The Vegan Apocalypse – oops, Acropolis

I guess the Acropolis could be called vegan, there’s only stone and plants up there. Also, we had a superb vegan lunch at the Lime Bistro before we went up. And we had a delicious vegan dinner at Nonna after we came back down, too. That makes the whole experience pretty much vegan in my books.

These days we use Agoda.com for our hotel bookings, and if you click that link and book, we get some pennies!

To get to the Acropolis, jump on any of Athens’ four metro lines (€ 1.4 adults, kids 1/2 price). They conveniently intersect at various points around the north slope of the hill of the Acropolis.

We took an Uber from our lunch resto to the ticket office. The ride was, like all of our Uber rides so far, quite easy and pleasant. We didn’t realize until we were rolling that we’d need to detour, slowly, around a busy shopping and restaurant district. Many of the streets north of the Hill are closed to vehicles. We also didn’t realize that at 3 PM ( long lunch), half of the city would be on the way home for a nap.

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If you’re coming in from the west by car, get dropped off at the Agora instead. There’s lots to see on the pedestrian streets, and the walk up the hill is beautiful. If you’re up for a very full day, you can hit the Temple of Hephaestus on the way.

Temple of Hephaestus
If you like horrifying fates, google Hephaestus

We read ahead of time that backpacks were not allowed on the hill, and that there is a “cloakroom” where things can be left. We, and many others, strolled right in with our backpacks, snacks, and nick-knacks. Tickets cost €20 for adults, €10 for kids at the ticket booth right below the Parthenon.

The Hill of the Acropolis

The walk up is trivial, unexpectedly easy considering the steep-sided look of the hill.

Quite a climb
Don’t worry, you don’t need to scale those cliffs

You can look at a million pictures of the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena, etc. When you’re there you see the worn marble columns and the steps smoothed down by years and feet. I think then it really sinks in how old this place is. It’s really, really old.

Horse heads
Horse heads in the attic

There was loads of people up there and it was windy and chilly, but the whole thing is awe-inspiring. The size of the stones used to build the Parthenon boggle the mind. Not only enormous, carved out of marble, but on top of a hill to boot.

The cherry on the top of the Acropolis
The money shot, even with clouds

The views are, of course, spectacular as well. Athens stretches out all the way to the base of the surrounding hills, and you can see the Panathenaic Stadium and other sites.

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After the top, there’s nowhere to go but down. The slopes of the Acropolis are peppered with other archaeological sites, amphitheaters, and ruins.

The blue boxes are stacks of cushions covered in case of rain

The Agora

You could hit the Agora and Temple of Hephaestus on the way up or back down, if you’re an early riser and have no kids with you. We went on the following day.

The site is filled with recovered sculptures and rebuilt walls, with a water clock and some walls the Romans built out of chunks of marble columns. Many of the statues and sculptures are still beautifully detailed, albeit missing some limbs.

The big, long building above is the Stoa of Attelos which houses more busts, statues, sculptures and some awesome models of what the hillside looked like before the Romans came in and trashed it. Of course, everyone has their own highlights…

Ancient buttcrack
We had to wait for the hilarity to die down before we could even take a picture.