Friday, November 4, 2011

Athens through Our Eyes

A few glimpses of Athens as Becky and I experienced it in October 2011

Our 5-day visit in Athens, Greece, was a combination belated 30th wedding anniversary celebration and an opportunity to visit our daughter, Molly, who is in a semester study abroad program there. We found the birthplace of philosophy and democracy both enchanting and gut-wrenching. 

We flew into Athens on one of the days of national strikes that were in protest to austerity measures taken by the Greek government to try to solve the nation's economic woes and please the European Union.  With transportation crippled, we walked several miles with our luggage in tow into the center of old Athens, only to find our way to the Amalias Hotel (which is across from the Parliament building) blocked by protesters and police.  Wading through tear gas, anguished protesters, burning debris, rock throwers, and stalwart police, some friendly Athenian protesters led us through the barricades to our hotel.  There, we had a "room with a view" of the stand-off.  Alas, the next morning, the street in front of Parliament as clean and business was back to normal, it seemed.  At no point were our lives in danger and we felt safe, free, and very welcome throughout our visit.

The photos reflect a range of our activity: strolling the Plaka and central Athens, climbing up to view the ancient Parthenon and other temples atop the Acropolis, browsing the New Acropolis Museum, taking in a few Athens beaches, climbing Lycabettus Hill, enjoying outdoor cafes and street life, and, finally, taking in the ancient Agora.

I will have more to write about this visit--and about London, the second half of our little October excursion--a bit later on Indy Bikehiker, but these photos capture something of our experience.

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