Sunday, June 26, 2011

Exploring the Plaka

After lunch we set off the see the Temple of Zeus, but could only see it from outside a fence.  It seems that it was closed for a private function to do with the Special Olympics, which are happening here in Athens at some stage this summer (we keep seeing people wearing Special Olympics shirts and ID tags.  We did see Hadrian’s Arch on the way.
Next was a walk through the narrow streets of the Plaka.  Most of the buildings are either shops selling souvenirs or cafes.  It was also getting hotter and hotter.
Eventually we came to a lovely shady square with cafes and stopped for a cold drink.  By the way, when you order a cup of tea here, the milk is from a can of evaporated milk.  Most strange, but better than UHT milk.  Anyway, after the cold drinks, we looked at the old Roman Forum and then the ruins of Hadrian’s Library.  Both were interesting, but could have done with more information signs, or guide books, or audio guides or something like that.  Hadrian’s Library, particularly, was badly presented.  All the finds were just lumped around the place, with no indication of what they were (part of a column, part of a wall, etc.).  Still, despite that I really enjoyed it, but Andy and Tommy were fading fast from the heat.  So we found another café (with air-conditioning) and ordered drinks.  It was really amazing in their courtyard – all sorts of bits of old tile, stone and brick in the walls (see picture).  In the end we hadn’t left there before it was time to order dinner, which we ate there.  Not as good as lunch, and HUGE servings – so much so that it somewhat dampened your appetite.

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