If you are in Greece, don’t overlook Athens. It definitely has a different vibe from the postcard-perfect islands (translation: it can be crowded and hot), but there is so much history in Athens that you really should reserve at least a day to see the key sights.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
After a late 10:30pm arrival at our hotel the night before from Santorini, we were a bit hesitant to wake the boys for an early sightseeing excursion. But, we really wanted to see as much as we could in the single day that we had in Athens, so we woke them up and headed for the Acropolis.
Amazing! Basically the Greek counterpart to Rome’s Colosseum and Roman Forum, it was much bigger and more vast than we expected.
Some of the columns were particularly cool.
We spent several hours soaking it all in.
Mars Hill, where St. Paul famously debated the ancient Athenian philosophers by the ancient market, had some nice views of the city, although the rocks were quite slippery.
Definitely a great morning! The walk continued into the market area.
Once it started to get hot, we decided to head out for lunch. While in Greece, I was a bit obsessed with Moussaka and decided to try it again. Yum! Jeremy opted for the mixed grill platter and James had the lamb chops. John was surprised when his hamburger came on a pita, but fortunately he still liked it. It was way too much food, but it was pretty good.
Heading towards the Plaka and some of the other neighborhoods, we wandered around plenty to see the highlights there. We could have spent more time wandering shops, but a day was about right to see Athens’ ancient sure.
Since Greece was in the middle of a financial crisis in 2015, we weren’t sure what the lines at the airport might be like, so we decided to get there on the early side. Given the limits on withdrawing cash, the government had made public transportation free, so the side effect was that the trains were really crowded.
After getting checked in and through security, we realized that we hadn’t tried a Greek McDonald’s yet and went to the airport McCafe for coffee and treats. James was pleased that we had an awesome view of one of the runways. On to Istanbul!