Athens—where are all the dicks?

in #travel3 years ago (edited)

Yes, that is totally a clickbait title but this post does have a dick theme so stay with me. 

Technically I went to Athens three times on this trip. I flew in from Vienna for one night before taking the ferry to Santorini with my Aussie mates the next morning. Then I got the ferry back for one more night—where I met @martibis—before we left for Delphi the next morning. Both areas I stayed in left me slightly underwhelmed so I was hoping it was going to be a case of third time lucky. 

My friends Sue and Pras flew back into Athens the same day I arrived from Meteora. We met up later that afternoon to start on the sightseeing since we only had a day and a half to get it done.

First up was the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Seriously, all these Greek temples are so huge. How tall were the Greek Gods? Cos I'm pretty sure they were all single story buildings since I don't recall seeing any broken stairs lying around. For scale, I am 152cm in top left photo.

Temple of Zeus

Bottom left: Hadrion's Gate, which is at the entrance.

Bottom right photo taken from the Acropolis.

That's about as far as we got on Day 1 since it started pissing down rain as we left. Obviously, this meant wine time started early and off to a bar in Plaka—the tourist area—we went. 

Shit tour, great tour

After a few wines and the rain had stopped, we decided to go on the Happy Train. The audio was terrible and/or the woman pointing out stuff was terrible. This turned out to be €5 not well spent and made none of us happy. Pass on the Happy Sad Train if you're in Athens.

The next day I did the Athens Free Walking Tour while Sue and Pras did the segway tour. Every time I've done a free walking tour—even though it's not free cos it's based on tips—it's been excellent. This makes sense cos they want to get paid. The guide, Michael, was awesome. I think he used to be an archaeologist or something and now he does the tours. His knowledge of the ruins was excellent. I really should review him on Tripadvisor.

Bottom right: Church of Panagia Kapnikarea, which is one of the oldest functioning churches in Athens/Greece. Not sure which.

There's literally ruins everywhere in Athens. Michael did tell us about them all as we walked around but I can't remember all the things and I've already forgotten most of what he said. 

Luckily, Google tracked my every move, so now when I click on 'info' in the photos, I can see exactly where I was on Google maps and can work out what the photo is of. Thanks Google, you big, handy, privacy-invading stalker!

WTF is an agora?

Agora means marketplace and there are two in central Athens—the Ancient Agora of Athens and the Roman Agora. Obviously you can't buy anything in them now, but don't worry, there are plenty of souvenir shops surrounding them that will sell you all the crap you can fit into your baggage allowance.

Roman Agora

Top middle and right: Tower of the Winds is an octagonal clock tower and the world's first meteorological station.  

Bottom left: Gate of Athena Archegetis.

Ancient Agora of Athens

Left, top middle and top right: Church of the Holy Apostles and one of the frescoes. 

The Church of the Holy Apostles in the Athens Agora is the oldest church in Greece. Michael said something about the Apostle Paul bringing Christianity to Greece and I think there was some reference to this church. More interesting though, was back in the day, there were a lot of religions in Greece and everyone was sceptical of Paul and Christianity. Now it's the exact opposite. About 98% of Greeks are Greek Orthodox, which is a Christian religion, and sceptical of everything else.

Where happened to all the dicks?

There's a pretty cool onsite museum in the Athens Agora, which is included in the entry price. One thing I noticed both here and in Delphi is all the male statues are missing their dicks. Where did they go? Sure, I can see how some might break off over time, but every single one of them? Come on! That's getting a bit suss. I feel like a big pile of dicks is going to get dug up at some point, meaning archaeologists can have some fun playing pin the dick on the statue!

Hephaisteion Temple in the Ancient Agora of Athens

Hephaisteion is the only fully intact temple in Greece.

Bottom middle photo taken from the Acropolis.

Acropolis Now

If you're Aussie and old enough you'll probably know what that means. For everyone else it was a tv show in the late 80s/early 90s. I don't remember if it was good or not but there were a lot of mullets and big hair, and that is always funny.

Right now, the Acropolis is pretty much visible from everywhere in central Athens, including the Airbnb I stayed in.  

Bottom left: view from my Airbnb.

Left: The Acropolis from the Acropolis Museum.

Right: The Acropolis from Monastiraki. 

I love the view of the Acropolis from this rooftop bar we were in. I think it was also a gay bar—continuing my dick theme—cos there were a lot of attractive guys there and there was no straight vibe. The Monastiraki Flea Market is in the foreground. There were a bunch of fruit vendors here and I bought a kilo of apricots hoping they were going to be super sweet like the ones I had in Delphi. They weren't.

