After finishing up another remote project I was ready for an Athens City break. In order to maximize our travel budget it pays to look for affordable or free ways to tour. It turns out there are many such opportunities in Athens Greece. I wanted to make sure I allowed for time spent simply relaxing as well as viewing historical landmarks. It was recommend to take a taxi or a bus around Athens as driving can sometimes be hazardous in the city, as well as Alex tends to like public transport. The most convenient part of the trip was that the destinations were all clustered together; there was no need to rush around, and more time to enjoy the moment. We had heard that if we only had one day in Athens we should visit the cities pride, The Acropolis and its neighbor The Plaka district.
The infamous landmark, the Parthenon, with colossal pillars within of the Acropolis was our first destination. The Parthenon is considered to be the most important surviving structure of Classical Greece and is the temple of the goddess Athena. It was built in 447 BC during the height of the Athenian Empire and during the pinnacle of Greek art. This is why sculptures are throughout the area. I packed a few snacks for Alex so we could allow plenty of time to take in the powerful atmosphere. Once he becomes a teenager I’ll have to get a bigger backpack to accommodate his growing appetite! My boy had fun scaling the rocks which gave me some time to photograph the area. Of course I kept reminding him to be careful so we wouldn’t have to make any emergency room visits.
The Plaka is the historical Athens neighborhood, located right next to the Acropolis. It is also called “Neighborhood of the Gods” due to its location. Neoclassical architecture, little streets, ancient ruins, outdoor dining and winding roads give the city a time-warp like charm. The Plaka district looks cinematic as many Greek movies in the 1950’s and 1960’s were filmed here. Also noteworthy is that many Greek “working class” had formally worked in this district. I was pleased by the warm reception from the locals. We relaxed for a while. I had to try the local Greek salad which not surprisingly, was priced considerably higher than the other salads.
Much of the world’s history is rooted in Greece which is why I wanted to take advantage of the educational opportunities found in the Hellenic Children’s Museum. It’s only a short distance from the Parthenon which made it an easy place to add to our itinerary. The children of Athens are encouraged to develop a sense of ownership in the community through participation. I found this motivating as I use interactivity as a way to teach Alex in the mundane as well as the extraordinary. I had heard the kids make chocolate at the museum so I thought I might sneak a sample or two. The exhibits were in Greek yet plenty of staff members were able to speak English.
Though I love the advantages of technology we occasionally put down our devices for a weekend to recharge. It may be tempting to share a live photo from each spot we visit, yet sometimes it’s greater to fully experience the richness of life and people before us in all its wonder.