil and it tastes great. We ate baked chicken and potato almost every day, plus gyros and slouvaki, and greek salad which is drenched in olive oil dressing with a generous slab of feta cheese. It was fun every time we ate.

The second and third day we climbed Aeropagus Hill (in Acts 17 it is referred to as Mars Hill) and walked through the Ancient Agora (market). Mars Hill stands in a great location. Depending on how you are facing you can look down on the Ancient Market or turn around and look up at the Acropolis, and of course all around is a great view of the city of Athens. I have always wanted to do a tour of Israel and the numerous sites there that are mentioned in the Bible. But this was a good second to what I think that experience will be like. While we were standing on top of Mars Hill an American church group walked up and sat beside us and did a reading of Acts 17, then the preacher did a short talk about what the city of Athens was like during the time of the apostle Paul, he also gave some good background on the intellectual community which Paul was speaking to when he preached his famous sermon "The Unknown God." It was a wonderful experience that really made the whole trip to Athens worth every penny that we paid.

If there is one regret that I have it is that we did not have enough time to go south and do the Greek islands. I would love to go back and island hop sometime when the weather is warm. If you want to see pictures of our time in Athens click on the link to the right called Flickr Photos then go to the set titled Trip Home: Athens. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for an upcoming post on Amsterdam. If you have questions you are of course welcome to ask, write me an email or post a comment.

1 comment:

Kara said...

Looks like you all had a great time. Looks beautiful...and I'll have to go check out Acts now!! I'll be looking for pics of Amsterdam....we have a few hours on our trip back to the states for vacation...what can we get to?? :) That may sound ridulous, we know, we have two small kids...buy hey, if we can just get out a bit!!! :)