A train, a boat, a bus and another train later, we made it from Rome to Athens.

We saw loads of brilliant stuff in Athens and most of it was at a reduced price because we were there out of season. Clever us.

Panathenaic Stadium

On our first full day in Athens, we went to the home of the first modern olympics, the Panathenaic Stadium. Roz is obsessed with the Olympics so she got a bit overexcited.

Roz pretending to run along the track of the Panathenaic Stadium

Roz on the top of the winners podium with arms aloft

The whole stadium is made of marble and it’s got some neat features, like these thrones:

Tom on one of the thrones at the front of the stadium seating

And this clever drainage system for when it rains:

It was also the first stadium to have curved seating at the corners so everyone got a good view. Not bad for something that was built 2,000 years ago.

Acropolis

The Acropolis is basically a bunch of very old buildings, including the Parthenon, which sit on a rocky hill that towers over Athens.

The Parthenon from the Acropolis

The Erechthion temple from the Acropolis

Roof of the Propylaea in the Acropolis

View from inside the Propylaea in the Acropolis with the blue sky showing through the gaps

Entrance to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus theatre in the Acropolis

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus theatre from above in the Acropolis

The theatre of Dionysus from above in the Acropolis

The theatre of Dionysus from the stage level in the Acropolis

View of the Acropolis from below with the Greek flag flying

It’s amazing to walk around and imagine what life might have been like when it was first built. (Answer: Great if you were a man from Athens but shit if you were a woman, a slave or a foreigner.)

Temple of Olympian Zeus

We also saw the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which helped us understand how columns work.

Hadrian's arch near the temple of Olympian Zeus

Roz at the temple of the Olympian Zeus

Columns at the temple of the Olympian Zeus supporting what was the bottom of the roof

A line of columns at the temple of the Olympian Zeus with one fallen and split into the individual discs that make them up

Clever eh?

Excellent museums

We went to some excellent museums, including the Museum of Cycladic Art and the Acropolis Museum.

They gave us a really good idea of how sophisticated Ancient Greek society was.

The Museum of Cycladic Art has some great examples of ancient art from the Cyclades islands. They’re super-simple and were the inspiration for modern sculptors like Barbera Hepworth and Henry Moore.

Head of a sculpture from ancient Greece with a featureless face and triangular nose

And the Acropolis Museum helps explain how democracy in Athens - the first documented democracy anywhere - worked. It’s also got some great sculptures from around the Acropolis. All that’s missing are the Elgin Marbles, which the British Museum makes an unconvincing case for keeping on its website.

Great views

Whenever we did even the smallest amount of climbing in Athens, we were always rewarded with amazing views of the city:

The north-west of Athens as seen from a rocky hill next to the Acropolis

Panorama of Athens from a rocky hill next to the Acropolis

Tom in front of some graffiti overlooking Athens

Path above Athens lined with graffiti and trees

The views were so good that we came away with our best selfie yet:

Tom and Roz trying a selfie with Tom's face all screwed up from the sun

A triumph.