A Travellerspoint blog

Zahir the Greek

sunny 20 °C

Who would have suspected that the walk from our hotel to the Acropolis Museum in Athens would have entailed our appearance in a Bollywood movie? Yet, as we strolled through the historic lanes of the Plaka in the shadow of the Parthenon, we were invited to become extras in an Indian movie starring this actor in the leading role of Zahir the Greek...
With free cappuccinos and unlimited samosas on offer how could we refuse? This is Sanjay, the director, checking out our appearance on his monitor...
We weren't given any lines, but it was fun just to be involved, (even though we may end up on the cutting room floor).

Another pleasant surprise was to meet friends from home, Steve and Alison, who are on their way to Crete after a week in Athens...
However, unlike many chance encounters we have had with friends and acquaintances throughout our travels, our meeting with Steve and Alison wasn't entirely accidental.

The temperature dropped a few degrees as we flew north from Rhodes to Athens but the sun has stayed with us and it seems to have brought out the crowds. After a couple of very peaceful weeks in Rhodes we were surprised to find Athens absolutely buzzing until we discovered that we had arrived along with 45,000 runners and their supporters just in time for the Athens Marathon. But this isn't just any marathon – this is the real thing. The course is based on the legendary route taken by Pheidippides who ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek's victory over the Persians in 490BC. We will miss the event but we couldn't miss the thousands of runners in their red and orange hi-vis tracksuits who managed to get in almost every picture. This is Hadrian's Arch built in 131AD when the Roman's were here...
The highlight of Athens is, of course, the Parthenon that sits atop the Acropolis in the centre of the city and this is a glimpse from our hotel...

We will be visiting the Parthenon in a few days time, but today we went to the Acropolis museum where our minds were blown by the sheer volume of statues and carvings that are some two thousand five hundred years old...
These marble statues have survived 25 centuries of fires, earthquakes, wars and explosions. And the pottery urns in the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes were made and intricately decorated two thousand six hundred years ago...
It is almost inconceivable that fragile pottery could have survived for hundreds of generations and still appear as if it was fired yesterday.

The museums of Athens and Rhodes are amazing depositories of antiquities, but the streets of Athens are themselves museums. There are historic buildings around every corner and important archaeological sites are a dime a dozen. This is Hadrian's Library...
It is only a couple of thousand years old but it is next door to our hotel.
Now, this week's blog question. Correctly name the Bollywood star of the movie we are appearing in and we will give you two tickets to the world premiere. (Airfare not included).

Posted by Hawkson 08:24 Archived in Greece

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Good to see Steve and Alison arrived Athens okay. Spoke with them last Sunday at Haven concert.
Tried to find translation of Mai Hayaam? (on the uke player's T-shirt) but no luck. Wonder how it related to New York.
I continue to be amazed at how plumb those ancient columns are.

by R and B

What were you doing in the movie as extras? Nina and I were there when she was 12, she is now in her 50's. Quite the place and running into people you know probably not unusual. Don't wear your red and orange track suit or you may find yourself swept away with the marathon.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Bollywood star? James Hawkins.

by Janet

Cappuccinos and samosas. Now there is a combination for you. Hold out for the lattes and pakoras. Vase is absolutely gorgeous. Can you imagine the artisan’s satisfaction the day he/she finished.

by Tom

So much fun to share dinner and travel adventures with you in Athens, but we're sorry to have missed Bollywood near the Acropolis. We look forward to the world premiere of Zahir the Greek (!) at The Roxy. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

by Alison and Steve

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