Super Sunday #01

I have been toying around the idea of introducing something new on this blog. I felt that my blog is getting one dimensional, boring to the bones! I need some sort of a comical side to add in to the mix. So finally I’m ready to introduce to you the “1 picture – 1 post” kind of thing.

Since today is Sunday, I shall name it Super Sunday. I know it sounds a bit cheesy but please bear with me. I was talking to this friend of mine about some work stuffs and we brought up about getting our first million. True to my word, I took a screen shot of the replies. I’m gonna get an all-expenses paid holiday when he gets his first million and also a million dollar to my bank account when he achieve his first billion. I don’t know whether he will honour his word or not lah….

Misc (13Jul15)

p/s: I’m dedicating this blog post to one crazy friend of mine, Alvin Kok. I got no other choice because it is his birthday today!

Athens, The Historical City: Day 2

We’d learned that walking for 20 minutes under the hot sun was not something we wanted to do again. We also found out that hotel provides free shuttle bus between the hotel and the city centre. The bus driver was very nice, I tipped the him 2 EUR for his excellent service and on time arrival/pickup. I’d should have tipped him more, if I had some loose coins around.

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Our first stop of the day was the Hellenic Parliament, which is the Parliament of Greece. There are few museums around the vicinity, such as the Byzantine and Christian Museum and the Benaki Museum.

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There were 2 guards in front of the Hellenic Parliament. They are also referred as the Presidential Guards. They are quite similar to the Queen’s Guard in Buckingham Palace, with it’s weird marching between the guard post and the changing of guards ceremony. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier lies between the two guard posts.

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Next, we went to the Athens War Museum which was a short walking distance from the Parliament.

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The entrance fee to the museum was 3 EUR. I think it is worth for things you can see inside. The museum opens from 9am to 7pm (summer) and 9am to 5pm (winter) daily, except on Monday and Public Holiday. More information can be found at the website here.

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There were many old and modern rifles on display at the museum. Can you spot the M16 and AK47 in picture?

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Some old cannons on display at the external perimeter of the museum.

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The best part of the museum was where the fighter jets were. You can climb up the stairs provided and peep in to the cockpit to see all the gadgets and flight instruments. Damn cool!

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We went past the Benaki Museum but decided to skipped it. One museum visit was more than enough for my tired puny brain! For those you who are interested, Benaki Museum displays the old Byzantine, Islamic, and Greek arts and artefacts.

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Our next stop was the Athens Flea Market at Monastiraki. Most of the shops are selling those touristy souvenirs as it was located nearby archaeological site. You can find get some cheap artsy stuffs here as well.

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I saw some local people trying to sell their drawings of the Acropolis on one of the alleys. I regretted I didn’t buy the drawings. It was selling at 1.50 EUR and 2.50 EUR for the A6 and A4 size respectively.

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This was the entrance to the Roman Agora, where the towering Gate of Athena Archegetis stood.

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These were the remains of the Roman Agora built during the Romans period. It was funded by the Roman Emperors, Julius Ceasar and Augustus.

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A “marbled” information board right outside the entrance of the Hadrian’s Library.

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The ruins of the Hadrian’s Library. It was said that old papyrus scrolls were kept in this ancient library. It was created and funded by the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

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An old church ruins beside the Hadrian’s Library.

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After visiting the Hadrian’s Library, we endured further sunburn and ventured to the south slope of Acropolis, to check out the Theatre of Dionysus. It was some what similar to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. It was used for festival in honour of the god, Dionysus. We completed all the sites as listed on the ticket except Kerameikos, as it’s located quite a distance away from the Acropolis. I’d enough of the burning sun!

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I would love to come back to Athens in the future to cover more historical sites and also to visit some of the gorgeous Greek islands. Hopefully I’m able to travel to Greece next year or the year after. Anyway, let me end this post with this shot of my beautiful wife in the blue overalls. Love to take picture of her, my favourite model!

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See you later, Athens!

Athens, The Historical City: Day 1

Recently my work brought me to Athens, the capital of Greece. My company used to fly to Athens regularly, probably once or twice a week but due to light passenger loads, they stop it all together. They introduced it on a seasonable basis after that, from June to October. It’s best to travel to Greece during the summer months. I did some reading on Athens and some of the Greek islands such as Santorini. Too bad, due to timing and limited flight options, I decided to skip the Greek islands and concentrate solely on Athens.

I was staying at Intercontinental Hotel in Athens. Our first stop for sightseeing was Panathenaic Stadium. It took me and my wife a walking journey of about 20mins or so to reach. The stadium was also known as the Kallimármaro which means beautifully marbled. It was constructed in 566 BC and subsequently went through many renovations to what it is today. This was the stadium that hosted the first modern Olympics Games in 1896.

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Our next stop was the Ancient Agora, which is located at the base of the Acropolis. To enter the Ancient Agora, you need to purchase a ticket. The ticket was 12 EUR each, with access to other 5 major archaeological sites – The Acropolis, The Olympieion, Hadrian’s Library, Roman Agora and Kerameikos.

I came across a group of tourist going on the segway tours. It is really expensive, price ranging from 59 EUR to 85 EUR depending on the packages. It is good for those who are lazy to walk. There are tons of tour packages, such as audio guided tours or even a kiddy train that brings you around.

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Ancient Agora used to be center of life during the olden days. It was like an ancient city area. The only thing that well worth to see is the exceptionally well preserved Temple of Hephaistos. Most of area around Ancient Agora are in ruins. A lot of broken statues and pile of stones laying around that I can’t make out what it was. Disappointed!

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A shot of my beautiful wife among the ruins of Agora. A hot lady on a hot day!

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From the Ancient Agora site, you could see the Acropolis located on the hilltop.

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After visiting the Ancient Agora, we made our way uphill to Acropolis. On the way up, we saw the amazing Odeon Of Herodes Atticus. It was built in 161 AD by Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife. It currently used as a venue for concerts and the Athens Festival.

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After another 5 minutes of climbing, we reached the Propylaia. It is the gateway to the Acropolis. When I went pass it, I felt like I’m entering in to the ancient realm. I can only imagine how impressive it is for the ancient visitors to Acropolis.

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A top down view of the Propylaia.

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The main attraction of the Acropolis was the impressive Parthenon, which was built as a temple to house the statue of the greek goddess, Athena. It is currently undergoing a major restoration work. I’m glad they are preserving it for the future generations to experience the great history of Athens.

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The back view of the Parthenon. Just look sheer size of the Parthenon as compare to the tiny human beings!

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Opposite the Parthenon stood the amazing Erechtheion which was built as a replacement for the old temple. The old temple ruins can be seen at the foreground. If you look carefully, you will be able to find the famous Caryatids statues. It is a replica, the real Caryatids are currently on display at the Acropolis Museum.

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Our final destination for the day was the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It was considered as one of the largest temple in the ancient world. It stood majestically on the south side of Acropolis.

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I decided it is enough for the day. The sun was scorching hot and I’m literally exhausted and a shade darker as well. I had a discussion with my wife, and both of us agreed to cover more of it the next day. So stay tuned for Day 2…