Saturday, December 31, 2016

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Friday, December 30, 2016

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Friday Travel Tip - Athens - STREET VENDORS

When you visit Athens you're going to find street vendors all over the place. From the tourist streets of the Plaka to the street corners in the every day neighbourhoods, there's always someone willing to sell you something. You can really boil these vendors into 3 groups; people selling fake high-end merchandise, people selling legitimate products, and people selling food.

The people selling knock off merchandise are probably the most prolific. You can find them everywhere either selling their wears or running from the authorities. Two things to keep note, it is illegal to do business with these vendors and the items they sell are poor quality.

The people selling legitimate items tend to congregate in groups, the biggest and best of these groups can often be found around Thissio Metro station, particularly on a warm summers night. My favourite of these vendors are the folks selling hand made crafts, art, and jewellery. The quality of the hand made items depends on the craftsmen, however you'll likely walk away with something unique and original. Around this area you may also find a few vendors selling Greek antiques, some less antique than others. Many vendors sell antique Drachma, which makes for a pretty interesting souvenir.

The street food in Athens is average at best. Stopping at a place like Monastiraki for a Koulóuria (bread ring) or some fruit from the local vendors is fine, but if you want a meal you're better off stopping at a taverna or gyros shop.

Later

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

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Friday Travel Tip - Athens - CHURCHES


While you won't find a wide variety of churches in Athens, you will find many Greek Orthodox churches. In fact there are several squares with multiple churches all around them. Feel free to wander in, but be respectful of the dress codes, and of those worshiping. While there are many churches, there are two churches worth noting.

The first is Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens; this church is the main Greek Orthodox Church in Athens, however it is not in use. During the powerful earthquake 1999 this church suffered huge damages, and has since been filled with extra supports and scaffolding. There has been a great deal of effort to try and figure out how to fix the church, but at this point no one is really sure how to go about it. You can walk into the front of the church and check out some of the items that remain, as well as see how this church is being held up.

The other church worth visiting is St George on Lykavitos Hill. This church truly has the best view of Athens since it is perched on top of the tallest point in the whole city. The church itself is fairly small but still very pretty. The bell tower is also very simple, but a great place to get a photograph with the city bellow. If you are able, I recommend walking up, however there is a road and a cable car that will take you most of the way up.

The churches in Athens are very different than those found on the islands, but still well worth investigating.

Later

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

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Friday Travel Tip - Athens - ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

The archaeology museum is probably one of the most overlooked attractions in Athens. This is mostly in part to its location far from the centre and surrounded by unattractive neighbourhoods. If you're traveling to Athens because you're interested in the ancient sites, this is a must see place. This museum contains important finds from all over the country. Often you'll find yourself on sites all over Greece, and they'll have signs saying that certain items discovered there are located at this the Archaeological Museum in Athens.

The pieces in this museum are beautifully displayed, however the explanations are often hard to understand. Many of the signs describing the items can be overly brief and in archaeologists speak. The maps provided also are a little vague, and many of the popular pieces can be hard to find. This museum is also extremely large, in one day you'd be hard pressed to see everything unless you buzzed through.

The best plan is to visit this museum at the end of your Greek adventure if you can. By that point you will have seen several sites and you'll have a better idea of what you might be interested in seeing at this massive museum.

Later

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016

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Friday Travel Tip - Athens - THE ACROPOLIS MUSEUM

The Acropolis museum is probably the nicest archaeological museum in all of Athens. That is to say that it is the cleanest, most modern, and easy to interpret. The content is very specific, items found on and around the Acropolis, but it does cover a fairly large time frame. There isn't much to read about each piece, but there is plenty about each period, and it is very well organized. Structurally the building is fantastic and modern. The only warning I can tell you is not to wear a skirt, since the floors are made of glass. The reason for this is so you can see all the way through the museum to the dig site found bellow.

The top floor of the museum is the crown jewel of the design of this building, holding pieces (and replica pieces) from the Parthenon. The top floor is built in a way to allow the sunlight to hit each piece exactly the same way as it did when they were up on the Acropolis. My only real complaint about this museum is the strict no photography rule. I've heard many different stories as to why this rule exists, but none of them seem reasonable. This however is no reason to miss the wonderful statues of the Caryatids and their mesmerizing hair.

Later

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Friday, December 2, 2016

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Friday Travel Tip - Athens - LIKAVITOS HILL

Likavitos Hill is the highest point in Athens, and as you might assume has one of the best views of the city. Sitting on the top of the hill is the church of St George, a very pretty, small, functioning church. Near the top you'll also find a taverna, and a concert venue. The taverna keeps standard hours, but the concert venue only has occasional shows. There are several ways to make your way to the top of the hill. The best way, if you're able, is to walk up. There are several walking paths to choose from, however the most scenic walk is a criss-cross path up the Southern slope.

If walking isn't your thing, there are two other options, the teleferik and the road. The teleferik is my least favourite way to go up, it's expensive, underground, and you have to make your way more than halfway up the hill just to get onboard. The road offers you an opportunity to drive (or take a taxi); however the end of the road is still not at the top of the hill, so you'll have to go up several more stairs. The only time I would avoid Likavitos hill is during the summer afternoons when it can get very hot. Sunsets and night-time excursions can be breathtaking, it is fairly safe if you stay on the well-lit pathways.

Later

Thursday, December 1, 2016