Today was all about seeing more ancient ruins, so we had a quick breakfast and headed out to see the Ancient Agora of Athens. We’re all still dealing with jet lag, but it seems to have hit Kyle harder than the rest of us, so he stayed behind in the hotel to get some beauty sleep. On the metro ride in, I wanted to get a photo of one of the graffiti-covered trains. This isn’t the greatest shot, but you can see that they are almost fully covered. Just about all of the trains we’ve seen on the metro look like this one. Graffiti, it seems, is universal.
When we got to the ancient agora, we were delighted to find this ancient dog, who seemed to be getting some beauty rest just like Kyle 🙂 I was happy to see that this one had a collar.
He was resting right below the statues of the Odeion of Agrippa, which was apparently a large concert hall. These statues are just about all that still stands of the structure.
As we kept walking up one of the main paths, we could see the Temple of Hephaestus at the top of a hill. From what I’ve read, it’s one of the best preserved Greek temples in Athens. This photo was actually taken from the opposite side of the structure once we reached the top.
Here’s a closeup of the columns. It’s truly amazing that this structure is still standing and is so well-preserved after so many years. Construction was finished in 415 BC.
From the hill where the temple stands, you can see the Acropolis off in the distance. Most of the archaeological sites are within walking distance of one another.
It was another hot day, around 92 degrees, so we all carried large bottles of water with us. This was taken on the pathway just after we walked back down the hill from the temple.
One of the most interesting things to me during the day was this water clock. It was constructed at the end of the 4th century BC in a prominent location in the agora’s square. Water was drawn by a stone drain and acted as a simple outflow clock. It had a small bronze outlet hole that allowed it to drain slowly. A flotation device would mark the passing hours as the water level fell. It would take about 17 hours to empty and the water would be drawn and the plug released at the beginning of each day.
Of course, Fred was up to his usual antics. You can see just how much he looks like the guy depicted in the statue. Such similarity! I think we have a theme going here.
After we left the agora, we ended up eating lunch off the beaten path and then just wandering the streets in the Plaka. We came across some neat little places like this spice shop, which you could smell from several shops down. It was incredible!
There were other shops in the area, too. One with leather goods, another with fur coats (in the summertime), and one that had huge loofah sponges outside on the sidewalk in bins. We also found a lovely street that was full of clothing stores.
Of course, with our suitcases already completely packed with necessities, there is no way we were buying anything. Where would be keep it?
We have one more day in Athens before we set sail on our cruise. Since we’re still dealing with jet lag and we’ve seen all of the sites we wanted to see here, we’ll probably just take it easy. If we do anything noteworthy, I’ll be sure to post it.