Greece day 3: New Acropolis Museum and Rick Steve’s walking tour [YQrtw Day 40 May 17]

I was planning to laze around and visit the New Acropolis Museum later in the afternoon. But when I checked my notes, I found out that the museum closes at 15:00.

I guess that means lazing around will have to come later. [I just looked at my notes again and realized that I confused National Archaeological Museum with Acropolis Museum’s time.]

I first knew of the New Acropolis Museum when D e-mailed me on June 15, 2009, an article about the museum’s opening. I was in my 9th month at work and my reply to the e-mail was:

I’ve actually forgotten that I want to go to Greece one day.

Then D reminded me that we shouldn’t become work drones. So I put the Acropolis Museum into my mental list of Places To-Go and thought about Greece again.

The Acropolis Museum

When I got to the museum, I thought to myself: I AM FINALLY HERE! (Oh wait, I think I did that at the Parthenon yesterday.)

The museum’s entrance had a surprise waiting. Parts of the floor was clear (with white polka dots), allowing visitors to see the excavation site underneath. There was also an excavated site that was open air and silly people tossed coins into it.

Before the Acropolis Museum's entrance
Before the Acropolis Museum’s entrance

The entrance to the museum was only 6 euro. It was so much cheaper than the other places I’ve been in Italy. I love Greece very much just for this.

Photo taking wasn’t allowed in the museum. I didn’t do any sketches like I did with David but I did sneak photos of the non-exhibits.

Athena guides children in the museum.
Athena guides children in the museum.

There were several of these signs saying “A Day at the Acropolis Museum with the Goddess Athena”. It was the cutest thing I’ve seen in a museum.

The description was in kid-language and was more fun to read than the adult-language sign.

Clear floor of the Acropolis Museum
Clear floor of the Acropolis Museum

The nightshift staff at my hotel, Hellen, warned me about the museum’s see-through floors so I wore pants to the place.

At one section, you can see the museum people cleaning up some of the statues. On the same level, the laser cleaning is covered up with a curtain.

View of Parthenon from the Acropolis Museum
View of Parthenon from the Acropolis Museum

On the third floor of the Acropolis Museum is a segment dedicated to the Parthenon. That floor is specially designed to face the same direction as the Parthenon is facing. It also has steel columns in between the carvings to show how the items look like in the temple.

I felt that the museum was a little small since it didn’t take me much time to finish all the items on display.

Still, it was a good museum because of all the Parthenon carvings and Athena statues.

Lunch at Smile Cafe Restaurant

I didn't eat the dog. Honestly.
I didn’t eat the dog. Honestly.

I had lunch at a tourist restaurant. Why is it touristy? Because it prints out maps of the Acropolis area and invites tourists to eat there.

The food was good for a tourist restaurant. I ordered from the Crisis Menu, a set lunch for only 7.50 euro.

I finally had tasty bread (which I never had in Italy). The cheese in the Greek salad was nice. I ate the tomatos and some cucumbers of the salad, thankful that it wasn’t the regular raw vegetable.

The gyros with pork was lovely, although I thought that I should stop eating Middle Eastern cuisine and be more adventurous.

It began raining while I was eating. Thank goodness I have my umbrella with me. I dropped by a coffee place for a 1 euro cafe latte before setting off to find the travel agency that sells bus tickets to Istanbul.

Silver Star Travel was easy to find, thanks to Google Maps. The 14-hour bus ride from Athens to Istanbul cost 60 euro (or 56 euro after -ahem- student discount). The price is half of flying to Istanbul and the time spent is half of taking connecting ferries.

Since my missions for the day was accomplished, I had to find something to do.

As usual, I hopped on a random bus that took me to a random place. And I took a not-so-random bus back to the city center.

Rick Steve’s audio tour

Rick Steve has an audio tour for Athens city so I decided to spend the afternoon walking around with my headphones in my ear.

His audio tours are really awesome. I went into different nooks and crannies of Athens. Climbed steep hills. Passed pretty Mediterranean houses. And learned more about the city than I would wandering aimlessly.

Overexposed Model in Greece
Overexposed Model in Greece

When the tour ended, so did my day. I bought 1kg each of cherries and strawberries (what was I thinking!) before heading back to the hotel to rest and write.

Until tomorrow!

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