The term acropolis means 'upper city'. They are built on top of hills and were typically places of refuge during times of invasion. For this reason a city's most sacred buildings are usually found on the acropolis. The Athens Acropolis is the most famous one, being home to a bunch of important buildings including the Parthenon. 

Athens Acropolis

Source

The dicks who destroyed the Parthenon (and then stole from it)

The Parthenon took nine years to build in 438 BC and was originally a temple for the goddess Athena. It then became the city's treasury, a Christian church, and a Catholic church. Then—when Greece was under the rule of the Ottoman empire—it was turned into a mosque. 

In its quest for world dominance, the Ottoman Empire tried to take Venice at some point, which caused some Venetians to retaliate and attempt to take some of Greece. The Turks—who were part of the Ottoman Empire—decided to store their gunpowder in the Parthenon thinking the Venetians wouldn't attack a place of such historical significance. Wrong! The Venetians fired a cannonball at the temple, and thanks to all the gunpowder lying around, KABOOM! 

To add insult to injury the Venetian dude in charge of the attack then removed a bunch of sculptures to take back to Venice. However, his moving skills were not great and he broke them all. His actions also paved the way for further pillaging of the Parthenon.

So, in 1770 when Captain Cook was busy claiming Australia for Great Britain, some other Poms including Lord Elgin, began stealing rescuing the remaining marble artifacts from the Parthenon ruins. A bunch of crap went on, but eventually all/most? of them ended up in the British Museum.

For the past couple of hundred years Britain has refused to give Greece back its stuff. But in an interesting recent twist, Greece could potentially hold Britain to ransom and demand the return of its statues—including their dicks if they are still attached—or it could be "no deal" on Brexit. Exciting times!

The Parthenon

Restorations of the Parthenon started in 1975. However, despite all our modern technology, restorers can't figure out how the ancient Greeks built this place, let alone in nine years. Putting it back together appears to be the world's hardest jigsaw puzzle because the ancient Greeks made every part so precise and these skills don't exist anymore. 

The only time scaffolding has not been up in the past 40-odd years was during the 2004 Olympics, when it was removed for two weeks. At this rate, it will probably be up for another 20 years at least.

Top: Erechtheion.

Bottom: Propylaea and the temple of Athena Nike—the Goddess of Victory. Obviously, this is the inspiration for the Nike brand.

There is a bunch of other stuff around the Acropolis, like this amphitheater, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. It is still in use as there were rehearsals going on when we were there. It was pretty cool seeing modern sound technology being used in an ancient setting.  

Top: Odeon of Herodes Atticus.

Bottom: ruins around the Acropolis.

Vegan food

It was definitely a case of saving the best til last when talking about vegan food in Greece. As expected, there are a bunch of vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Athens and I managed to get to three of them.

First up was Peas. This was a pretty good lunch spot, serving wraps, juices, and some raw items. I didn't think it was too fancy, but I was starving so I ordered a couple of things and they were all tasty.

Next up was Vegan Nation. This was just up the road from where I was staying in Monastiraki, just off the main square. I had a burger, a dessert, and a juice here and they were all good. Everything is pre-made and ready to eat so its good if you're in a hurry and/or starving. 

My favourite place—and the one I was most excited about trying—was Lime Bistro. This was actually the first vegan place I went to when I got off the train from Meteora, but I didn't realise they open at 2pm. If you're a late luncher this might be fine, but I like eating around 12pm so this was too late for me and how I ended up at Peas.

I came back the next evening for dinner, which ended up being my last meal in Greece. I'm so glad I did. The restaurant is really nice and the menu is awesome. I ended up having some type of Buddha bowl with lentils, hummus, salsa, kale, and a raw flatbread. It was SO good. I wish I'd been hungrier cos I would have liked to have tried a dessert too. Oh well. 

Amazingly, I remembered to take some photos. So here is Lime Bistro and my last meal.

I'd recommend all three of these places since they are 100% vegan and were very easy to find/ get to. As a bonus—since you have to take the metro to get to them—you also get to be in a smoke-free environment for a bit. Well, at least until you leave the metro station.

All good things come to an end

After my dinner I headed back to Plaka to meet up with Sue and Pras for the last time. My flight was at 6am on the Saturday morning so we stayed out until 11pm and then I got the bus to the airport, which conveniently runs 24-hours. Since the airport is an hour away, and international check-in is two hours, I was not going to pay for a room only to get up at 2:00–2:30. 

So basically I went from staying in luxury villa in Santorini at the start of my trip to slumming it at the airport at the end. Urgh!

Thumbs up or thumbs down?

