Require Extra Cash? Payday Loans Could Be The Option

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Especially in severe economic occasions, it’s typical for regular people to be in need for money. Even so, if you have poor credit, it can be hard to get a loan quickly from the banking institution. In this situation, you might want to consider a payday advance.

Anyone who is contemplating taking a payday loan need to have a great idea of when it could be repaid. Online payday loans normally have high rates of interest and abnormal service fees which rapidly mount up if not compensated on time.

Check along with your community Better Organization Bureau (BBB) well before by using a organization to get a pay day advance. This will likely reveal any negative feedback regarding the organization, and warn you about any potential problems.

As opposed to strolling into a store-top payday advance middle, search the web. Should you go into a loan store, you possess not any other rates to compare and contrast in opposition to, and also the people, there may a single thing they are able to, not to let you depart right up until they sign you up for a loan. Log on to the world wide web and perform needed analysis to obtain the lowest interest rate loans before you decide to go walking in. You will also find on the internet companies that will go with you with pay day loan providers in the area..

When you have applied for a payday loan and also have not heard rear from their store however with the acceptance, usually do not await a solution. A postpone in acceptance over the web grow older generally indicates that they may not. This implies you should be on the hunt for one more means to fix your temporary economic emergency.

Keep your private safety in your mind if you have to bodily go to the pay day loan company. These locations of business handle large sums of cash and therefore are usually in economically impoverished areas of community. Make an attempt to only go to in the course of daylight time and park in extremely visible areas. Get in when some other clients will also be close to.

You must usually take out a pay day loan if you absolutely have to. These financial loans have the ability to cause you to feel caught and it’s difficult to eliminate them at a later time. You won’t get all the dollars when investing in your paycheck, plus it will make it very hard to cover it back afterwards if you’re nevertheless simple on money.

Should you ever ask for a manager in a payday lender, make certain they are basically a manager. Payday loan companies, like other organizations, sometimes have another colleague appear around to be a clean encounter to easy over a circumstance. Check with in case they have the energy to create within the original staff. If not, they are either not much of a supervisor, or supervisors there do not have much power. Immediately looking for a director, is generally a better concept.

Carry out some cost comparisons when looking for a payday loan. According to the loan provider, you will have a variance useful rates and costs included. You’ll in no way know when you can definitely find a greater offer in other places. Therefore, you need to by no means select a pay day loan organization till you’ve done satisfactory investigation.

Look for the rates of interest prior to, you apply for a payday advance, even if you will need money poorly. Usually, these financial loans include ridiculously, high interest rates. You ought to examine various online payday loans. Decide on 1 with reasonable interest levels, or look for another way to get the cash you want.

Look into any payday loan provider before you take an additional step. Even though a pay day loan might appear to be your final option, you need to by no means indicator for just one with no knowledge of all of the phrases which come with it. Read about the business along with their fees, way too.

Since there are normally additional fees and terminology hidden there. Lots of people create the blunder of not undertaking that, and they also find yourself owing a lot more than they obtained in the first place. Always make sure that you recognize fully, anything that you are currently putting your signature on.

Payday cash loans can certainly help you when dealing with an unforeseen financial hardship. It can be, nevertheless, required to get substantial understanding of such financial cars just before jumping in and putting your signature on for one. Ensure the information and facts the following is in your thoughts whenever you make that pay day loan selection.

Blown Film Extrusion Introduction

Blown Film Extrusion Introduction
Blown film extrusion is a technology that is the most common method to make plastic films, especially for the packaging industry. The process involves extruding a tube of molten polymer through a die and inflating to several times its initial diameter to form a thin film bubble. This bubble is then collapsed and used as a lay-flat film or can be made into bags. Usually polyethylene is used with this process, and other materials can be used as blends with these polymers. A diagram of a polyethylene chain is shown in Figure 1 to the right.
Background Theory on Polymers

In the cooling step of blown film extrusion, the amorphous, transparent melt crystallizes to form a translucent, hazy, or opaque film. The point where opacity begins in the bubble is known as the frost line. 
Fig 1: Model of polytheylene chain frompolyethylene Wikipedia article.The frost line height is controlled by several parameters: the air flow, film speed, and temperature difference between the film and the surroundings. Properties of the film, such as tensile strength, flexural strength, toughness, and optical properties, drastically change depending on the orientation of the molecules. As the transverse or hoop direction properties increase, the machine or longitudinal direction properties decrease. For instance, if all the molecules were aligned in the machine direction, it would be easy to tear the film in that direction, and very difficult in the transverse direction.

The Film Blowing machine Process

Fig 2: Schematic of set-up from User:J.Chiang.

Typically, blown film extrusion is carried out vertically upwards, however horizontal and downward extrusion processes are now becoming more common. Figure 2 shows a schematic of the set-up for blown film extrusion. This procedure consists of four main steps: The polymer material starts in a pellet form, which are successively compacted and melted to form a continuous, viscous liquid. This molten plastic is then forced, or extruded, through an annular die. Air is injected through a hole in the center of the die, and the pressure causes the extruded melt to expand into a bubble. The air entering the bubble replaces air leaving it, so that even and constant pressure is maintained to ensure uniform thickness of the film. The bubble is pulled continually upwards from the die and a cooling ring blows air onto the film. The film can also be cooled from the inside using internal bubble cooling. This reduces the temperature inside the bubble, while maintaining the bubble diameter. After solidification at the frost line, the film moves into a set of nip rollers which collapse the bubble and flatten it into two flat film layers. The puller rolls pull the film onto windup rollers. The film passes through idler rolls during this process to ensure that there is uniform tension in the film. Between the nip rollers and the windup rollers, the film may pass through a treatment centre, depending on the application. During this stage, the film may be slit to form one or two films, or surface treated. Advantages Blown film generally has a better balance of mechanical properties than cast or extruded films because it is drawn in both the transverse and machine directions. Mechanical properties of the thin film include tensile and flexural strength, and toughness. The nearly uniform properties in both directions allow for maximum toughness in the film.
Blown film extrusion can be used to make one large film, two smaller ones, or tubes that can be made into bags. Also, one die can make many different widths and sizes without significant trimming. This high level of flexibility in the process leads to less scrap material and higher productivity. Blown films also require lower melting temperatures than cast extrusion. Measured at the die opening, the temperature of cast film is about 220 C, where as the temperature of blown film is about 135 C. Furthermore, the cost of the equipment is approximately 50% of a cast line.

