Arrived at the one star Omiris Hotel overlooking an old, tiny church, in the Plaka region. Breakfast appalling, no toaster, just a waffle toaster and no waffles. So the bread/toast ended up 3 mm thick. Orange juice thin, reconstituted. Very small room, a/c us. Stayed there for one night before joining the others in the Central Hotel. Room slightly bigger, tiniest lift in the world, fits three people. Breakfast quite good. Athens itself was very dusty and hard on the lungs. We visited the Royal, later called the National Gardens which were like an oasis in the desert. Almost a forest. Magnificent. In the middle of it was their zoo. Rabbits, goats in a large enclosure. Bare, beaten earth. Nothing to eat and all malnourished – not a pretty sight. The caged birds fared a little better. From there to the Parliament building, where they have this quaint ceremony of the changing of the guard every hour.
Off to the Acropolis. Acro- meaning high – polis – city with our very knowledgeable guide. A nice winding walk up the hill with the tourist hordes. A magnificent pillared entry gate built at the western end
The buildings have been under restoration for over 30 years and work still goes on. New parts of the jigsaws are left as white marble. From the far end of the hill there is a lovely view of the old historical area of Athens known as the Plaka. On the south-west slope of the Acropolis is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Dame Nellie Melba and many others have held concerts here. Thence to the new museum.
When they began construction, they found remains of an earlier city beneath, so the museum is actually built on stilts so that you can not only see it through the glass floors but also so the “dig” can go on.
Next morning a 06:00 start for a mad dash to the ferry at Piraeus – the main port of Athens for the start of our three week tour of the islands.
Athens addenda – very dusty, busy city – looking forward to fresh air in the islands.