Continuing our Around-the-World trip, next up after Tokyo and Venice was Athens! We only had 2 full days in the city and our general impression was it was so hot!! Not to mention windy - so yeah, standing on top of the Parthenon baking in the sun and just covered in dirt blowing around...good times! Never-the-less, not to complain about an amazing vacation, read below for a few of the quick highlights from our Greece stop over.
Out and About in Athens
Panatheniac Stadium -
- Visiting the Olympic stadium was one of our favorite stops while in Athens. Maybe because it was in the morning, not that crowded and temps weren't as hot. But we really enjoyed it! We also love the Olympics!
- Jump onto the track and pretend you are racing. Step onto the podium and pose with the Greek and Olympic flags.
- Marvel at the full marble stadium, how large the staircase steps are, and go sit in the stands pretending you are watching the olympics.
- Find the tunnel and walk through to find the Olympic torches and gift shop.
**On mobile device, click any photo to enter gallery with captions
The Acropolis and Parthenon -
- When in Athens - you must see the Parthenon!
- I highly recommend spending some time at the museum first before going up to the Parthenon. Even have a sip of coffee and a dessert in the cafe first to muster up the energy for the hike.
- Be prepared for a lot of walking. The path up the steep hill of the Acropolis will make you a) wonder if you will ever get to the top, and b) try to imagine what it was like for all the people taking that similar walk back in BC time period.
- Thankfully there are many great things to see along the way, such as the Theater of Dionysus and overlooking the beautiful Odeum of Herodes Atticus.
- At the top the crowds were immense! And we were even there at the very end of the day. Remember that heat and dusty wind I mentioned earlier...yep it gets real at the top! But just make your way up the impressive stairs, through the arches and then marvel at the Parthenon in front of you! Despite being under construction (it might always be under construction?!) it was still wonderfully magnificent.
- Other things to look at - the Erechtheum, which we completely missed. And also walk to the far edge and look out over the city. Think about the fact that from almost anywhere in the city the Parthenon is visible.
- Finally, good things to look forward to - your way downhill is much easier!
Greek Islands Tour -
- For our last day in Athens we wanted to explore some of the many Greek islands. Obviously we didn't have time to go where we really wanted - like Santori, etc. But the 3 closest islands on our day-tour would have to tide us over until we visit again and island hop properly one day!
- Prior to our trip we booked the Hydra, Poros and Egina Day Cruise through Viator.
- It was a nice taste of the islands, but the crowded boat (more like a ferry) was just not our cup of tea! (Ok fine...I've been spoiled by a private catamaran through the British Virgin Islands). I might be hard to impress in this category. Not to mention they only gave you minimal time on each island.
- Hydra was the prettiest and quietest of the islands. And there were donkeys! Poros we got off the boat, had a beer, and got back on. Finally Egina had some cute shops - go taste the fresh pistachios!
- After the heat and dust of the prior day, in the middle of our around-the-world trip, it was a nice R&R kind of day!
Food and Drink
Ah how I love greek food!
- A greek coffee and breakfast at The Greco's Project. (Which was right by our Airbnb).
- Gyros and zucchini chips for lunch in Plaka (cute area with lots of restaurants and shops) at Ta Giouvetsakia. The food was good, the beer cold, and most importantly they had A/C! Also the nicest owner - who recognized us the next day and said hi.
- A wonderfully refreshing dinner at Erato Restaurant Plaka of olives, greek salad, feta and saganaki (fried cheese); with a refreshing Aperol Spritz to cool off.
- A final dinner at Estia after a long day on the boat. Sitting outside, people watching, and enjoying grilled halloumi cheese and a cold meze plate.
Wouldn't be one of my trips without a traveling feet photo...or 4!