Ancient Agora

Agora with Temple of Hephaestus

Northwest of the Acropolis in Athens is the Ancient Agora, a sprawling area where much of public life took place in ancient Athens. Buildings here were used for city administration, courts, and markets. This was the center of Athens where people gathered.

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Monastiraki

Subway train passes the Agora

Just east of our apartment in Thissio is the neighbourhood of Monastiraki. This busy shopping district skims across the top of the Agora, and is filled with many shops and a hectic flea market.

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Filopappou Hill

Only five minutes from our apartment there are multiple sets of stairs that lead up into Filopappou Hill. This vast hill is an unfenced and somewhat wild park that is dotted with numerous historically significant ruins and other sites. We’ve already wandered through parts of it several times and there is still more to see.

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Arrival in Athens

The Acropolis from Filopappou Hill
The Acropolis from Filopappou Hill

We’ve arrived in Athens after a short layover in Lisbon. The last few days have been spent acclimating and adjusting to a 7-hour time difference.

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Zocherpark

Zocherpark

While in Utrecht we walked along a substantial section of Zocherpark, a lush and scenic green space located on the footprint of the now-demolished city walls that used to encircle the city center.

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Around Utrecht

Our third and final day trip from Amsterdam was to the city of Utrecht. Neither of us had any preconceptions about Utrecht and it ended up being a wonderful surprise only 20 minutes away. Utrecht is home to over a million people, but the beautiful historic center feels more like a small town than a city.

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Amsterdam Noord

Following a friendly tip for places to visit in Amsterdam away from the tourist core we found ourselves in Amsterdam Noord, heading to a small pizza place called the Kebec Micro Bakery in a former warehouse canteen near the NDSM Wharf.

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Hortus Botanicus

The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, dating to 1638. It originated as a source of medicinal herbs, populated over the centuries by rare plants brought home from Indonesia and other islands by the East India Company.

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Delft Oude & Nieuwe Kerks

Delft is home to two major churches commonly referred to as the Oude Kerk (Old Church ) and the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church). From our perspective they are both quite old, however, with the old church built between 1246 and 1350 and the new church built between 1396 and 1496.

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Wandering Delft

We spent a day in the town of Delft, located just under an hour from Amsterdam by train. With a population around 100,000 it was the smallest town we visited in the Netherlands. Delft is popular with tourists for its picturesque canals, towering old churches, and landmarks related to painter Johannes Vermeer.

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