Day 16-17 Greece
Our first stop was The Acropolis. During the Persian wars around 400BC the city of Athens was destroyed but Athens and its allies eventually expelled the Persians and a great leader Pericles built the new fortifications to protect the city. This is the form of Acropolis that remains today.
After making our way around the highest parts of The Acropolis on the extremely slippery marble walkways we descended to the Temple of Zeus. Only a few large columns remain of the temple which originally took over 700 years to complete.
We managed to be time the changing of the guards at the President’s Palace. Johanna & Alison were intrigued by the elaborate uniform of the soldiers. The theatrical ceremony to change the guards is taken very seriously and we watched as the superior officer inspected their uniforms down to the last detail.
From here we moved through the inner city of Athens to The Plaka. A shopping area it has narrow cobblestone streets lined with local crafts and stores. Johanna, Alison & Louise were in their element here. Close by we visited the Ancient Agora which was the original market place & flea market of the city.
On the subject of fleas we noticed many large dogs roaming the streets and ruins. People dump them when they realize they can’t keep them in their tiny apartments. The local government then collects them, tags them and then releases them back onto the streets to fend for themselves.
We then moved on to the old Olympic Stadium where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896. During the 2004 Athens games one of the torches Luke made was the centre piece of the stadium.
It was starting to get late by this stage so we decided to head for home before sunset.
A very windy day greeted us the next day when we arrived at the Greek Island of Mykonos. The birthplace of Apollo it is one of the many islands that form the group known as the Cyclades.
Luke, Louise, Johanna & Chris decided to explore the Eastern side of the island by foot while the others took a bus to the other side. It has extremely narrow winding streets and in many places we had to almost climb the walls to let cars pass.
The town and harbour were once often in danger of attack by pirates so it is compactly built for defense. The tight winding streets were designed this way to confuse invaders.
One of the most well recognized landmarks of the town are the windmills which were once of great importance being used to refine grain.
We enjoyed a quite coffee out of the wind along side the exquisite blue waters of the Aegean Sea.