Blown Film Extrusion Disadvantages Blown film has a less effective cooling process than flat film. Flat film cooling is done by means of chill rolls or water, which have significantly higher specific heat capacities than the air that is used in the blown film cooling process. The higher specific heat capacity allows the substance to absorb more heat with less change in the substance temperature. Compared to cast film, blown film has a more complicated and less accurate method to control film thickness; cast film has a thickness variation of 1 to 2% versus the 3 to 4% for blown film. The resins used for casting typically have a lower melt flow index, which is the amount of polymer that can be forced through a standard die in 10 minutes according to a standard procedure. The melt flow index for cast film is about 5.0 g/10 min where as for blown film it is about 1.0 g/10 min. Consequently, the production rates for cast film are higher: cast film lines can reach production rates of up to 300m/min where as blown film lines are usually less than half this value. And finally, cast film has better optical properties, including transparency, haze, and gloss.

Common Problems Air entrapment between film layers and rollers – this may cause film scratching or wrinkling, or processing problems when winding up the film due to reduced friction. Possible solutions to this is using a vacuum to remove entrapped air or by using winding rolls with a diamond shaped groove in the rubber cover to increase surface area and decrease amount of entrapped air in the film. Large output fluctuations from the die – this causes thickness variations, and can be prevented by keeping the extruder clean and by using more consistently shaped pellets in the extruder. Melt fractures – these appear as roughness or wavy lines on the film surface, and can be eliminated by lowering the viscosity of the polymer melt. This can be done by increasing the melting temperature or by adding an internal lubricant to the material composition. Thickness variations in the film – this can be avoided by centering the die in the extrusion line before every run, adjusting the air speed of the cooling system, or by using heated die lips. Die lines on the surface of the film – this defect reduces the aesthetic appeal of the film, reduces optical properties, and weakens mechanical properties such as tear strength. This can usually be avoided by routinely cleaning the inner surfaces of the die and by refinishing scratched or roughened flow surfaces. Gels – these defects are small, hard globules encapsulated in the film or stuck on the film surface and reduce the aesthetic appeal of the film and cause stress concentration points which may result in premature failure. These are caused by overheating to the point of polymer degradation in the die, and can therefore be avoided by cleaning the inner surfaces of the die on a regular basis. Optimization of the Process Coextrusion One way to improve the line efficiency of blown film extrusion is to implement coextrusion. This is the process of extruding two or more materials simultaneously through a single die. The orifices in the die are arranged such that the layers merge together before cooling. This process saves time because it extrudes two or more layers at the same time, and it provides a method with fewer steps to produce multilayer films. The production rate for a coextruded multilayer film of three layers is about 65m/min, and the production rate for a single layer of blown film is about 130m/min. Thus, in order to produce 10 000m of a three layer multilayer film, it would take almost 4 hours using a single layer blown film process, and only 2 and a half hours using the coextrusion process. Furthermore, the film produced from the single layer process would require an extra step to glue the layers together using some sort of adhesive. Coextrusion is the least expensive means of producing layered films and the coextrusion system is capable of quick changeovers to minimize production line down time.

Minimizing the Melt Temperature
The efficiency of blown film extrusion can be improved by minimizing the temperature of the polymer melt. Reduction of the melt temperature causes the melt to require less heating in the extruder. Normal extrusion conditions have a melting temperature at about 190 C despite the fact that the temperature of the melt only needs to be about 135 C. However, it is not always practical to decrease the melting temperature by that much. By decreasing the melt temperature 2 to 20 C, the motor load can be decreased by about 1 to 10%. Furthermore, reduction of the melt temperature causes less need for cooling, so there is a reduced use of the cooling system. Moreover, removing heat from the bubble is usually the rate-limiting factor in this extrusion process, so by having less heat in the polymer to remove, the rate of the process can be increased, thus yielding higher productivity. A way to maintain the melt temperature at a minimum is to choose an extruder that is matched to the specific processing conditions, such as the material of the melt, pressure, and throughput.

Heated Extrusion Die Lips
Typically, solutions to melt fractures involve decreasing the output or increasing the melt temperature to decrease the shear stress in the extruder. Both of these methods are not ideal because they both reduce the efficiency of the blown film line. Heated extrusion die lips can solve this problem. This targeted heating method allows for film extruders to be run at higher production rates with narrower die gaps while eliminating melt fractures. Direct heat is applied to the surface of the polymer melt as it exits the die so that viscosity is reduced. Therefore, melt fractures, which are caused when trying to extrude too much of the polymer at one time, will no longer act as a limiting factor to increasing the production rate. Furthermore, heated die lips use less energy than increasing the melting temperature because only the surface of the melt is heated and not the bulk of the liquid. Another benefit of using heated die lips is that thickness variations can be controlled by adding heat to certain areas along the die circumference to make the film at that position thinner. This would ensure that no excess material is used.
Determine how much energy each of these processes can save per given volume of material. 

