Departure to Athens

Athens Travel Blog

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Lovely Greek cold coffee: frappé metrio choris gala

After a short night and a last working day full of stress for Eef and a day off for Timo (doing a lot at home) we get up at 03:45, perfect to be at the airport on time. Maurits picks us up at home at 04:15 and drives us to Zaventem. We’re right on time and wait a little while to check in. leave the bag pack and suitcase there, then we pass the control; we were told this was done a lot more intense, but we don’t notice it now. We can pass faster than ever – all is OK. We take the time to have breakfast: coffee chocolate cake, croissant and 2 raisin biscuits. At 06:00 we go to gate 48, wait for 20 minutes and board almost as the last people. Marvelous! We have emergency exit seats with a lot of legroom. A nice flight that takes us by 10:45 (Greek time) to Athens. We don’t have to wait for the luggage. We want to take a bus to Rafina and then return to Athens. The next bus is 1.5 hours later, so we immediately go to Athens center by subway with all the luggage. After one hour we need to switch trains at Monastiraki and go to Viktoria station. This stop is near the departure station of the buses, so we first check when we have a bus to Rafina (at first every 30 minutes, later every 45). We take our bag pack, the suitcase and the hand luggage to the museum and check until what time it’s open and if we can leave the bags somewhere. Both perfect: the museum opens until 19:30 and there is a separate space for the bags. We already knew the opening hours, because we’ve sent an e-mail and received a reply, but you never know in Greece.


National Archaeological Museum

1 Tositsa Street

Athens 10682, Greece

Tel. 0030 210 8217724

Fax 0030 210 8213573

Information: K. Spirou

Prot.No. 3403

Dear Sirs,

In reply to your email dated 8/5/2006, we would like to inform you that the opening hours of the National Archaeological Museum for Tuesday, May 16th 2006 are 08:00 - 19:30.

Yours sincerely,

The Deputy Director of the National Archaeological Museum

Dr. Rosa Proskynitopoulou

We each have a sandwich: one with chicken and salad and another one with feta and salami. We eat and drink and then enter the Archeological Museum. Seven Euro each and we get to see about 40 rooms with archeological finds. No problem. We check out the most beautiful pieces of art and visit the rooms for about 2 hours. There are the famous dead masks, a lot of kore statues and an unbelievable huge collection of bronze art and stone vases. A few of the most important finds from the museum are listed here (from the site of the museum):

Neolithic figurine. Clay idol representing an ithyphallic seated man, found in Thessaly. The unique in its kind rendering of the male figure, possibly a god, is an outstanding example of the Chalcolithic sculpture. Dated to 4500-3200 B.C. Inv. no. 5894. Early Cycladic figurine. Marble statue of a woman, belonging to the characteristic folded-arm type. It was found on Amorgos and it is the largest known example of the Cycladic sculpture. Dated to 2800-2300 B.C. Inv. no. 3978. The "harp-player" from Keros. Marble idol representing a seated musician who plays the lyre of harp. The three-dimensional figure, typical of all the male idols representing musicians, is an early achievement of the Cycladic sculpture. It was found at Keros and dates from the Early Cycladic period (2800-2300 B.C.). Inv. no. 3908. The "spring" fresco depicting the landscape of Thera with volcanic rocks, red lilies and swallows flying in the air. From Complex D at Akrotiri, Thera. 16th century B.C. Inv. no. BE 1974.29.  Grave stele from Mycenae. Funerary stele made of shelly sandstone, bearing the relief representation of a hunting or a fighting scene, including a chariot. It was found over Shaft Grave V of the Grave Circle A at Mycenae. Dated to the second half of the 16th century B.C. Inv. no. 1428.  Gold mask from Mycenae. Funerary gold mask known as "Schliemann's Agamemnon", found in Shaft grave V of Grave Circle A at Mycenae. Dated to the second half of the 16th century B.C. Inv. no. 624. Bronze dagger. Both sides of the dagger are covered with gold and silver decoration inlaid in bands of niello. On one side of the blade a lion hunting scene is depicted and on the other, lions seizing antelopes. It was found in Shaft Grave IV of Grave Circle A at Mycenae. Dated to the second half of the 16th century B.C. Inv. no. 394. Rock-crystal vase. Oval bowl made of rock crystal, with an open spout and a handle in the form of a duck's head. It is a true masterpiece of Minoan stonework, found in Grave O of Grave Circle B at Mycenae. Dated to the 16th century B.C. Inv. no. 8638. The Vapheio cups. Pair of gold cups found in the tholos tomb of Vapheio in Laconia. The releif representations depict scenes of bull-chasing. They are unique masterpieces of the Creto-Mycenaean metalwork, dated to the first half of the 15th century B.C. Inv. no. 1758, 1759. The Tiryns signet ring. Gold signet ring from the "Tiryns Treasure". On the bezel is depicted a ceremonial procession of lion-headed genii holding libation jugs, towards a seated female deity. Dated to the 15th century B.C. Inv. no. 6208.

Then we start to get a bit tired and go outside to get a drink. Water and two frappe, for which we need to have some patience. We take the bus from Athens to Rafina and are in Rafina at 17:30. We’re dead beat now. We first check when the boat leaves tomorrow and then look for a free room in a hotel (Hotel Akti). We immediately book a room for one night and pay 70 Euro – is not too much for Rafina. We first set some stuff in order and then have something to eat and drink: ouzo, water (neró), chorta, calamari, choriatiki, and fried peppers. It tastes very good. At 20:00 we’re tired and go to the hotel. First some water, retsina and cigars, then to our room, write the diary and sleep. We’re exhausted.

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Lovely Greek cold coffee: frappé …
Lovely Greek cold coffee: frappé…
photo by: Johnpro