In all honesty, outside of the touristy areas, I didn't think much of Athens. It comes across as a bit run down and dirty, which isn't unexpected given Greece's economic situation. I didn't get a great vibe and it was probably my least favourite destination on this trip. So thumbs down on that. However, I'm obviously speaking as a tourist and not as someone who's spent a great deal of time there.

My unenthusiasm aside, the ruins are very cool, it's easy to get around, and there are some great vegan options. So that all gets a thumbs up.

I didn't hate Athens by any means, but I definitely liked Santorini, Delphi and Meteora more. But, since it's the city you're most likely to fly in/out of, you might as well take advantage of the good things it has to offer. And who knows, maybe you'll be lucky enough to find some dicks in the process!

Check out this post on steemitworldmap.

!steemitworldmap 37.971653 lat 23.726735 long Athens d3scr

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The dicks are missing? What a shame. It’s normal for boys to have dicks, removing them from public’s eyes might give an unnatural perception against men’s real bodies. And I know a lot of people who are offended looking at dicks on movies while they don’t bat an eye looking at boobs.

I enjoyed reading your travel, choo, as always. You sprinkle the experience with informational tidbits and your personal thoughts about all of it. Really nice, you must have excelled in your English class when you’re still a wee lass? ^^

-upvoted-

Thank you Scrawly! And you make a good point there, about dick perception, I hadn't thought of that. I did ok at English. I was a solid B student. I wasn't hard for me but I also didn't want to put the extra effort in to be an A student.

I think all the dicks are in Victoria, along with all the greeks

Lol. Can't argue with that.

Ahhhh maybe @iliasdiamantis could have pointed out more cool stuff to you as an Athener..

On my behalf I can imagine that you might like other places better, ow well..thats travel right. Win some, lose some ;)

Athens was ok. It just wasn't my favourite place.

Nice pictures and story, what software or app do you use to create the collages? And the food looks really delicious. Mhmm

Thank you! I use BeFunky for the collages and Canva for the top image with the text. Both are free.

Please use the technical term 'Penis' when referring to the male anatomy. I get very offended when you 'chicks' sling the 'dick' word around and my 'slong' gets very offended.

On another note. This is a great post and I am very enamoured by the Parthenon and Greek history. Now if only they could build their economy as well as their ancient artefacts!

Lol, don't be a dick, Scooter. :)

Thank you. I agree Greek history is fascinating, up until the Christians came along and ruined everything (and were probably responsible for the removal of all the dicks, cos they were 'offensive').

Constantinopole.

What an on point post. I felt very much the same about Rome (but moreso Italy in general) The history was great, but it just didn't have the people-friendly vibe of a city like Sydney or Adelaide. The service we had was lack-lustre and generally, the people seemed disenchanted (blame the corruption).

Top post!
Nick.

Yes, that's exactly it.

Holly shit I was mortified by the Boom story (Venetians bombing and pillaging ._.) I was gonna say what a pity that so much of everything left is just ruins, I can see why now. And I'm sad for the unsuccessful restoration attempts.

Also all of this makes me worried about how they would take care of artifacts if Greece got them back. Maybe they should get a money cut of the profits or compensation :S I really hope to see the British museum someday.

Your photos are incredible ^^ Very nice lighting. Plus I'll try to remember to keep Google tracking on next time I go sightseeing :D

Annnd I'd love to see the dickless statues :P

Don't forget to review that nice guide guy! ^-^

Thanks Kristy. Actually the Acropolis museum was built especially to correctly house these artifacts so they won't be damaged by damp or anything. It's one of the most modern museums (in this sense) in Europe. It was the excuse the British were using forever. So the Greeks built a museum and now the British just refuse to give them back.

Well you have me convinced :D
Should definitely spread that knowledge ^^
Well; I hope they'll return the artifacts.

another really amazing post! it was really well written than even though as a Greek knew most of it i read it all :P I won't argue much about Athens, even i that live on my life in here still don't know all the ''good'' places to go. It has way to many hidden gems, literally whatever comes into your mind but at the same time if you don't where to go aside of some typical tourist attraction then you might even hate it. There are places that are ghettos :P As for the dirt, although in our defense the garbage men were in strike :p still there is a lot of dirt. In a way many greeks think that tossing garbage to the ground and not in a bin it's an ''ok'' to do so that says a lot :P

I am glad you found Vegan food cause in Greece meat is like a national product :p For instance, if you were randomly asked me in the street for a vegan place i wouldn't have an answer but if you wanted souvlaki a million places :p

Thank you. That's a great compliment for me then. I think everywhere has hidden gems. But they are hidden so unless you find them you never know. As for the vegan places, Michael the guide told us that most of them are fairly new and have only popped up in the past 3 years or so. But it's good to see.