Above article from www.appropedia.org

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Essential Suggestions To Understand Just before Acquiring A Payday Advance

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Obtaining a cash advance is not really anything any individual normally appearance forward to performing.Sometimes it is an essential element of fact. If you are with this fishing boat, then continue reading in the pursuing paragraphs for advice, and information. Take advantage of this understanding to enter the best offer, and look for the best feasible exit from the unexpected emergency.

When contemplating a pay day loan, although it could be tempting be sure not to obtain a lot more than you can pay for to pay back. For example, if they let you acquire $1000 and put your automobile as equity, but you only require $200, borrowing an excessive amount of can cause the loss of your car or truck in case you are struggling to pay back the complete personal loan.

Know what APR signifies just before agreeing to your cash advance. APR, or annual percent rate, is the amount of fascination how the business costs on the bank loan while you are paying it again. Despite the fact that pay day loans are quick and practical, evaluate their APRs using the APR billed by way of a lender or perhaps your credit card business. Most likely, the paycheck loan’s APR will be better. Check with exactly what the payday loan’s interest is initially, before you make a decision to use any cash.

Be sure you may have sufficient funds on hand when your payday loan will come because of. Absent repayments does not prevent the loan provider from chasing collection pursuits. You will definately get struck with fees out of your banking institution along with the online payday loans will cost much more service fees. Try to offer the money in your money to help you stay away from further problems.

Many payday loan loan companies will advertise that they can not reject your application because of your credit standing. Many times, this is certainly appropriate. Even so, make sure you investigate the quantity of attention, they may be recharging you. The interest levels can vary according to your credit score. If your credit score is bad, prepare yourself for a greater interest rate.

A function background is necessary for pay out working day financial loans. 90 days of steady jobs are what many lenders count on prior to they supply you with a personal loan. You will have to give evidence of your wages whenever you make an application for the financing.

One of many ways to be sure that you are receiving a payday loan coming from a reliable lender is always to look for evaluations for various pay day loan firms. Performing this should help you know the difference legit loan companies from scams which can be just trying to grab your cash. Ensure you do enough analysis.

Exercise caution when giving out private data during the payday advance procedure. Most of the time you have to give some private information, including your personalized sociable safety amount, some places can scam and then sell on your data to another one person. Check out the firm extensively to make certain they can be legit prior to utilizing their solutions.

When determining if your payday advance suits you, you have to know that the volume most payday cash loans will let you borrow is just not excessive. Normally, as much as possible you can get from a pay day loan is approximately $one thousand. It can be even decrease if your revenue will not be too high.

Obtaining a cash advance is amazingly effortless. Ensure you visit the loan company along with your most-latest pay out stubs, and you must be able to get some good funds quickly. Unless you have your current spend stubs, you will find it can be more difficult to get the financial loan and may also be denied.

Should you be personal-utilized, you might be more well off looking for your own bank loan that is certainly protected. Personal-utilized people don’t typically qualify for payday loans. Payday advance loan companies demand proof of guaranteed upcoming income.

Always browse the small print for a pay day loan. Some companies demand costs or a fees should you pay the loan back again very early. Other folks charge a fee if you must roll the loan onto the next spend period. These are the most typical, however they might cost other hidden fees or perhaps raise the interest rate if you do not shell out by the due date.

Now, you happen to be far more conscious of what payday cash loans are typical about. Using the ideas offered in this article, it ought to be achievable so that you can receive the necessary resources. Make sure you verify other options at the same time. In any case, you may feel happy that you just put in time researching this option just before acquiring this sort of financial loan.

Working The Evening Shift On Apettite supressant 37.5 milligram

Functioning a night transfer can be hard on the wellbeing. Night employees regularly experience interruptions with their diets, lack of sleep, and often operate lengthy work day which keep almost no time for exercise. That said, dieting on Apettite supressant 37.5 mg even though working the night shift can be tough, particularly if you knowledge unwanted side effects like sleeping disorders as well. So, like you night staff available, we now have put together these guidelines to help you attain weight loss achievement with Apettite supressant 37.5 milligrams from http://www.fallencity.net whilst working the night transfer.

