Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

November 2008 : Athens

Parliament / Changing of the Guard

The Greek Parliament building in Syntagma Square also contains a memorial to soldiers lost in battle. The well-known Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place hourly, featuring a most unusual dress code and slow-motion, almost balletic movements!


Of all the must-see sights of Athens, the Acropolis ("High City") and the Parthenon (Temple of Athena) are surely top of everybody's list. I was very glad to be making the climb in the temperate coolness of November, rather than in the searing heat of summer. While it was a little disappointing that so much was obscured by scaffolding and cranes, it was also encouraging to see so much effort going into preservation of these ancient structures dating from around 450BC.

Hadrian's Arch / Temple of Zeus

These structures lie below the Acropolis, near the entrance to the Plaka district (see below).

Lycabettus Hill

I took the little funicular train to the summit of Lycabettus Hill for some spectacular views of the city in the morning sunshine.

Plaka and Monastiraki

These two old-town areas lie beneath the Acropolis and are a rabbit's warren of winding, narrow streets. Both are photogenic and contain their fair share of sights. The former is somewhat gentrified, while the latter suffers from a graffiti problem that is frankly out of control.


First time in Greece!

Despite venturing far and wide over more years than I care to specify, there are some glaring gaps in my travel history. Take Greece, for example: until this long weekend trip, I had inexplicably never set foot in the country. An attractive Business Class sale by SWISS was all I needed to put right the omission. I think I can safely say that it won't be my one and only visit

Base : Hilton