Friday, 19 April 2019

Things to do in Athens



What to see in Athens?

Athens is the capital of Greece. This beautiful city is still dominated by 5th-century BC landmarks, such as the Acropolis, a hill top with the beautiful Parthenon sitting majestically on it.  
You can easily do all the sights in Athens in a day if you make an early start. You can also get a hop on hop off pass on a tour bus which allows you to get on and off at all the sights throughout the day. The passes are an inexpensive way to travel around to see all the key sights. There are options to get a 24 hour pass or 48 hours. 

I would highly recommend that you visit the Acropolis first as it’s the biggest historic sight and a must visit. The climb if done leisurely with lots of photo stops will take approx one and half hours. On route you will see some beautiful temples and amphitheatres.

The acropolis which was once the city of Pericles, was destroyed, by Persians on the eve of the Battle of Salamis (480 BC) It was later transformed into a city of temples, which has come to be regarded as the zenith of Classical Greece. It is known as the rock of the city and on top of it you will find The Parthenon, which is the largest Doric temple ever completed in Greece. It is built completely of white Pentelic marble and is the most iconic site to visit. 



The Parthenon

The walk up to the Parthenon is spectacular with beautiful views of Athens and the surroundings. It was exhilirating to finally reach the top and get a customary photo in front of it!



Odeon of Herodes Atticus

When you're visiting the Acropolis site, the path leads west from the top of the Stoa of Eumenes to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. This large amphitheatre was built in AD 161 by wealthy Roman Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife Regilla. It was excavated in 1857–58 and completely restored in the 1950s. 


Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus  remains one of the Athens's main venues  for festivals. Many shows, concerts by well known singers and musical performaces are still held there in this day and age.

Walking further up the Acropolis to reach the Parthenon you will find various remains of the Greek temples and monuments such as the Pandroseion which was a sanctuary dedicated to Pandrosus, one of the daughters of Cecrops.


The Pandroseion

The Erechtheum is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens in Greece which was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon.


The Erechtheum

Other places to visit are:

The Acropolis museum
You will find this museum on the southern slope of the Acropolis. It has on show the collection from the Archaic period to the Roman one, but the emphasis is on the Acropolis of the 5th century BC.  . It showcases artefacts and finds found on and around the Acropolis site. The museum Is built over an ancient Athenian neighbourhood that was excavated and found and you can see the remains through a central opening and glass floors that exposes the ancient Athenian neighbourhood.

Temple of Olympian Zeus
It is the largest Temple situated in the centre of Athens. The temple at the start was made of 104 Corinthian columns which were 17m high with a base diameter of 1.7m. Sadly now only 15 of this magnificent columns remain.

Benaki Museum of Greek Culture
A museum spanning on three floors showing treasures from the Bronze Age. It is a must visit for ancient history lovers.

The Ancient Agora
Another great place to see in Athens is The Ancient Agora, here you will find The Temple of Hephaestus. There is also a museum exposing objects discovered on the site, some statues and a scale model of the Agora.

The Plaka is the area of winding streets around the Acropolis. It's renowned for its small shops, restaurants, and local architecture. It’s the perfect place to unwind, enjoy a coffee or some lunch and to pick up some souvenirs.


Monastiraki has ruins of Hadrian’s Library, the Ancient Agora and the rebuilt Stoa of Attalos, with a museum exhibiting Athenian artifacts. There is also a flea market on Sundays where you can pick up some souveniers and feel the buzz of Greek Life.

There are many other museums and places to visit if you are staying longer. Getting around Athens is fairly easy.The metro is convenient and cheap as are the local buses. Alternatively you can hire a car from Global Rent a Car as its not too dificult to drive around the city although parking is not as easy in the ciy centre.

You may like:
Where to stay in Athens
Where to eat in Athens

You may like Heidi's posts here about Athens:





Monday, 25 March 2019

Easter Craft Bundle Giveaway


With Easter coming up, its nice to make your own Easter crafts with the kids. Citrusspice is giving up a Easter crafting bundle to one lucky reader. 


How to Enter:

·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date – 10th April 2019 12.00 am

How Rafflecopter works:
·        You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
·        Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
·         Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
·        Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
·        For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
·        For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
·        If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video.

