. I'm Hal from Ocean city, Washington I'm here with 350 folks off a cruise ship), and classes of school children. As we herded up the narrowing stairs you either waited for an eternity or walked into the camera shots of other tourists taking each others photos. The top of the hill is a mixture of gravel paths and raw marble, part of the hill its self. The marble, polished by more than two thousand years of foot traffic, is very slick. The first thing front and center is the parthenon. It is being restored (like every ruin and building in Europe) and there is even a huge crane to help with the work. How the heck did they get that up there? The 360 degree view of Athens is nice and there are several other buildings on top, like the porch of the Caryatids. We saw what there was to see, and headed down. Near the acropolis is the Roman agora, temple of Nike, temple of the winds, and lots of other less notable places. We saw it all, visited the market place, ate some delicious strawberries and called it a day.
Up early today and into the city. We got our Egypt tour arranged, and made it to the foot of the acropolis by 10:30. All of the things we wanted to see, except for one museum are in a half square mile area, with the acropolis in the middle. The acropolis also seems to be the center of Athens. When you reach the top of the hill, the city stretches in all directions on all sides of the mount as far as you can see with an occasional sharp hilltop sticking up. The climb to the top would be a bit strenuous, but fortunately there are several things to see on the way up and interpretive signs to read so you can catch a breather. First is the temple of Dionysos which is mostly marble rubble with a few broken pillars (6TH Century BC). Then you come to the first amphitheater, quite a lot of it is still there, but it is showing it's age. Then you come to the second amphitheater whitch is in the process of being restored. As we neared the gates to the acropolis, the crowds started to thicken with tour groups (Hi