Our first European adventure outside Italy is in the bag.
It should have been a quick ride to the airport and two short flights, no problem. It didn’t go that way. It was a fiasco that started with so much backed up traffic to the airport that the normal 30 minute drive took well over an hour which killed our grabbing breakfast and a caffé plan. We felt the stark difference between Japan and Europe with the organization and flow (or lack thereof) of the airport and boarding situation.
Once we were on the flight I relaxed a bit but my husband was stewing in the mess of it all. He wasn’t going to breathe right until we were in Rome and waiting for our connection with some food in our bellies.
That happened and we caught the connection flight to Athens.
On arrival we were super happy our bag made the trip but were disappointed our driver was not there waiting for us. We had a 15 minute stretch of thinking we had to find our own way into Athens but the guy showed up eventually. My hopes were that the crazy problem stuff was now in the past so the rest of the trip would be awesome. And It Was!
Our hotel was right in the middle of everything so we were able to walk to all of the sites we had on our list to see and there was shopping and restaurants all around.
Temple of Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch
The Olympic Stadium
Tower of the Winds
Temple of Hephaestus
Some random walk around photos and some food shots:
What we came away with was a surprising desire to return and explore outside this downtown area. We thought this would be our one and only trip to Greece but we both want to return so we can travel to the Islands and other areas outside of Athens. Also, the neighborhood of Psirri is wonderful and we wandered there late in the game so we’d love to return to try some of the restaurants over there.
-> One thing we didn’t take seriously enough and found we should have is that the Greeks take Sundays to heart. Not much was open so a little tip for anyone planning on traveling to Athens, if you are there on a Sunday, plan accordingly. I think the monuments and temples were open but not many shops/restaurants. It would be a good day for the beach maybe, most shops and such were closed.
There are a lot of warnings about pickpockets in the area so we were careful with out wallets and phones but didn’t see anyone being harassed really. I would advise to be careful especially on public transportation and be a smart traveler.
We were expecting to spend the weekend in Rome again soon to actually tour some of the museums and sites but had to put that off for now, the husband’s work is taking priority over that for the near future. The next trip planned is to Prague, Czechoslovakia and we are making decisions on what our next epic concert will be and where.