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Clare
Clare

Day 3: Athens

Today was our second day of exploring Athens. We woke up to another bright blue sky and warm sunny day, although the woman we saw wearing a coat, scarf and Ugg boots not far from our apartment appeared to disagree!

Our destination for this morning was Mount Lycabettus, which we'd seen from the Acropolis yesterday.

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Our thinking was that if we could see the hill from the Acropolis, we ought to be able to see the Acropolis from the hill :) I'd seen in the guidebook that there was a funicular up the hill, which suggested that there ought to be good views at the top. The only challenge was finding the funicular station, which necessitated quite a lot of walking uphill on small side streets. We did pass a pretty church on the way, though.

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The funicular cost €7.50 each for a return ticket. I think it only runs once every half hour, but we were lucky and arrived a few minutes before one was due to depart, so didn't have to wait long. It wasn't the most exciting of funicular rides, as the whole journey was within a dark tunnel, but it was also quite short.

We soon arrived at the summit and climbed a series of staircases to get to the viewpoint.

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From up here, Athens looked even more enormous than from the Acropolis!

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There is only one corner of the viewing gallery that you can see the Acropolis from, so we had to wait a while before we could get round to that side. Once we did, it was a great view :)

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As well as an expensive restaurant, there's also a small chapel on the top of the hill.

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To try and get away from the people, we followed a path around the side of the hill.  We turned a corner and suddenly had an unobstructed view of the Parthenon :)

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It was much quieter here and there was plenty of space to enjoy the views.

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There were also some pretty cactuses growing along the hillside.

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The path down seemed pretty easy, so we decided to walk back into Athens rather than using our return tickets on the funicular.

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The views of the Parthenon got a little bit clearer as we got lower.

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Although it was a pleasant walk down, I think it would have been exhausting walking up here in the heat, so the funicular was definitely worth it in one direction at least.

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Once we were back down in the centre of Athens, our next stop was the large park we had seen marked on our pop-out map. The park is called the "National Garden", which makes it sound rather grand, but it turned out to mostly be woodland.

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We did find an extremely large cactus...

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...and at one point when we were walking through the trees, I looked up and realised they were full of green birds.

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There were ancient ruins marked on the map, but they turned out to be not quite as impressive as the ones we'd seen yesterday :D

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As we left the park, we found this little pool full of turtles, which was rather surprising!

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We crossed a road and ended up in a slightly grander bit of the park.

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The park eventually came to an end by this enormous building, which is a conference and exhibition centre.

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As we came out onto the main road, we could just see up to the Parthenon.

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We passed Hadrian's Arch...

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...and began wandering around the streets, looking for a likely place to get food.

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We found a nice restaurant before too long, in the part of town where we had eaten yesterday.  I had grilled chicken and rice, while Tim tried something called souvlaki, which turned out to be pieces of chicken on a stick. Both were tasty, and a friendly Belgian man at the next table told us that we could ask for a carafe of wine for €7 (the menu only listed expensive bottles!).

Once we'd finished eating, there was time for a bit more exploring.

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We found what looked like some more Roman remains...

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...as well as some more churches.

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This one had a beautiful painted roof :)

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All in all we've had another fun day exploring Athens :) Tomorrow we're going to brave the Greek public transport system in an attempt to visit Corinth!

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