Rules:
  • This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 who live in the UK.
  • The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page.
  • Prize:   Easter Craft Bundle Giveaway (assorted)
  • citrusspiceuk is hosting this giveaway. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. They reserve the right to withdraw the competition at any time should any unforeseen circumstances arise, in case that the prize is not available a similar prize of same value will be substituted.  No monetary compensation will be given.
  • citrusspiceuk will be responsible for sending out the prize to the winner, by entering you are **consenting** to share your address for the prize to be sent and be contacted by email to notify you if you have won the prize. 
  •  Please note to be complaint with the new GDPR rules by entering the giveaway you are consenting to allow simplyfood to contact you if you win the prize. Your data will NOT be used for any other marketing purposes.
  • All entries will be verified, failure to follow instructions correctly will result in participants being disqualified. Please do not cheat.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Valentines Coasters ~BostikCrafts Challenge January



Over the last couple of years my neice Little M and I have been creating craft using the monthly Bostik Boxes. We had a short break but I am happy to say that we have again joined forces with Bostik and will be featuring the occasional kid craft on this blog.This month the theme for the Bostik box is valentines and in our box we had some red and pink coloured crafting things to use together with the Bostik Mico Dots which are brilliant to stick together intricut shapes as the sheets have micro sticky glue dots that can be cut to ft any shape.




As always Little M came to spend a Sunday afternoon with me, it was really cold and wet so a trip to the park or even the garden was not an option. Not to be put off by this we decided to make some biscuits. After a delicious snack of biscuits and hot chocolate we started our crafting session.

Looking through the box there was a set of hama beads packet that Little M liked but we have already crafted with these in a previous post so I told her she could take them home and do acraft with it another time. We wre still thinking what to make?Little M is really bright and she had seen me use a coaster to place her mug of hot chocolate on it. It was her idea to make heart shaped coasters. 



So this is how we made them:

Equipment needed:

1 Piece Red card
2 Foam heart shape cut outs
Bostik Microdot sheets
Stiff brown card (we used the flap from the card boad box the item came in.) #recycling
Pencil
Scissors
Ruler.

How to make the Valentine coasters:

1. Cut the flap from the cardboad box and draw two 10 cm x10 cm squares and cut them out.
2. Draw two 10 cm x10 cm squares on the red card and cut them out.
3. Using the micro dots sheets peel them and stick them to the back of the red square and cut to size.
4. Stick the red card to the stiff brown card. Repeat this for all two cards.



5. Using the micro dots sheets peel them and stick them to the back of the red foam heart.
6. Trim away the extra micro dot sheet so it is follows the heart shape.
7. Position the foam heart onto the square red card and press to stick firmly.



8. Using the micro dots stick the small silver heart on to the coaster to give it a sparkly finishing touch. 

9.The coasters are ready to use. Since these coasters are made from card they are not waterproof so be careful not to put a wet cup on them.



 

You may like other  Bostik craft posts:

This craft is suitable for young children although, adult supervision may be required for using scissors. If you like this project check the link below for more art and craft projects, that you can do with your children.

Kids Arts and Craft Videos
Kids Arts and Crafts Projects 


Being part of the Bostik 2018 bloggers with Tots100 and Merrily Crafts, I was sent some craft items in a box to create this project.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Christmas Craft Bundle Giveaway


I love crafting and spend time with my little niece crafting on a regular basis. Over time we have collected lots of crafting stuff and really enjoy using it all. Since its almost Christmas I am giving away a Christmas crafting bundle to one citrusspiceuk reader just in time for Christmas.


How to Enter:

·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date – 13th Dec 2018 12.00 am

How Rafflecopter works:
·        You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
·        Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
·         Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
·        Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
·        For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
·        For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
·        If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video.

Rules:
  • This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 who live in the UK.
  • The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page.
  • Prize:   Christmas Craft Bundle Giveaway (assorted)
  • citrusspiceuk is hosting this giveaway. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. They reserve the right to withdraw the competition at any time should any unforeseen circumstances arise, in case that the prize is not available a similar prize of same value will be substituted.  No monetary compensation will be given.
  • citrusspiceuk will be responsible for sending out the prize to the winner, by entering you are **consenting** to share your address for the prize to be sent and be contacted by email to notify you if you have won the prize. 
  •  Please note to be complaint with the new GDPR rules by entering the giveaway you are consenting to allow simplyfood to contact you if you win the prize. Your data will NOT be used for any other marketing purposes.
  • All entries will be verified, failure to follow instructions correctly will result in participants being disqualified. Please do not cheat.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Mount Abu ~India Travels




During our Rajasthani travels we decided to get away from the Rajasthani desert heat and took a trip to Mount Abu which is a hill station in western India’s Rajasthan state. 



