Monday, November 22, 2010

Athens: Central Market, Greek Agora, Flea Market

Friday morning we awoke to another chilly, cloudy day in what I had thought would be warm, sunny Greece. Today we were going to wander through Athens.

Our first stop was the Central Market to see the meat and fish vendors. We were not disappointed with the spectacle. It was just as reported: loud, busy, hectic. I took a lot of video, trying to capture it. We saw lots of fresh meat being cut specifically to customers' orders and different types of seafood, many we did not recognize.

Across the street we found the fruit and vegetable market. Here were the olives I had heard so much about. I was looking for olives similar to what I buy at our local supermarket. Finding some that looked close, I was invited to taste one before buying. I bought a 1/2 kilo and we munched olives as we continued to walk about the city.

We found the new Holocaust Memorial and I left a stone. Not surprisingly, since they are all over Athens, there were ruins being excavated right next to the memorial. (We learned that if ruins were found on private property the government took possession of it with no compensation to the owner.)

Our next stop was the Greek agora (marketplace). We used our Acropolis ticket for entrance. This site was pretty neat because of the restored stoa, the shop area. Plus the temple on top of the hill was still in great shape and wasn't covered with scaffolding, cranes or crowds.

Then through the flea market which had very few shops geared towards tourists. It was here I checked prices against the store I found in the Plaka. But most of the stores were selling shoes, pants, jackets, etc. We did stop at a bakery and bought something that looked like pizza with feta cheese, tomato and olives which we shared and was delicious. And then we shared a chocolate filled donut.

Refreshed with our blood sugar level on the rise, we headed towards the Tower of the Winds and the Roman agora. Because of construction the entrance wasn't where we expected it to be and it would have meant going out of our way to enter. It was getting late and we were tired, so we didn't make it into this site.

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