Even in March the Acropolis is a zoo of people. We made it up the hill at about ten in the morning and there were already hundreds of people. So there is one thing that is not quieter in Greece in the March low season. Pretty much all of Athens was busy with tourists. I can’t even imagine what a crazy place it would be in the summer.
It was sunny and hot today and, as a note to all future travellers to Greece in March, it is still possible to get a horrible sunburn! I haven’t seen anyone else with burns and most people were not wearing hats or anything, but maybe I’m just a little susceptible. But on a positive note, the bathrooms were all spotless. I don’t think I’ve seen many public bathrooms, especially ones that see hundreds to thousands of people a day, be so consistantly clean.
The Acropolis was all very impressive. It is really amazing how they manged to hand carve and build all those massive structures. A lot of the ruins are still just ruins, but they are making progress with patching and restoring many of the structures. All of the statues, metopes and friezes were removed and either left blank or replaced with casts. The originals are in the new Acropolis museum. So you can’t have a visit to one without the other, or else you are not really getting the full picture. There are no pictures allowed in the museum however, so I have none, and you have to rely on the postcards that they have.
We had planned to go down and visit the Temple of Zeus, which is one of the sites included in the price of the Acropolis ticket, but it was closed when we got there, so we detoured to the National Gardens which are behind and next to the parliament buildings. They were really lovely, although we were told that it was nothing compared to later on when all the trees and flowers are blooming. There was also an unexpected little zoo, but it really only had birds and a few goats. And then we came around a corner to see a turtle pond! I have never seen so many together in one place. I sat and had a rest there and watched children harass the turtles and poke them with sticks. The poor little things (the turtles), they must have to put up with a lot.