When Must I Consider Apettite supressants 37.5 milligram Only Function The Evening Change?
Several night staff is usually confused about when you should acquire Phentermine 37.5 milligram, since the common guidance granted is usually to go ‘in the morning’, if a bedtime is 8am, then taking Apettite supressant 37.5 milligram each day is definitely a poor idea. Preferably you must describe your own routine for your doctor inside the very first consultation, then they can adapt the health professional prescribed recommendations on your specific schedule. Even so, if the prescription does not take since you function the night time shift into account, then, even as clarify in this post about taking care of life style with Phentermine 37.5 mg, you should take your Apettite supressant 37.5 milligrams when it is your ‘morning’.
Taking your Apettite supressants 37.5 mg from http://www.ccmerchantpro.com in the morning when you rest is two times as unproductive, as it is likely to impact your ability to rest in daytime, and therefore the vitality enhancing outcomes and curbing of your appetite will disappear when you need them most noisy . hrs with the up coming early morning.  It can be harder for those of you working different move habits from few days to few days as well as day to day, but essentially, precisely the same guidance can be applied local plumber to take your Apettite supressants 37.5 milligram is going to be when you awaken, whichever time that may be, to be able to take full advantage of the additional vitality and appetite suppression on your distinct rising several hours. Typically people are encouraged to consume morning meal in the hr of getting Apettite supressant 37.5 milligrams, so make sure to have the first meal or munch right after waking in the hours of taking your Apettite supressants 37.5 mg or else you can experience negative effects such as dizziness and head aches.
How About My Days Off?
Another issue complicating issues for those of you operating the night time change that the sleeping and getting schedule modifications for those who have per day away from. For your times when you’re working the evening transfer but are set to possess the up coming evening away, the chances are you may rest for around 4 or 5 a long time to sense restored sufficient to relish your entire day. If which means that you wake all around afternoon, taking a total tablet might cause sleep loss that evening. In case you are a new comer to Phentermine 37.5 mg, try out using 50 % a tablet to ascertain if that works for you. The reasons guiding that is that Apettite supressant 37.5 mg was designed to supply you with a increase for your evening, so if you are only alert for part of the day time then the complete product could possibly be also powerful.
Should you be taking Phentermine 37.5 milligrams pills then you should speak to your medical professional to ascertain if possibly for him or her to suggest you 15mg capsules being consumed two times daily or after each day if you aren’t awake to the total morning. And, on days gone by if you have been awake in the daytime and are due to function that night, having your Apettite supressant 37.5 milligrams may well imply that you then become fatigued sufficient reason for a heightened desire for food within your change because the Phentermine 37.5 mg actually starts to fade. Once more, you might want to try diverse timings to view what works for you, but one recommendation would be to consider 50 % a product each day and then one particular later from the day, such as the early nighttime, to find out if that keeps the results planning through your change.
Working The Evening Transfer On Apettite supressants 37.5 milligrams: Your Fat Loss Program
Here are some target-manufactured tips to help obtain weight loss success on Apettite supressants 37.5 milligrams although functioning the evening change:
1. Put in priority Sleep
When functioning during the night you’re combating a mans normal circadian rhythms, and so it is probable you are weaker to times of insomnia. Given that sleeping disorders is also a typical complication of Phentermine 37.5 milligram, it is vital to evaluate your resting habits and speak with your medical doctor if Apettite supressants 37.5 mg leads to difficulty sleeping past the initial fortnight. He or she might manage to alter your health professional prescribed or give you far more individualized advice to help battle sleep loss on Phentermine 37.5 mg whilst functioning the evening change.
Sleep performs a vital role in weight-loss in order that it should be a top priority to get top quality snooze so that you can feel relaxed for one more move. Deficiencies in snooze atmosphere the signs that tell you if you’re starving or otherwise not, empties vitality, and slows down metabolic rate so skimping on shuteye is detrimental information for your waistline. It’s not easy to visit bed when other people are conscious but do not attempt into remaining up as reduced sleep helps make fat loss a lot more hard, even with the help of Apettite supressant 37.5 milligram. Make sure that your bedroom is sufficiently darkish even during daytime – room darkening window blinds can help to filter out the brightness in case you fight to sleep during the day. It’s also wise to try to avoid potential distractions before bed as checking your telephone or viewing tv can around-excite your head making it difficult to change off. Just be determined in proceeding as directly as possible for the bed when you are home, let down your telephone by leaving the TV later on.
night shift

2. Want To Eat Correctly
Doing work the night time shift ensures that your day time plus your diet program are the other way up – meal within the morning, lunch break during the nightPercentu2026But, preparing snacks and meals to the night forward implies that you won’t be caught out walking around to the snack device in the early hours from the day. It is advisable to gas-up properly for the change, so constantly make an effort to have a thing to nibble on before you head to be effective. Strive for sluggish-launch carbohydrate food filled with filling fibers like brown hemp, wholegrain dinner, or ancient grains and also hardwearing . energy levels up, and staff them with veggies and a healthful source of lean necessary protein, for example fowl, fish, or tofu to keep your urge for food covered up for extended.
Evening personnel rarely have a lot to choose from in relation to going out to restaurants during their crack (and don’t think about heading for the all-night travel through!) so supplying a nutritious lunch time is vital. Leftovers from supper are always a straightforward option, or you could test some wholesome lunch break suggestions. Depending on your work you possibly will not have the option of snack in between dishes however if you do then make sure you keep some wholesome snack possibilities within your handbag, employees home or locker. Some good snacks to nibble on throughout your move are seeds, tinned tuna, berries, veg crudit s, wholemeal cookies, simmered ova, and natural yogurt. Having wholesome goodies like these readily available will help you help keep you experience entire to ensure that tiredness doesn’t result in poor having judgements.
When it comes to consuming throughout the day, it is best not to let it rest too far gone you can eat your very last food because this can affect slumber. So, prevent possessing breakfast time when you invest in house if you’re about to snooze, and alternatively try eating the light source food or treat while you’re even now at the office whenever possible. For all those when you are hungry after work, these small wholesome treats help market snooze whilst quelling individuals hunger pangs. But, do try eating a minimum of 1 hour before going to bed to prevent acid reflux and difficulty sleeping.
3. Get Active
Night time tasks are mentally and physically depleting, but looking to suit exercising to your schedule can help to straighten your circadian tempos in order that strong slumber in daytime is even more attainable. Not to mention, workout is great for relieving strain, training your feeling, boosting energy, and of course, assisting you to lose more fat fat on Apettite supressants 37.5 milligram. While exercising in the evening could be also stimulating and make you have difficulty asleep, a fast work out before your transfer is a great way to match physical exercise into the day. So, when you have time, target a young-nighttime health club school before supper, an instant house exercise routine, or a manage around the block. And, even though you perform lengthy adjustments, even as clarify right here, installing in minutes of workout every now and then can certainly help you to improve your loss on Apettite supressants 37.5 milligrams.
In case your task is bodily and entails a lot of strolling, incorporating a few pounds-showing workout routines can help to sculpt you up and get your metabolism working more rapidly. For anyone as their career requires heavy-lifting then attempt to add some cardio exercise in your regimen, including grooving, operating or boating to increase extra fat burn off and enhance metabolism. Should you be more non-active inside your role, taking normal breaks to walk around will help get up your metabolism and also supply you with a quick electricity enhance. And finally, going for a wander outside the house in your crack may not be an alternative throughout the night, but benefiting from fresh air can certainly help you a target and boost determination for one more hrs into the future.

