Saturday, January 22, 2011

Athens: Day 5

This was definitely a great day on our visit.  We started with a walk to and then through the National Gardens.  It had started to drizzle a bit, but at this point, it wasn't bad enough to deter us from our plans.  The garden was really quite beautiful, lots of winding paths and a wide variety of trees and plants.  They even had a little Christmas village set up in the middle of the garden where they played festive music and kids could visit Santa.  We actually ended up finding a second Christmas village later in the week, and got some cute pictures there.

Our next stop was to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where they do a weekly changing of the Evzones guards.  They had a parade with a band and the soldiers.

Band playing in the streets of Athens.

Guards marching in the parade.

Check out those awesome pom-pom clogs.  They had amazing costumes (uniforms?)!  The guards were very impressive, and they were all huge.  Apparently the height requirement to be a Evzone guard is 6' 1" which I'm sure only increases their formidability. 

Loved the tights too!

The back of the costume was intricate too!  They did a really interesting high step foot slap going on.  You can hear it really well in the video at the end.

Guard on duty.

By the time we got to the guard changing ceremony, it was pouring.  We ended up buying umbrellas, which did end up getting a fair amount of use during the trip.

video

After the Guard changing ceremony, it was absolutely pouring.  So we hopped on the metro and headed to our next two stops: the National Archaeological Museum and the Epigraphical Museum.

The NAM was having a free admission day, however, a considerable portion of the museum was closed.  I'm pretty sure that this was due to lack of money, as it wasn't the first museum we encountered with this problem.  Sadly, the Antikythera mechanism was in one of the closed wings, so Steve was incredibly disappointed by this.  They did have many of the statues from the Anikythera shipwreck, and it was kind of cool to see the affect of the ocean on the statues.  Unfortunately, photos weren't allowed.

After touring the museum, we had the most delicious hot chocolate in the museum cafe.  I'm pretty sure it was made entirely with whole milk, so while delicious, it was quite rich.  This museum also had awkward bathrooms.  I'm not sure if it's due to theft or culture, but almost all of the toilets in Athens were missing the actual toilet seat.  Needless to say, I got pretty good at balancing.

Our next stop was hard not too hard to find, but certainly hard to get into.  We had to ring the doorbell of the Epigraphical Museum to have someone let us in, because it didn't look open.  This was a cool little forgotten museum and we kind of felt bad for it.  The lady working had to go into each room and turn the lights on ahead of us.  The whole museum is filled with tablets, steales, and other stone chiseled writings.  The signs in the museum were all in Greek, but it was still fun to look at all the tablets.

After this, the weather had dried up, but we were still pretty damp, so we headed back to the hostel.

*Catch up on our entire Athens adventure by checking Our Travel Page, or our Greece tag.*

Catch up on the rest of our adventure:

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