My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Hadrian’s Gate/ Columns of Zeus and Panathenaic Stadium, Athens Greece


We visited Hadrian’s Gate, an arch that was made of marble.  It is on the street that goes from the old city of Athens to the new section that was built by Hardrian in 131-132 AD.    It is 18 meters high and 13 meters wide.  The crazy thing about the gate is that it is right on one of the busiest roads in Athens.  Trying to get a picture without a car was not an easy task!00605

We continued towards the Columns of Zeus.  They are right in the middle of town and were dedicated to Zeus, the king of all Olympian gods.    The temple was built in 6th century BC, but in the 3rd century it started to deteriate and started to be a ruin soon after.   After the fall of the Roman Empire much of the marble and building material was stolen to build other things.  We could still see a lot of the ruins.

00637 00670 00646 00630 00619

Last stop of the morning was the Panathenaic Stadium.  It is the oldest stadium in the world and the first modern Olympic Games were held here in 1986.  Now it is more a less a museum and once you walk through the tunnel it is full of many items from past Olympic games.  Some of the torches are pictured.

Now days the stadium is used for some Greek sporting events as well as in 2004 when the final legs of the Olympic Marathon were run there. 00811 00805 00766 00745 00703 00685 00682

Leave a comment »

Sounion Ruins, afternoon trip out of Athens

Monday, 12/17/12

Our only day trip out of Athens was a few hour tour to the Sounion Ruins.  We had scheduled this trip at a travel agency in the morning and  we picked up at a hotel at 2.  The ride down was nice, mostly through the city and finally on some winding roads.  We had about 1 hour to walk around there.01381 01363

Cape Sounion is on the Attica Peninsula, about 45 miles south of Athens.  It is the ruins of Poseidon, the god of the sea.    What is interesting is that is surrounded on 3 sides by the sea and a popular place to watch sunsets, but we left before the sunset!    The structure dates back to 700 BC.01375 01369 01366

This spot, according to legend is where the king of Athens, Aegeus jumped to his death off the cliff and hence why the sea is not called the Aegean Sea.

In the early 1800’s an English poet Lord Byron carved his name in one of the columns.  He was enthralled with the area.  You can no longer see the inscription because it is barracked off.01387 01379 01361 01438 01417

Leave a comment »

Athens, Greece; visit to the Partenon and museum

Dec. 14-18, 2012

Landed in Greece from Paris about 2 in the afternoon and caught the train into town.  We had good instructions how to get to our apartment, and fortunately a little help from locals finding the exact building. The apartment we rented was about 3 blocks from the Parthenon and a perfect little apt.   We couldn’t have been in a better location.

Acropolis, meaning “top of the hill” was visible from almost anywhere we walked during these 4 days.  down at the base of the hill  was where the original community was located, and about every 100-300 feet was another ‘ruin.’  It was amazing.ruins around base of Acropolis ruins around base of Acropolisruins / tiles were everywhere as we walked around how old is this???

We met up with our cousins, cousin who lives in Athens.  Was fun to walk around with Clarri, her husband Demetri and their 5 year old son, Antony.  We had the most amazing meal with them at an outdoors cafe.  I had ground lamb kabob with a yogurt sauce over it… incredible.  There was plenty of food at the table and we enjoyed all the flavors of the area.IMG_1887 IMG_1886

There are some positive things about traveling places in the off season.  We got to the Parthenon to tour it about 9:30 a.m. and we were about the ONLY ones there.  AMAZING.  That is why we have pics of only us at the top, that would have never happened in June!look NO ONE else in the photo again, NO ONE else! Who'd thought  Harry wanted to get to this building so badly, but it was blocked off, so the best we got wrere photos. it was getting warm up there for this Alaskan

Some interesting information on the Parthenon, first off it was made for the Goddess Athena, and  construction began in 447 BC and took over 15 years to build.   It took over 16,500 pieces of marble to build it, the carvings/artwork were based on Greek Mythology, as well as the Greek/Amazon battle and the Trojan war.  It is said that you could see this from 50 miles out on the ocean!part of the origional Freizewe were there mid morning with some beautiful light we marveled at what earthquakes and such had done to the structure, yet how much was still standing

It took 13 columns for each side and 6 columns for each end.  Each end is topped with the ‘frieze’

The ‘frieze” which is the decorative end caps for lack of a better explanation, is on each end.  Each depicts a story of 115 blocks.  There are 378 figures and of these 220 are animals, mostly horses.    The east end frieze depicts the birth of Athena and the rising of the sun and setting of the moon.  The west end frieze is the mostly horsemen and depicts the different rankings of each.  It highlights the contest with to name the city and when Athena won it explains why the town is now called Athens.as you can see the Freize on this end is almost non existant, most of it is in the museuminside the museum, they either have the origional panel, OR a replica of the panel. 00886

We spent a lot of time each day walking around the base of the Acropolis.  The “old town” area had stores, restaurants, and just great people watching.  All and all we enjoyed the 4 days we spent in Athens.  Any longer and we would have run out of things to do and any shorter and we would have missed out on some things.city and smog as far as the eye could see inside the museum, they either have the origional panel, OR a replica of the panel. some of the tables that contain written documentation this replica of what the area looked like in it's origional state this was taken from Olympic Stadium (see other posts)seats at one of the stadiumsancient stadium The Erechteion another stadiumlooking down on the stadium

Leave a comment »

20 Hours in Paris

Dec. 13, 2012

When we found out we’d have a layover in Paris between the States and Athens, Greece we wanted to take advantage of it.  Clearing customs was absolutely a breeze, but it took our luggage almost 1 hour to get to us.  Finally we grabbed the airport shuttle to the Hilton where we would call home for the night!  We had 3 main goals on our list and we managed to do each of them!

1.  Notre Dame

2. The Arc de Triomphe

3. Eiffel Tower

Bought an all day/all city transportation pass.  I believe it was 21 Euro for the day, but well worth it.  Hopped on train and into city!  When we got off the train, it took us  a while to get our bearings, but once we did we were off!

Notre Dame is beautiful!  What more can be said?  Hopped on train and off to Arc.St. Paul Church, beautiful red door Notre Dame windows of ND

The Arc de Triomphe was built to honor the fallen soldiers from the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.   Names are inscribed on many of the surfaces.  There is also the WWI tomb of the unknown soldier here.the Arc

Short hop on the train to the highlight of the night, the Eiffel Tower.  It had just turned 8:00 when our train pulled in and the Tower was doing it’s 5 minutes of twinkling.  So cool to see it for the first time with that happening.

We decided we HAD to go to the top, even though it was cold and sort of a gloomy night.  There were plenty of other folks up there with us, but there were not that many people that it was crowded.

We were on top for the 9:00 twinkle and after grabbing a quick bit for dinner, saw the 10:00 twinkle as we left on the train.first sighting of the tower 00384 00390 on top 00484 what a great night

Back to the room by 11:00 pm, exhausted and thrilled that we had this opportunity.

1 Comment »