Athens – What To See And How To See It

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There are so many aspects of current civilization that were birthed in ancient Athens. Among these are theatre, philosophy, democracy, classical art and even the Olympic games. Athens is located on the southern coast of Greece and has existed for over 7,000 years providing a rich culture expressed in a diverse setting. The term diverse fits as you will find ancient relics and sites in some of the same areas where there are trendy boutiques and sidewalk cafes all mixed in together. This mixture of the very old and the new create a very unique experience provided nowhere in the world like it is provided in the ancient city of Athens. You will need to be sure your passport is up to day so if you need to add passport pages, be sure to go online and access a passport site to help you with this so you can be on you way.

World travel requires a passport but computers have simplified all passport needs. Even if you have to get an emergency passport, an online passport is available to help you. No one plans to have their travel documents lost or stolen but if this happens, help is as close as the nearest computer.

Athens is a city that contains many sites that make history come alive so this is certainly the ideal place for lovers of history to visit. High on top of the Acropolis you will find the Parthenon. This famous sight has earned the honor of being named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Investigating these ruins takes you back to sights names in Greek Mythology related to gods and goddesses, the titans and many other mythological characters. Admission to this site also opens the Theatre of Dionysus, the Roman Agora and the Temple of Olympian Zeus to the traveler.

Being the birthplace of the performing arts, it is no wonder that the arts and culture are very important to the Athenians. While the National Gallery is certainly large and well known, many smaller art galleries populate the city. Athens is also host to approximately 148 theatres so if you are in the mood for a show, the difficult part will be which performance to see. Among the theatres is the famous Herodes Atticus Theatre.

Using a bike or even walking around this city is a wonderful way to see the sights. Green space is always welcome when you travel to big cities and the National Garden of Athens provides an exceptional treat. Within it can be found a small zoo, ponds with ducks, colorful flowers and beautiful landscape with no shortage of a shady tree to relax under and consider the sights of the day.

For those who would like to shop till your drop, your experience will be a little different in Athens. Rather than large malls and strip centers, you will find street vendors selling custom crafts rather than name brand items. Some of the most visited markets are found on Plaka, Kolonaki and Ermou Street. You will find endless selections of shoes, purses and jewelry if you visit here and the quality will certainly not disappoint you.

Authentic cuisine is always interesting in a foreign city and Athens is no exception to this rule. Known for their souvlaki, which is comprised of grilled meat, veggies and a special yogurt sauce, this Athenian staple is considered a treat by all who try it.

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Athens – Church of Agioi Theodoroi

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Crossing Odos Dragatsaniou, in the end stands the attractive medieval church of Agioi Theodoroi (St. Theodore), built on the site of a church founded in the ninth century, but in its present form dating from between 1050 and 1075. This small cruciform church with its high narrow dome, multiple roofs that lend it an air of rhythmic grace, narrow mullioned windows and decorated central door surmounted by arches, is a precious gem of eleventh century Byzantine architecture.

The earliest form of Byzantine churches was that of the basilica, a long rectangle divided by two or four ranges of columns into three or five naves. Later, during the 11th and 12th centuries, the plan changed to that of a Greek cross within a square, dominated by a dome constructed in brick and often combined with one or more subsidiary domes. The exterior walls consist of square-cut stone with thin brick surrounds and are enriched by bands of decoration, carving and the use of color. Few of these churches were large. Apart from St. Theodore, typical examples are the churches of Kapnikarea and St. Eleutherios.

The glory of the Byzantine church lies not so much in the architecture as to the ethereal beauty of its mosaics or frescoes. From the center of the principal dome Christ looks down upon the faithful and below Him are the Apostles. The Virgin appears in the half dome, while around the sanctuary are symbolic figures and emblems connected with the Eucharist. On the West wall opposite the chancel is the Last Judgement. Colored marble and similar material in the lower walls add to the resplendent beauty of the interior.

The liturgy of the Greek Orthodox Church requires separation of the altar from the laity. The altar is placed in a chancel screened from the congregation by the iconostasis, i.e. the screen dividing the sanctuary from the church proper. This is adorned with pictures of Christ, the Virgin, and Saints, and generally has three doors, the curtains of which are lowered while Mass is being celebrated. The chancel is flanked by the Prothesis, where the bread and wine for the Eucharist are prepared, and by the Diakonikon, or vestry.

In St. Theodore one can also notice the influence of the East on Byzantine art, which was prominent in the period from the mid-9th to mid-11th centuries, when Byzantine artists used a variety of Oriental motifs in their designs. It is probable that the design of pseudo-kufic characters (the script perfected during the 7th century by calligraphers in the city of Kafa, in present-day Iraq) that decorate the terracotta panel below the windows of the facade was inspired by the work of Arab craftsmen.