Athens sounds a bit like Lima, people gotta go there coz they have to fly in and out

Athens is way nicer than Lima. I pretty much hated that place.

I reckon people have been stealing the dicks for souvenirs, why is beyond me, seems that some people are unforgivably stupid though XD Could also have been part of some great prudish "cleanup" XD

Yeah Gohba mentioned the church made everyone go around and cut off all the dicks (throughout Europe). That actually makes sense it would be them.

Nice mate.

2 things, if they can build those buildings in 9 years, why does it take like 30 years to fix the Bruce Highway up past Nudgee. We need to go back in time to get some ancient Greek laborers, those buggers could swing a pick.

2nd, I did once read about the dicks being lopped off, and its not limited to Greece, its all over Europe. I can't remember the exact reason for it, but I believe it was something to do with the church (or other similar organisation) taking offence to it. They went around Europe chopping the willies off of all these grand statues.

Ah the church. That makes sense they'd body shame statues! Lol, re the Bruce. Yeah, I dunno.

Holy crap, your posts are bunny trails. I'm reading along and think 'that's interesting, lets go look that up', and I do some research on google, and find stuff, and that's cool. Then I read your post further, and there's more stuff, more stuff about Hephaisteion or the Acropolis or whatever. I could deep dive in your post for a week.

So...um...nice post.

Lol. I know what you mean. I had bits of info rattling around in my head so I needed to look it up to confirm, or to see whether I was just making stuff up. This post basically took me 2 days to write between working out where my photos were from and trying not to completely lie about the history of each place.

Although You didn’t find any, you did see some cool stuff there 😬😬

I did! And Greece on the whole was awesome. I wish I'd stayed longer.

i love the 'where are the dicks' theme throughout the post :D really well put together, choo ! the text reads very easy and very flowy and very friendly <3 and i love all the photos and your captions of them, very much. i enjoy that you put together personalized shots and picturesque shots, they really add a lot of character!

gorgeous and informative part about parthenon also! i learned much!

great post <3 <3

Thanks Spidey. I like the collages cos it helps cover up my shitness as a photographer. Plus I hate scrolling through heaps of photos most of the time.

as someone who was in greece before, the dicks used to be there. do you think they went walkabout, like gnomes? maybe we will see stone dicks pop up in lounge chairs in the caribbean, sunning themselves? or perhaps a marble dick on skis slaloming down mt Blanc? Perhaps some tourist has a collection of dicks on a dick wall of their living room. deep secrets..

Lol. That would be awesome. And a bit gross.

I think the missing dicks had something to do with the occupiers of Rome? (There was much of that too in Rome and I think the higher ups thought it was indecent so they commissioned the removal or covering of genitals.

Awesome post and love the title, hahaha.
Honestly, I've never found a good reason to visit Athens other than wanting to see the ancient structures there as a tourist. Not on top of my list of places I want to visit.

Athens was ok. I'm glad I went. But I'm also glad I went to the other places in Greece.

Ooh! Fabulous review! Google tracking thing is something I'd never thought of, what a great idea.

I also didn't realise about the Elgin Marbles being used as bargaining chips. That really could set the cat amongst the pigeons! Exciting times indeed.

Thank you! I have the pixel 2 (so google knows everything about me anyway) and when they upload to google photos the info is there. As much as I hate it, I also love it.

This is an engaging travelogue. I wish I was able to travel – I’d visit every place you mentioned.

Another fascinating, very informative and entertaining blog @choogirl. Seriously.......have you ever considered turning these blogs into a book? I believe more than just us few privileged readers here in Steemit need to enjoy your travel adventures especially with your unique style and sense of humour.

Loved the amazing scenes and images and for the generous amount of them you include in your blogs as they give those of us who have not travelled to your destinations a great sense of each place and character.

I’m off to read your latest one now. 😊

Hmm, a book sounds like a lot of effort. But thank you for saying they are book worthy even though I'm not overly confident that about that.

Unfortunately, this was the last travel post until I go somewhere else. New Orleans is looking like it's next on the list. End of August.

Nah......you've done most of the hard work @choogirl The rest should be a breeze and very rewarding. I think you have every reason to be confident in turning your blogs into a book. Keep it in mind and check out some publishers who are looking for travel authors.

Yes, I discovered that what thought was your second episode was in fact your feature in the latest Travel Digest. Congratulations on a fantastic achievement and for your publishing success in the future. (: I smile but I'm serious.

great pictures congratulations


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I was just in Athens a few days ago, I ended up loving it there!

Verygood post i like beatifull verygood @choogril

I'm sorry you didn't find the antique dicks 😞😞

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Sexual organs, mean men or
Richards?
Haaha
Joy