Mount Abu is situated high up in the Aravalli Range and is surrounded by forest. The hill station is a popular place for people to visit to get away from the heat and enjoy some cooler weather.



The car journey up to the hill station is along windy mountain roads surrounded by mountains and greenery. There is an abundance of monkeys on the road sides ready to pounce on the cars shroud you offer any fruits,especially bananas.






There are many tourist spots to visit in Mount Abu, you can find lakes, picnic areas, temples and hill tops where you can enjoy spectacular views. The top ten tourist spots that are highly recommended to visit are:


Dilwara Temple 
This is a jain temple which was built by Vastupal Tejpal between 11th and 13th century. The temple intricately carved in Marble and you will be totally mesmerised by the amazing architecture. 


Nakki Lake
Nakki Lake is a manmade lake also known as, Nakki Jheel.  The lake is Located in the centre of the hill station, and it is surrounded by   greenery, mountains and strangely shaped rocks.  The lake has picnic acres, boating and is surround with many shops and eateries.



Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across a distance of 288 km, the sanctuary crosses numerous mountain highs from 300 m to 1722 m at Gurashikhar which is considered to be the highest peak in the Aravali ranges. The sanctuary is the perfect place for trekking, seeing all kinds of flora and Faunaand igneous rocks with large cavities resulting from the weathering effects of water and wind. 

Guru Shikar
This is the highest peak of the Aravalli Range and lies about 15 kilometres from Mount Abu. The height of the peak is 1722 meters from sea level and if you do get a chance to climb there you will get some breath taking views of the surroundings. At the peak you will also find the Mt. Abu Observatory and a cave temple of Guru Dattatreya which worships Lord Vishnu. 

Shri Ragunath Temple
Shri Raghunath Ji temple is  a 650-year-old temple set on the shores of Nakki Lake, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.  The temple has beautiful Mewar architecture and carvings on the walls and ceilings. The temple is calm and serene and many followers of Lord Vishnu come daily to offer prayers.



Sunset Point
Sunset Point is an iconic point that is very famous tourist destination of Mount Abu. Here you can come and watch the beautiful sunset setting in the Aravali Ranges. It can be reached by car and then a short distance walk. 


For those unable to walk there are vendors who offer horse rides and trolley rides. The trolley rides are carts that you sit in and they are pulled uphill by the vendors. This is heartbreaking to watch as it takes a lot of strength, hard work and stamina to carry out this work. Some of the vendors were really old and do this daily for a living.


Around the roads reading up to sunset point there are street vendors selling lovely masala chai, roasted and boiled sweet corn and other street foods.



Arbuda Devi Temple
Arbuda Devi Temple is considered the most sacred pilgrim point of Rajasthan and dedicated to the goddess Durga.It can be come reached by climbing 365 stairs to symbolise each day of the year are cut into the mountain. There is a Dhoodh Baori,a sacred well with milk coloured water near the temple, worshippers believe that the waters is holy.   The temple is constructed out of one huge solid piece of rock and the inner sanctum is reaching by crawling a narrow cave.

Toad Rock
This rock is known as The mascot of Mount Abu. Toad Rock is one of the most frequented point in the itinerary of all visitors. To see the panoramic beauty of the surrounding lake and greenish hilly regions you can climb up the rock and capture the breath-taking scenery.

Mount Abu Bazaars
There are numerous shopping markets in Mount Abu. You can find traditional Rajasthani handicrafts such as Kota sarees, bangles, linen with Sanganeri print, Jaipuri quilts, and products made of marble, sandstone and sandalwood. 



You can also find Rajasthani crafts, paintings, leather goods along with a few Gujarati artworks and local paintings. Costume jewellery, shoes and ethnic clothes stalls line the bazaars.

There are many hotels and guest houses in Mount Abu that offer accommodation in all price ranges. If you want to visit all the above places you will require a minimum of 3 days. We were only in mount Abu for an overnight stay so were only able to visit Nakki, Lake  and the Sunset Point and the bazaars. The destination is perfect for a weekend break if you just want to relax with family and get away from the scorching India heat.

You may like to read about the other places I visited in my India travel series:


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