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The Acropolis – Athens, Goddess Athena

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Archaeologists tell us that the original city of Athens was situated on the Acropolis. Even in classical times, the Athenians still referred to this area as “the City.” The city of Athens and its patron goddess emerge into the light of history as inseparably coupled. In Mycenaean times each city was built around a central palace, and each palace was under the protection of its patron goddess. Athena was the goddess of the palace on the Acropolis. The names of the city and its goddess are essentially the same: Athena was Athens, and Athens was Athena. She was “The Athenian.” The ancient Athenians seem to have exhibited, during much of their history, precisely those virtues which they traditionally attributed to her. This may be because, when the Athenians imagined their goddess, they did so in their own image.

According to the myth, Zeus fell in love with a beautiful titaness, Metis (“Cunning Intelligence”). Although she repeatedly changed her shape to avoid his unwelcome attentions, as was his way, he persisted. In the end he caught up with her and raped her.

An oracle then announced that Metis would bear Zeus two children: first a daughter then, a son, and the son would be mightier than his father. Just as Zeus had once overthrown and dispossessed his own father, Chronos, so he was destined in his turn, to be overthrown by his own son. In a desperate attempt to avoid sharing his father’s fate, Zeus gave Metis a potion of drugged ambrosia, and then swallowed her whole.

Some time afterwards a terrible headache came upon him. In great pain, he sought the advice of Hermes, whose only suggestion was that Hephaestos, the smith of the gods, should open his head in order to allow the cause of his pain to escape. Zeus was so desperate that even this drastic remedy was preferable to doing nothing, and Hephaestos was duly summoned to cleave open Zeus’ head with his mighty axe. When he did so, to the astonishment of all the immortals, Athena sprang out with a great war-cry, fully-formed, wearing armour and bearing arms.

Zeus’ daughter not only became the patron of many arts at that time normally considered masculine preserves, such as ceramics, she was also credited with a distinctly unfeminine warlike nature. When the Olympian gods were faced with a titanic struggle against the giants, Athena played a major role in the war, defeating the giant Enkelados in single combat. She came to be depicted not merely as a virgin goddess, but, as an ancient Roman writer put it, as a virago: as a female capable of playing a leading role in a world dominated by men.

It came to be said that the reason for the birth of this goddess lay in a wager between Zeus and his consort, Hera, as to which of them could generate the better progeny entirely alone and unaided. By herself, Hera managed to produce only the crippled god, Hephaestos and a monster; while Zeus was able to bring forth, in Athena, one of the greatest of the Immortals.

This seems to have been a picturesque reference to a widespread belief, which was to appear later in the works of the philosopher Aristotle: that the father alone is responsible for generating his children, and for providing them with their inherited characteristics, and that their mother affords them nothing more than a temporary shelter and sustenance in her womb during her pregnancy.

This is a striking example of the strong climate of male chauvinism which dominated the early classical period in ancient Greece, which is very evident in myth and legend.

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Ancient History – Athens

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Archaeologists have found evidence that Athens has been inhabited from at least the fifth millennium BC. The site would have been attractive to early settlers for a number of reasons: its location in the midst of productive agricultural terrain; its closeness to the coast and the natural safe harbour of Piraeus; the existence of defensible high ground, the Acropolis (from akron and polis, or ‘city on the high ground’); and the proximity of a natural source of water on the north-west side of the Acropolis.

Traces of Mycenaean fortifications from the thirteenth century AC can still be seen on the Acropolis, including some foundations belonging to what must have been a palatial structure. The fortifications, known as the ‘Pelasgian’ walls (after the indigenous people believed to have built them before the arrival of the Greeks around 2000 BC), remained in use until the Persian Wars of 490-480 BC. One stretch behind the temple of Athena Nike appears to have been deliberately preserved in the Classical period.

There was a decline of Mycenaean society across the Greek world around the end of the twelfth century BC. Whether this was directly connected with the Trojan War (around 1184 BC), or the so-called Dorian Invasion thought to have taken place soon after this conflict, Athens does not appear to have succumbed to an attack. The Mycenaean royal family of Pylos is said to have taken refuge in Athens after their city’s fall to the Dorians. One of its members, Codros, became king of his adoptive city.

The collapse of Mycenaean civilization left Greece in political, economic and social decline, accompanied by loss of artistic skills, literacy and trade networks. The Mycenaean form of writing, known as Linear B, was completely forgotten, and the Greek alphabet did not emerge until the late eighth century BC as the new form of writing. At this time city states began to emerge throughout the Greek world, governed by oligarchies, or aristocratic councils. Thirteen kings ruled in Athens after Codros, until in 753 BC they were replaced by officials with a ten-year term, known as decennial archons, and in 683 BC by annually appointed eponymous archons.

Conflict between the oligarchs and the lower classes, many of whom had been reduced to slavery, led to a series of reforms that paved the way for the emergence of the world’s first true democracy. Around 620 BC the lawmaker Dracon set up wooden tablets on the Acropolis known as axones. These were inscribed with civil laws and punishments so harsh that the death penalty was prescribed even for minor crimes, giving rise to the term `draconian’ which is still used today. Dracon’s intervention did little to ensure order, prompting representatives of the nobles and lower classes in 594 BC to appoint the statesman and poet Solon as archon.

Solon terminated aristocratic rule, setting up a representational government where participation was determined not by lineage or bloodline, but wealth. He eliminated slavery based on debt, and restituted freedom and land to those who had been enslaved. Solon created a `Council of Four Hundred’ from equal numbers of representatives of the Ionian tribes to which the Athenians claimed to belong, and instituted four classes of citizenry.

