Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016

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Friday Travel Tip - Athens - PANATHENAIC STADIUM

The Panathenaic Stadium is pretty breathtaking to see. Originally built thousands of years ago, it was restored just before the first modern Olympics. It was then used as the home of the first modern Olympics, and continues to play a key role in all the Olympics ever since. Most notably, etched in stone near the front of the Olympic stadium is the names of every country to host a summer Olympics since they started. This stadium is also the place where the Olympic flame is handed over to the host country for any upcoming Olympic games.

During the day you can wander around the stadium with an audio guide included with your admission. While the stadium is fairly stark, there are a few things worth checking out. First of all the views from the upper level are spectacular, particularly the view of the Acropolis. You also have the opportunity to sprint on the track, and pose for pictures on the podiums.

As an added bonus for those of the jogging inclining, there is a jogging track that runs around the outside of the stadium, and it is free to enter. The entrance is at the back of the stadium, through a gate that looks as though it's not for the public to enter. Finally be sure to come back to the stadium at night, as it is one of the most spectacularly lit up attractions in Athens.

Later

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Friday, November 18, 2016

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Friday Travel Tip - Athens - THE AGORA

Most people assume that if you visit one place in Athens, it has to be the Acropolis. I can't argue with the sentiment, but I can argue that the Agora is a much nicer place to visit, and it has some of the best spots to see the Acropolis. Once you get up the hill to the Acropolis, frankly it's a little dull. I think the temples look better from a distance, and most of the surface of the Acropolis is just covered in worn marble and piles of random rocks (which used to be parts of these structures).

The Agora has one of the most well preserved temples on its site, the temple of Hephaestus. All of the walls are in excellent condition, and some of the roof is even intact. Best of all it's surrounded by beautiful gardens and bushes. Right now they're working to fix up many of the buildings on the Acropolis, but at the Agora the Stoa has been completely restored. The building looks fantastic and houses several museums, including a recently opened second floor with a great view.

Historically the Agora is a very important place since it was (arguably) the home of democracy. The argument comes as many historians believe that this place was in fact not the first place to hold elections, but instead the first place to use ballots in an election. The secrets of the Agora have yet to be fully explored too, there is still digging going on, and regularly new finds are discovered.

Later

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

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Friday Travel Tip - Athens - STRAY DOGS AND CATS

If you don't like stray animals, Athens can be a little traumatic at first. On just about every city street you will find some kind of furry creature going about his or her daily business. For the most part these animals are fairly harmless, unless you drive a motor bike, because they love to chase them. While they are harmless, the dogs in particular are not really friendly. While they sometimes follow people around (this helps them navigate the streets safer) many don't like to be touched, and all of them are fairly dirty and infested.

Cats on the other hand are much more the scavengers, with tourists often providing for them. I've seen many a cat use its feline whiles to score a meal or two. They are often more likely to accept a scratch on the head than a dog, but I'm sure they expect a table scrap for this service. As with the dogs, the cats of Athens are also fairly dirty, and if you can't resist giving one a pat, make sure to wash your hands immediately after.

Later

Thursday, November 10, 2016

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Friday, November 4, 2016

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Friday Travel Tip - Athens - PANGRATI

Pangrati is the neighborhood where I lived. Outside of the first Olympic stadium, there are few tourist attractions. Most of this area's energy just comes from Athenians going about their daily lives. You'll find grocery and clothing stores—slices of real Greek life.

If you have time to wander, Pangrati is the perfect place to feel like a local. Keep in mind that tourists don't normally venture here, so you'll run into non-English speakers, as well as some eccentric locals. As with all neighborhoods in Athens, it's easy to get lost, but that's part of the fun. Don't miss the liaki agora, or weekly street markets. There are several in Pangrati. They may be hard to find, but they're lots of fun to explore.

Later

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Tuesday, November 1, 2016