About 1 month ago (has it been that long?!?) I went to Athens for a psych conference, where I presented a poster with my friend/collaborator Osnat on one of the projects we’ve been working on this year. Its only a 2 hr. flight from Israel, but because of certain days that the airline didn’t fly, we were there for 5 days.

We stayed in the Psiris neighborhood between Monastiraki and Omonia Squares. It was just blocks from the city’s fruit & veg and meat markets.

Roy requested that I bring back thyme honey for his souvenir. Everything in this shop was from the owner's hometown in the mountains.

Psiris is a recently gentrified neighborhood, but is still a bit sketchy around the edges.

dinner with Osnat & Gilad in a charming courtyard. Live music during dinner, but the keyboardist texted on his phone throughout the show. He literally "phoned it in!"

We hit the main tourist attractions in Athens:

the Agora, the ancient marketplace & meeting hall,

the last remaining synagogue in Athens (maybe not most people's top attraction),

the Panathenaic Stadium used for the 1896 Olympic Games,

And, of course, the Acropolis.

Looking down from the Acropolis to the Theater of Dionysus

The Parthenon - Athena's Temple

“If you like museums, then you’ll love Athens!”

The highlight of Athens were actually places where we couldn’t take photos – tiny museums off the beaten path. In one day, we visited the Folk Art, Jewish, and Jewelry museums and each was lovely. Especially the Folk Art Museum, which was very inspirational. Maybe after a year of traveling around looking at Israel’s ruins, the Parthenon doesn’t hold as much awe for me? Or maybe because it was drizzling when I was there and the site is under reconstruction it didn’t have its usual magnificence.

The newest museum, The Acropolis Museum, is located at the foot of the Acropolis and was built to hold all of the archaeological discoveries found on the Acropolis, particularly the Parthenon (Elgin) Marbles. There is a reconstruction of the Parthenon frieze, with a not-too-subtle commentary showing exactly which portions of the frieze (about 50%, which Greece would like returned) are displayed at the British Museum.

One of the most striking features of the museum is its ongoing excavation which is visible through glass floors and open pits on the plaza.

This little guy perched outside the Acropolis Museum sends greetings from Athens!