Day 17 – Athens

Today I traveled by metro to Omonia Square, the starting point for a walk to the National Archaeological Museum, called a not-to-be-missed site in Athens.

Immediately on exiting the metro, I found Veneti Great Baggeion, a perfect place for a coffee, a little pastry, and a chance to get my bearings.

Older men sat at tables outside were working their worry beads.

After a quick look at a paper map, because I do not have internet, I took my best guess and headed off for a 10-minute walk to the museum. It’s good to see that old fashioned newspapers are still available in Athens.

The National Archaeological Museum’s facade is imposing.

I did not know what to expect in this museum, only that it was a not-to-miss.

I was totally astonished at the objects from ancient civilizations I had never encountered.

These objects are called ‘frying pans.’ Their purpose is unknown, but they are finely decorated in intricate designs.

I had no idea gold was so prevalent in Ancient Greece.

This death mask is from 1500 BCE.

Gold coverings for a dead infant.

A helmet made of boar’s tooth.

Visitors admire a larger than life kouros statue.

Bronze Age mirrors with ornate handles.

This display attempts to show how bronze figures are created. A very complex process. It’s amazing how over time the knowledge to make these things grew to the point of mastery.


The museum has a lovely garden with a cafe.

On the way back to the metro, I had to stop in at this shop that advertised Italian fashion. Not wonderful stuff, but some not totally horrible either, all for four Euro a piece. How can this be?

I decided to visit the Athens Central Market, where I found rows of butchers selling meats.

She may be the only old woman wearing traditional black in Athens.

Lamb heads by the box-full.

For some reason, unfortunately, I could not find the fruit and vegetable section of this vast market. I was a little tired after the museum visit so I didn’t try too hard.

Right near the meat market I came upon this church.

Outside stood some interesting displays. I decided to go in

And found another beautiful Eastern Orthodox interior.

It was a baptism attended by family friends and relatives.

On the way back to the metro, I spied this priest on his cellphone. According to guide Isaac yesterday, priests are government employees. There is no separation of church and state.

I wish I could return to the museum, as I only saw part of its displays. It was definitely the highlight of my stay in Athens.

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