Wednesday 7 September 2011

Panathinaiko Stadium downtown Athens

Read this post in Swedish: Panathinaiko Stadium i centrala Aten

Went to the Swedish embassy yesterday. Had to bring a person who would certify my identity as both my passport and driving license expired the same month(all of a sudden...!). It seemed troublesome before, but my daughter Elina came with me and we had a really nice day, completely unforeseen!

First we headed for the embassy of course and there were two kind Swedish women helping us, so now I just have to wait for the passport to arrive from Sweden. Afterwards we visited the ancient stadium situated
almost opposite the Swedish embassy. I have passed with the car a couple of times, but I had never seen it from close and my daughter also liked to see this famous place, so off we went!

Very impressing! The Panathinaiko or Panathenaic Stadium is also known as the "Καλλιμάρμαρο" = Kallimármaro which means something like "the nice marble". This sports arena was originally built 566 B.C and rebuilt 329 B.C in marble. It's the only stadium in the world which is built entirely of white marble.

When the first Olympic Games of our times was held in this Stadium 1896 there was 80.000 seatings. Many of the seats are numbered, but not all. Now there is place for about 45.000 spectators.

The beautiful Kallimarmaro is still used for special occasions. At the Olympic Games 2004 the archery was held here as well as the finish of the Marathon. Some worldfamous music artists have been performing here; Bob Dylan, Depeche Mode, Black Sabbath and Tina Turner among others. (I would have loved beeing there when Tina Turner was performing!)

Everything was so well thought out! Here you can see how the walk way around the arena is 30 cm lower to not obscure the view for the spectators.

This beautiful tunnel leads to the changing rooms. Imagine the ancient athletes running through this tunnel and out to the arena!

Many people were standing outside the stadium taking pictures. Maybe it doesn't seem so interesting to go into the stadium, but it definately was! The entrance fee was 3 euro (half price for students) and then you get guiding through a small device hanging around your neck.

Thereafter we had lunch at Fridays at the Metro Mall in Agios Dimitrious - very good food, and at all Fridays the staff is very nice and serviceminded!

We had such a nice day!

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