We would see children doing the same thing everywhere throughout the city that day - even walking through the metro. It almost seemed like trick-or-treating in the United States.
So after breakfast, we hopped on the metro to go to the Acropolis. About 5 stops and one train change later, we arrived at the Akropoli station. Even the metro stations had artifacts in them - a lot of them were found when they were digging for the train lines.
Lizzie soon realized that a lot of the statues were not
clothed appropriately and didn't hesitate to point it
out at first.
Outside the Akropoli metro station - a very pretty street!
We entered the Acropolis on the south side which wasn't the "main" entrance so we walked up the back slope which was pretty interesting. We didn't have a tour guide and we found that the historic sites are not really well marked - not a lot to read or information to gather at the site itself. But we enjoyed looking at the beautiful buildings and the view from the top. We met a woman from Canada and talked to her for a while and exchanged picture taking which was nice so that we could get a picture of the entire family together.
The view from this vantage was truly extrodinary!
Lykavittos Hill - the highest hill in Athens
The next few pictures are just some pictures of the kids that I really liked.
When we were done touring the Acropolis, we headed downhill. We weren't quite sure of the way to get back so we just started walking around the hill. We ended up walking along the north side of the Acropolis on these little tiny streets. We thought we were lost a little but after a while and quite a few "should we take this street?", we ended up in Plaka which is the "touristy" area of Athens with lots of little shops and restaurants. We headed downhill and found this little family restaurant and decided to eat lunch. It was a nice little open-aired restaurant. The meal was served family style - the owner brought out a tray full of selections and you picked a certain number of items based on the number of people in your party. We had stuffed grape leaves, cheese puffs, meatballs, moussaka, and many other items. It was a wonderful lunch but my kids did say that the meatballs weren't as good as Grandma's.
A view outside the restaurant.
After our late lunch, we walked through Plaka a little and then found the metro station at Syntagma Square (Constitution Square). Syntagma Square was busy with lots of people - there were characters for the kids to see, Santa was there, many people selling things including lottery tickets and all sorts of different pastries and donuts. It was a very loud and interesting place to be. We got on the train, to our station and back to the apartment.
Spencer and Alex wanted to stay at the apartment (yes, mom, we locked the door and they had a cell phone to reach us) and walked up to the local supermarket to pick up some food for the next day. We found lots of items that we knew and then some we didn't. We had a hard time figuring out which carton contained milk and then when we got home, we realized that one side had Greek and the other English - duh! We looked high and low for bacon but didn't find anything that was like American bacon. I took one last look by the butcher where they had full pigs for sale to roast. I did not buy one :-)
We had also bought a Nintendo DS charger because we only had ones that used 120V and Greece uses 220V electricity - we did not have a transformer to use. I had gotten the kids games for Christmas and we knew that it wouldn't be good if they couldn't use them. When we got back to the apartment, we realized they were for Nintendo DSi (not DS) and it didn't fit - why do they continuously need to change things like that? So Mark and Alex headed back to the store to see if they could find anything else and the rest of the kids and I headed to the bakery to get treats for Christmas morning.
We found this charming little bakery where we bought a box full of treats and a few other things for the morning! No one spoke English here and so it was difficult at first until another customer helped us out a little. I bought some baklava which was just so good I can't even describe it! The kids got some cookies and we got a few croissants for the morning too. Then we spotted a little fruit market nearby where be bought 3 oranges for about 40 cents. After my "no speak Greek" to them, they patted the girls heads and wished us Happy New Year.
It was a wonderful first day in Greece - we were pretty much exhausted and headed home to bed looking forward to Christmas morning.