Peisistratos, Solon’s younger cousin, became tyrant (tyrannos) of Athens in 545 BC. He ensured the Solonian constitution was respected and governed benevolently. After Peisistratos’ death, however, things took a negative turn and anti-Peisistratid sentiment grew. By 510 BC King Cleomenes of Sparta was asked to assist in deposing Peisistratos’ son Hippias. Hippias sought refuge in Persia at the court of King Darius.

Soon after, the aristocrat Cleisthenes promised to institute further reforms giving a more direct role to citizens in government. His reforms were passed in 508 BC, and democracy was established in Athens. A new `Council of Five Hundred’ (the Boule) replaced the ‘Council of Four Hundred’, with equal representation from the various tribes. Cleisthenes is also credited with instituting the system of ostracism, which ‘voted’ an individual considered dangerous to democracy into exile for ten years.

It is uncertain when the former Mycenaean citadel was transformed into a sacred precinct but by the late eighth century BC a modest temple (or perhaps more than one) stood on the plateau. The oldest and holiest cult image on the Acropolis was the statue of Athena Polias (Protectress of the City), a crude olive-wood figure, so old that Athenians of the Classical period believed it had either fallen from heaven or been made by Cecrops or Erichthonios. This sacred image of Athena was ritually ‘dressed’ every year in a peplos, a sacred robe, as part of the Panathenaic festival.

A temple is thought to have been built around 700 BC to the south of the later, Classical Erechtheion, to house the statue of Athena Polias. The first major building of which there are significant remains on the Acropolis was the so-called ‘Bluebeard Temple’, built in the Archaic period around 560 BC. The ‘Bluebeard Temple’ is thought by some to have stood to the south of the later Erechtheion. Ancient texts mention a mysterious building or precinct contemporary to the ‘Bluebeard Temple’, called the Hecatompedon, or ‘Hundred-footer’. Whatever this structure or place was, it gave its name to the principal room of the Classical Parthenon, perhaps because the later building occupies the same site.

With the expulsion of Hippias a new temple was built on the Acropolis, its foundations still visible to the south of the later Erechtheion. This building, the Archaios Naos, or ‘ancient temple’, is likely to have been deliberately commissioned around 506 BC as a replacement for the ‘Bluebeard Temple’.

The first Persian invasion of 490 BC saw the victory of the Athenians at the battle of Marathon against the forces of King Darius of Persia. The following year the elated Athenians leveled an area on the south side of the Acropolis and began construction of the Old Parthenon. A new gateway to the Acropolis was also commenced, known as the Old Propylaia.

This post-Marathonian building program on the Acropolis came to a violent end in 480 BC when Xerxes, son of King Darius, led a second Persian invasion of Greece. Athens had to be evacuated and Xerxes razed the city and buildings on the Acropolis. Under the command of Themistocles, the Athenians destroyed the Persian fleet in the battle of Salamis. Victory over the Persians was ensured after the battle of Plataea (479 BC), to the northwest of Athens, when a combined Greek army annihilated the Persians.

In the aftermath of the battle of Plataea, a vow was made by the victors never to rebuild the shrines that were destroyed in the war, preserving them instead as memorials for later generations.

Pericles, who was a general and statesman, came to power in Athens around 461 BC. He considered the oath of Plataea to have been fulfilled, as thirty years had elapsed from the Persian invasion, and proceeded to reconstruct the temples on the Acropolis. He gathered together the best architects and artists in the city and plans were drawn up to erect new buildings that would outshine those torn down by the Persians. The Periclean building programme enhanced the lower city with new monuments, such as the Temple of Hephaestus, also known as the Theseion, and the Painted Stoa or Poikile situated near the Agora (marketplace).

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Athens – The Destination

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Athens was named after Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, which is certainly fitting for the birthplace itself. Evidence of its ancient heyday is everywhere, in the remnants of monuments, statuary and sacred sites that are still revered as survivors of one of history’s most important eras.

A Poseidon adventure in art

In Greek mythology, Poseidon is the god of sea, so it is only fitting that the astoundingly wrought bronze statue of him was raised from the bottom of the Aegean Sea, where it lay for centuries after a shipwreck off the Cape of Artemision. The two-meter tall figure stands with arms extended and leaning forward on its left leg. The right hand once held a trident, and the unknown sculptor clearly was a master in accurately duplicating the complicated balancing act that goes into the seemingly simple motion of throwing a spear.

This work of art is one of the many stunning bronzes at the National Archeological Museum in Athens. The museum’s collection – which includes pieces that date all the way back to the prehistoric period – offers the best collection of Greek art in the world. Renovations closed the museum for a year and half, but it was reopened just in time for the 2004 Olympic Games.

At 260 feet above the city, the Acropolis (“high city”) is not only the highest point in Athens, but for many people it is the high point of any visit to Greece. It is the oldest known settlement in Greece and was a sacred site for ancient Athenians.

During the period of 448 to 420 B.C., the distinguished Athenian statesman Pericles commissioned the construction of four new monuments on the Acropolis at the site of former ruins. The Athenian sculptor Phidias presided over the construction and interior design. The Ionic Erechtheum includes the Porch of Caryatids, with its column in the shape of monumental female figures that identify remains a mystery. The Ionic Temples of Athena Nike, dedicated to the cult of Athena as the goddess of victory, was built during the Peloponnesian War, its frieze depicts the Greek victory over the Persians in the battle of Plataea. The Propylaea, the gateway to the Acropolis with rows of both Doric and Ionic columns, replaced an earlier version destroyed by the Persians. And of course, the Acropolis remains home to what’s left of the Parthenon.

