What’s in a Name?

When we talk to people about our blog site, we often get asked for the meaning behind our name, LivingTheQLife. It is actually pretty simple, our last name starts with the letter Q and when we first decided to start writing about the places that we’ve traveled to and the food that we’ve eaten, we thought to ourselves that we are fortunate to be living a good life. That simple thought turned into our name since we were living our lives in the best way that we could. This week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is anything with the letter Q, so we could have chosen just about anything, but here are few photos that represent the theme.

Queen Victoria Memorial in London
Hiking Around the Rim of Quilotoa in Ecuador
LivingTheQLife in Amsterdam
Opaque Clouds in Colorado
Changing of the Guards in Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece
Another View of the Victoria Memorial for Queen Victoria in London


Gone in an Instant

Sunsets are like a lot of moments in life where, in the moment, everything is serene and beautiful, but then suddenly it is over. Taking photographs of the places that you visit helps to capture those moments, but it is never quite the same as it is when you are actually experiencing it. Whether standing on a beach and feeling the warm sun on your skin and smelling the salty air or standing on the top of a mountain feeling the cold air and looking at the snow covered peaks, each moment is more than can be captured by an image on film.

Sunset over the Jungle in the Amazon
Sunset in the Costa Del Sol in Spain

Perhaps because it comes at the end of the day, after experiencing everything that a place has to offer, watching sunsets provide us with that sense of calm and allow us to truly embrace the place we are visiting. One of our most memorable sunsets was when we were in the Amazon jungle at the Napo Wildlife Center in Ecuador. Climbing to the top of the observation deck and seeing the sky turn brilliant oranges and reds over the tops of the canopy of the rainforest was truly quite magical. Another of our favorite sunsets was when we were standing on the beach in southern Spain and the sun dipped down over the Mediterranean Ocean. The sunsets in Strasbourg, France, and Athens, Greece, were equally spectacular.

Sunset in Strasbourg, France
Sunset over the Acropolis in Athens, Greece

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is Temporary. Although the moments have past, the memories are still just as vivid and we remember these sunsets as though they were yesterday. Do you have any special sunset memories?

The Roman Agora in Athens, Greece

One of the sites that is included when you buy the multi-ticket for the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, is the Roman Agora. There is also the Ancient Agora, also known as the Agora of Athens, but the Roman Agora is smaller, yet still interesting. An agora is an open space that is used for markets and public gatherings. The Roman Agora was originally built in the 1st century BC and contains several interesting structures.

Standing Outside of the Roman Agora
Walking the Ancient Street of the Agora
Tower of the Winds Surrounded by Ancient Columns
Looking Out from the Tower

One of the most interesting structures on the site is the Tower of the Winds, which is an ancient clock tower. There is a sun dial, wind vane, and water clock that have been excavated by archeologists and the structure is quite fascinating. It is unclear if the tower was built prior to the agora or was added afterwards. On the inside of the tower, you can see where the water entered, having traveled down from the Acropolis, making its way to the center of the tower to be used as a water clock. Wooden beams support the marble roof, which is adorned with classical figures on the exterior.

Looking Up at the Tower
Ancient Water Clock
Wooden Ceiling
Ancient Architecture

Another interesting feature of the Roman Agora is the Gate of Athena Archegetis. It is the first ruin that you see as you enter the complex and makes for a dramatic entranceway. The grounds of the agora have a variety of ancient columns and even pottery scattered along the walkways. The site itself is not very large and everything can be seen in about 30 minutes. There are a few outdoor restaurants that line the gates surrounding the Roman Agora and we stopped to have a refreshing drink and a few appetizers.

View of the Gate
Ancient Pottery
Standing Inside of the Roman Agora
Ancient Remains

We truly enjoyed visiting the Roman Agora and it was very interesting. If we hadn’t bought the bundled ticket, we probably wouldn’t have paid the entrance fee to visit the site. You can see much of it just by walking around the gates and looking at the ruins, but it was definitely worth it to see inside of the Tower of the Winds. We highly recommend buying the multi-ticket when visiting the Acropolis, which gives you access to the Ancient Agora, the Acropolis, the Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library, and more.

First Glimpse of the Agora
Protein Drink
Fried Snack
Marble Columns