We stood awestruck at the 360 degree view below us of Athens, a city that has been continuously inhabited for more than 7000 years. Frankly it left me speechless and you well know that is a remarkable thing.
Stretching before us for miles in every direction, were white and cream colored, multistory buildings reaching like fingers into the mountains that surround the broad valley that holds Athens. With the blue Aegean sea barely visible in the distance, it is easy to see why the land we currently stood on had been chosen as home base all those millennia ago.
Without question one could see the enemy coming for days not that it stopped the wars and conquests. My brain hurt as I attempted to keep track of the Mycenaeans, Spartans, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Christians, Slavs, Franks, Venetians, Ottomans…and that’s just till the 18th century. Truly I should have paid more attention in history class.
With the hot Athens breeze blowing the Acropolis loomed stately at one view and the remaining eighteen meter high columns of the Temple of Zeus at another. Between the monuments the traffic roared and snaked on the eight lane roadway. From still another vantage point, an outdoor rock concert with laser light show could be seen. One could not help but think of the ancient Greeks looking down on the scene in bewildered amazement.
While wandering we happened upon a large, local market on a Saturday afternoon. As we entered the fresh meat aisle an enclosed walkway of 200 meters presented. With cleavers the size of my head chopping large ribs by butchers with aprons covered in blood, they beckoned the locals in their native tongue. They didn’t even appear to notice Hubby and I as I’m sure it was clear we were not exactly in the market for an entire goat.
The crush of the crowd assessing the best hanging meats (and I do mean every part of every animal was hanging) seemed to cause the sellers to yell just that much louder. The scene is one I will never forget and perhaps leave me as a permanent vegetarian. After squeezing by a box of heads with eyeballs I let out a squeal, which thankfully the roar of the market muffled, and we found ourselves in the even more frenetic fish aisles.
Here the crowd intertwined as if in an Istanbul traffic jam.The fish mongers screamed at the customers in Greek. We assume they were making a convincing argument that their catch was far superior to that in the neighboring stall.
Hubby said it reminded him of a Wall Street trading floor. My guess would be that the sopping concrete pathway and the smell of a few thousand assorted sea food creatures and fish being tossed to and fro as if in some new aquatic game was in play are not the things seen or smelled among the ticker tape of the New York stock exchange.
I toddled out of the place stunned and amazed and said to Hubby whose arm I was still clinging to like a life preserver on the Titanic, “Well they certainly didn’t pull the tour buses up for that stop!”
Yes that is Hubby climbing another city fence. This time apparently making an attack on the Acropolis. To check out other cities that may or may not be under siege click here.
What city would you recommend to visit?