Stop 3: Athens & Its Subway

Even though I took hundreds of photos in Athens, they were easier to weed through than I thought!

In part, we had far too little time in the city... only about 7 hours. Combining that with the fact that we were with our Athenian friend Vangelis meant that no local taxi driver would pick us up to take us to the Acropolis because he would have to charge us the "normal" fare! Seriously... we were rejected by like a dozen cab drivers - and it just got funnier every time - who were on their way to the golden goose which is the cruise ship. (Pretty quickly, I learned the Greek for "no"... oshi!)

So, in the end, we only had enough time to see the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum. And there's practically no way to take a photo of the iconic Parthenon without it being totally cliched... So, I'll teach with those photos and won't bother posting them on Flickr or here. But what I will share are some photos from our cool trip through the Athens metro! Yes, you read that right... the lowly subway!!

Needless to say, you can't dig a hole in downtown Athens without hitting something of historical value. As a result, in an unprecedented move, teams of archeologists worked alongside the metro engineers for a total of six years, uncovering a staggering 32,000 artefacts in the process! The end result is not only a greater knowledge of Athens' buried history, but also metro stations which double as museums! Totally cool.

So, here are some glimpses of these clever exhibits at the Acropolis and the Syntagma Square metro stations... As you can see from the Acropolis stop above, a number of the artefacts (or their reproductions if they're simply too valuable) are on display, including the ancient Greek plumbing (!) and ancient toys exhibited at the Syntagma station.

But at Syntagma they've done even more. Since subways by definition provide a great cross-section of the substrata beneath a city, they've displayed this behind a glass wall... so you can see perfectly well the ancient necropolis which originally occupied that site.

Complete, by the way, with an open grave and a skeleton in it! (I am assuming this is a reproduction, but I can't swear to it...)

Now why can't Rome do the same thing???

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