Monday, May 21, 2012

Athens (Greece) - Drive from Pireas to Athens

5/21/2012 The bus left Pireas and drove a direct route in to Athens.  I am very excited to see some of the great sights in Athens.  My eyes were constantly scanning the surrounding areas for my first site of the Acropolis.
The road was pretty straight and went from our drive in Pireas to Athens.

Along the way we can see what the Athens suburbia presents. This always interests me because the photos that I've seen of Athens are all of the major tourist attractions and not of the "a day in the life" types of photos.  This shows an apartment building.  We can also see that there is a train line of some sort running alongside the road. The streets on that other side of the tracks stop at the tracks.
 The apartment building has antennas and satelite dishes. The greenery adds to the nice living space.
 Typical graffiti on random buildings.
 Shops on the bottom level and homes in the upper levels.
 Ah, some laundry hanging out the window.  Plants lining the balconies and different examples of pull down shades. It looks like the smaller windows swing open from the bottom.
The Oceanic office looks empty.
As I was looking at the buildings, a string of cars from the "Athens Tram System" came in to view. This is a modern system with 48 stops throughout the city. From what I read, if you are going to spend time in Athens it is not necessary to rent a car. The public transportation system with the underground Metro, the trams and the buses allow good access throughout the city.  I'll keep my eyes open for photos of the tram stop and the sign for the Metro.
Aha!  I caught a young man looking at his iPhone while sitting in traffic.  I wanted to give him an iPhone thumbs up.
Looks like the trash pickup day is soon.  The bin is stuffed and almost overflowing.
This trash bin isn't overflowing. The city area looked clean.
This is the back side of a hotel.  The name on top of the building is "Royal Olympic Hotel". This hotel is in a good location and close to the good sights.
As a side note, I took the two following photos from the Royal Olympic Hotel website.   I included them in this post because it looks like a very nice hotel and this view is incredible.  Photo credits go to the website.  Wow, what a dinner view.
The hotel's website shows this night time view of the Acropolis from the Royal Olympic Hotel roof Ioannis Bar.  This really looks like a great place to stay.  (Note to self...easy transportation from the Athens airport)

Now, enough daydreaming and back to the bus tour. This is a side street. It looks like this is a hilly area.
My first peak at a hill top and I was straining to see the Acropolis.
I started to take photos as soon as some ancient columns came in to view.  The next few photos show the Temple of Olympian Zeus.  Some columns still remain but the building has gone through many builds, looting, destruction, material salvaging for other city project, rebuilding.  During the Roman periods it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world.  You can read more about this temple here.

The street eventually turned, the trees opened up, and this was my first view of the Acropolis.  I have a full post on this area, but it was exciting to see it for the first time.

Wow.  This is really a thrilling view. I can't believe that I am here and seeing this for myself.  I think that the hill that it is on is almost as impressive as the buildings.

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