The 04:30 bus ride (Route X95) from the airport to the city center was an uneventful ride through several neighborhoods. The only thing worth noting was there were several petro stations on the ground floor of residential buildings. This arrangement is probably forbidden in the USA…
I dropped off my backpack at the Athens Backpackers Hostel (http://www.backpackers.gr), and went out in the predawn darkness to find a good vantage point for a view of the Acropolis at sunrise:
After the sunrise, I walked aimlessly for a while just to see if I find interesting photo opportunities. I then waited for an organized city walk advertised at the hostel. This walk led by a college student between 1030-13:00 was a little bit too late and hurried for my liking. I ended up doing my own city walk again the next morning with Rick Steves’ guidebook.
The National Archaeological Museum has massive number of artifacts from throughout the country. The artifacts were presented in chronological order. I saw a lot of German speaking visitors taking their time to examine the collection.
On the way to the museum is the central market. Unfortunately for me, the market is not open on Sundays. The only exception I saw was this shop owner, working overtime to make a better living for her children:
Next to Monastiraki is the Ancient Agora of Athens. (http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/3/eh3530.jsp?obj_id=2485) You will find the best preserved of ancient temples, the temple of Hephaestus, still standing here. I found a shadow in the afternoon most interesting during my visit:
I left too little time (1 hour) to visit the Acropolis, further shortened by park rangers chasing us out 15 minutes prior to closing time. I found out later they were making way for a wealthy bride to have her wedding portrait taken without other visitors. The Parthenon was under restoration with construction equipments and scaffolds everywhere ruining my photographs, and the sunset was obstructed by clouds that afternoon… I captured a view from atop the hill overlooking the Acropolis Museum. My hostel is just 3 block to the right of the museum.
Here is a closer look at one facet of the Acropolis museum:
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