The Parthenon, designed by architects Iktinos and Kallikrates, took 15 years to complete. It was the closest to Pericles’ heart: Among various friezes depicting life among gods, the large statue of Athena represented his homage to the goddess and to the greatness of Athens.

Even in A.D. 131, savvy developers like the Roman Emperor Hadrian recognized the importance of signage. “This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus,” reads the inscription on Hadrian’s arch, situated at the foot of the Acropolis and once the marker between Hadrianopolis and the Athens city limits. The side facing the Acropolis and ancient Athens reads, ” This is Athens, the city of Theseus.”

Like all the surrounding monuments and the Athens infrastructure itself, Hadrian’s Arch has undergone a major facelift. The 60-foot high archway, constructed of Pentelic marble, upheld by columns with Corthinian capitals and topped by a series of Corinthians columns, lost a bit of structural stability in the mid-18th century, when 8 of its columns were removed.

Restorers shored up the arch, cleaned away centuries of pollution and repaired its cracks, just in time for the 2004 Olympic Games.

The Evzones

The Evzones were once the elite soldiers of the Greek army. Today they are the presidential guards, a ceremonial unit that maintains watch over The Parliament, The Presidential Mansion and The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The soldiers wear a traditional and highly photogenic uniform comprising a scarlet cap with a long black tassel, a cotton tunic, black knee tassels above white stockings, red clogs with black pompons and a woolen kilt called a fustanella. The fustanella has 400 pleats, one for each year that the Greeks were on the occupation of the Ottoman Empire. Bearing leather cartridge belts and rifles with a bayonet, the soldiers maintain strict physical discipline as they stand at attention and resist tourists’ attempts to distract them.

A changing of guard is performed daily before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but on Sundays, the complete ceremony – involving an army band and dozens of soldiers – is conducted.

Alice in Wonderland

Imagine Alice in Wonderland’s tumble into a magical world, and you will have an idea what this-off-beaten-path attraction in the Village of Paiania is like. Far larger than a rabbit hole, Koutouki Cave is a natural wonder that will awe you with its colors and formations. In 1926, a goat disappeared from its herd where it was grazing on the slope of Mount Ymittos. A search turned up a small crevice, and a brave soul descended by rope into the abyss below. The goat had not survived the fall, but its intended rescuer returned with a story of a beautiful underground chamber.

The vertical cave consists of a 38.5 meter shaft that opens onto a large cavern with a diameter of about 60 meters. Guided tours take visitors in through a man-made entrance and lead them on a path through stalactites and stalagmites formed by mineral deposits from water seeping through the limestone of the mountain. The tour ends with a light show accompanied by classical music. It’s just a short taxi ride from Athens to nearby Paiania.

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Seeing the Sights of Athens Through Taxi Tours

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There is no denying how Athens is one of the most important sites in the world for political, economic and aesthetic advancement and enhancement. For many people, it IS the most significant place in the world, period. And this birthplace of western philosophy seems to have fanned its mysticism throughout the ages. Today, Athens is still one of the most visited sites in the world. Many people want to retrace the footsteps of famous philosophers, writers and artists. Not to mention that Athens has a rugged beauty that merits separate praise.

This busy city is made up of twelve hills, seven of which play a historical role in Athens’ rise. Acropolis and Lycavittos are the two most prominent as it is where most of the important historical landmarks such as the Parthenon, Temple of Athena, Theatre of Dionysius and Temple of Olympian Zeus is found. Being made up of seven hills though, Athens is a difficult place to tour if you’re planning to do it via foot. Unless you plan to isolate yourself to a particular section throughout your trip, let’s say in Acropolis, for example, then conquering it via foot would be fine. But if you want an overall tour of the area, trekking it just won’t do especially when there’s a time element involved. You can rely on their Metro train system which is quite effective and cheap to boot. One can take you to the city center for €6. For those traveling in groups, there are packages for three or more which can be purchased in the different stations. Buses and a suburban railway system will also do.

However if comfort and convenience is a priority, then taking an Athens taxi is the best mode of transportation whilst in the area. You can get one in advance prior to arriving so an itinerary can be planned for you. Getting a package in advance will also garner you discounts. Should you decide to get one from the airport though, you will be paying €30-35 for the single ride and you can negotiate for a taxi tour from there. Taxi tours in Athens is one of the easiest ways to go around in the area. Overall price will depend on what you and your driver will agree to. Be careful when flagging taxis. Some of them may take advantage that you’re a tourist and will not flag down their meters in hopes for getting a bulk price. There are also tariffs involved. Make sure that the Tariff is Tariff 1. Tariff 2 doubles the rate and is applicable after midnight. Make sure to read the driver well. If you think the rate is abnormally high, then check with an English-speaking local to confirm the price.

Make sure also that you’re getting taxis from a reliable company. Although canary yellow taxis are very common in Athens, you will have no hold if the driver tries to fraud you whereas a taxi that hails under a company will be more careful. As common practice, taxis follow two rates, one that applies inside the city limits including the airport and one that applies outside of it. The minimum fare of Rate 1 is €1 while the minimum fare of Rate 2 is €2.65. If you’re from the airport, the fare will start at €3.20 and if there’s heavy luggage involved then a minimum rate will be added to that too.

Taxi tours can be quite tricky but many attest that it’s all worth it considering you get to see the sights of Athens at your own time and pace.

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