Our journey to Athens started quite late in the evening as we landed at Athens airport just a little bit after 10 last night. We grabbed a cab and made our way into the old town as fast as we could. I suppose it seems obvious to say that Athens is completely different to Budapest. A stark change in temperature, humidity, people, and architecture. Everywhere you turn you see remnants of the cradle of civilisation.
We seemed to travel past every possible Greek monument that you have ever seen in books or on television shows. Our Airbnb was very close to the Acropolis and everything historic that goes along with being in that hood.
Our host suggested that once we stored our bags and got settled that we walk across the street to a local restaurant that served typical simple Greek cuisine. Ten minutes later we were sat down in a typical neighbourhood diner. We were welcomed with open arms and treated like family. We ordered two very big salads and a mixed grill of sorts to share between us.
It would have been highly unlikely for four people to be able to eat what we were presented so I must admit we were unable to finish what we started. The meal was fantastic and the service was excellent. Cost was minimal for the spread we were served.
After a long day of fighting crowds and airport protocols we shut it down with a plan to be the first in the gates of the Acropolis the following morning.
That went to plan and we made our way up the pedestrian street in front of our accommodation in the dusk in order to get some blue hour photography done and to see the gates open after sunrise at 8.
Job done. In first and we scrambled up the stone and smooth marble stairs to the top. It was surreal to have the place to ourselves other than the stone masons who had begun restoration work just a little earlier.
We wandered for over an hour and enjoyed it all. From there we made our way back down the hill to a little cafe nearby. A Greek breakfast consisting of yogurt, fruit, and small feta omelette was accompanied by a stiff coffee. Excellent meal and the service was fantastic!
We hung around the neighborhood for the rest of the day and made plans to make the following day as jam packed as possible given that we were leaving for Istanbul at the end of it.
Prior to leaving Canada we had booked seats for that evenings performance of We Will Rock You performed by London’s Westend cast and accompanied by the Athens Symphony Orchestra. All performed in an amphitheater built in 167AD.
The following morning we started out by returning to the same place up the street for breakfast. This time we both had the Greek breakfast three course set menu. Yoghurt and fruit drizzled with honey to start. That was followed by a fried egg placed on top of cubed bread soaked in olive oil presented in a tall glass with a long spoon. To top it all off came warm donut like balls filled with cream and served in a Nutella sauce with crushed walnuts. That was accompanied by coffee and cold water.
We asked our waiter to order us a cab to head down to the port. Soon after Vasilli arrived in his bright yellow Skoda. What turned out to be a 20 minute trip to the water became a three hour tour that was excellent in every way. We set sail south of the city for the ruins of Poseidon’s sanctuary.
An amazing unspoiled place high atop the sea exactly where you would assume the god Poseidon would have wanted his sanctuary to be. The weather was beautiful and very few people.
After a wander we jumped back in the cab set for Athens. On that return journey we visited the Greek parliament and its unique guards. Next the Olympic stadium and several local neighbourhoods that we hadn’t walked through earlier. An awesome day and tonight we travel to Turkey.