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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.


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.


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.


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


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 :)


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


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 :)


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


There were also some pretty cactuses growing along the hillside.


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


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


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.


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.


We did find an extremely large cactus...


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


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


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


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


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


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


We passed Hadrian's Arch...


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


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.


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


...as well as some more churches.


This one had a beautiful painted roof :)


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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