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“Acropolis Tour” 11 June 11

GREECE | Saturday, 11 June 2011 | Views [222]

Greatest Hits of the day: Lunch at Herion Taverna - New Acropolis Museum - Acropolis and Parthenon - Dinner at Xion Zeus Restaurant - More Rooftop views

Fresh with lots of garlic: We found a popular restaurant with the “Rick Steves” crowd called Herion in the Plaka tucked behind a shopping street. The atmosphere is delightful with beautiful green trees and twinkle lights. The service in all restaurants is very different from the States. Waiters let you just sit for a while, order and then eat slowly. Occasionally they ask if everything is OK. You need to ask for your bill or it may never arrive!

Olympics bring new and exciting things to a city: The New Acropolis Museum was not there in 1992 when I first visited the city. Now, it is a beautiful storehouse of what is left of the carved marble gods and goddesses found at various digs around the city. A few heads are missing thanks to conquering masses from differing religious beliefs, including the Christians. Not many medal statues are left; those were too easy to forge into weapons used to destroy even more cultures. Some of the best pieces are in the British Museum. Greece hopes to one day get them back, but a precedent might be set. What if they had to return treasures like the Rosetta Stone to Egypt? Imagine.

One of the seven wonders: The Acropolis is a big temple complex. The heart of it is the Parthenon, a temple to the goddess Athena. Some say it was also the city treasury. The Ottomans, Christians, bombs, modern pollution and age have destroyed so much of it. A 60-year restoration project is still underway. I want to return in 20 years when it is close to being finished. Archeologists and craftsmen are working hard to bring back a fraction of its former splendor. Amazingly they are matching each unique broken segment of column with newly honed marble. It boggles the mind.

Rooftop dinners rock: At the top of the restaurant hill in the Plaka is a small place called Xion Zeus. Only one person there speaks English well enough to hold a conversation. She is one of the owners and she warned me against trying to make friends with the household 14-year-old setter. “He is old and grumpy, just like an old man,” she said. The food was not wildly fantastic, but pleasant and the atmosphere was worth the price.

Great views of the Acropolis: Did I mention that our hotel has a fantastic view of the Acropolis and the city below? The drinks are weak, but we can’t stop coming for the view. By the way, the weather has been lovely, in the 70s with a light breeze. Perfect!

Tags: acropolis, athens, greece

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