Athens: Day 2

November 18, 2014

It was a lazy start for us, it being a Sunday and all. We were exhausted from yesterday's agenda; more than that, we were eager to see what else Athens had in store for us.

In my previous post, it was said that we passed by the Panathenaic Stadium but were too late to actually go in and visit. So today, that was the first place we went.

For most athletes (including myself), it is a lifelong dream to make it at the Olympics. Fortunately for us, we made it to visit the home of the first modern Olympics, which houses just about 45 thousand people. Close enough. Imagine a huge stadium filled with Athenians, all cheering their lungs out for their countrymen. Can you? All I can think off are men and women with vine wreaths on their heads wearing togas, all screaming in Greek for naked men running the marathon (that's how the Games were done before). Anyway, this is my dad and me, sitting on the thrones designated to the king and queen and being a little goofy.

So apparently, the Panathenaic Stadium is the only marble stadium in the world. Heck, that's a lot of marble needed to seat that many people.

There is also a really neat passageway by the bleachers. Before the the time of the Games, this was used as a hiding place for nude Athenian girls who danced around a fire. Elderly women would guard the entrance of the passageway. Then, it became the corridor where the athletes passed to enter the stadium. A tsunami of nerves and excitement would wash over them, before their events. Nowadays, it is not only used as a hallway for performers, but also as their dressing rooms. Pretty neat, if I do say so myself.

This passageway leads to the one of the greatest rooms in the entire universe. This room holds all the Olympic torches used in the Games *squeals*. So, I'd happily stare and gawk at the torches touched by athletic superheroes. In addition, it also holds the posters used each time the Games were held in the designated city. Oh my goodness, can you sense my giddiness already? This is the most legit thing ever!

As it goes, a [very ancient-looking] podium stands in the middle of the stadium grounds. Traveling with only my mum and dad, it couldn't get any better as there were three of us to fill each step on podium. I couldn't help but feel a wee bit accomplished upon stepping on that podium: we're finally in Athens and we're in the birthplace of the Olympics! Never in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined myself thinking that.

After our journey to the Panathenaic Stadium, it was time to head back out and face the rest of Athens and what it had to offer.

We decided to have a really late lunch in a place called Tzitzika, where the food was nothing short of delicious. Then, we rambled about along Ermou, visiting some shops while waiting to celebrate mass. We ended the day by hearing mass in St. Denis along Panepistimou, where a great Filipino community comes together to celebrate the Eucharist.