Athens….We only had two nights here but we had to visit all the tourist sites of course. That was a given.
Mimi’s friend recommended a private tour guide – Nick who offered to drive us around all Athens in his Mercedes Benz taxi. We saw all the typical sites but the highlight was stopping at a local Greek eatery for lunch. 🙂
Nick was an incredibly informative travel guide + driver. He was an older man and said the three of us reminded him of his daughter so he wanted to make sure we not only had a great tour but also that we were safe!
Seeing the Acropolis in real life was….nice. I didn’t expect anything spectacular and it wasn’t horrible since we got there in the early morning before the crowds hit. It gave me a sense of perspective as to HOW OLD these structures are as well as the history that Greece was before it was…Greece. Be aware there is PLENTY of scaffolding for the repairs and there will be for the next hundred years or so. 🙂
It was also very insightful to talk to a local about the current problems the country is facing in these dire economic times and how the Greeks cope and survive .
We went to see the Changing of the Guards. It was fascinating + traditional and FREE! We were able to take pictures next to the guards but rules: no touching!
+ Funny story: The family that we sailed with in Santorini – we ended up seeing randomly while leaving the Acropolis as they were arriving! How we spotted each other was also pure coincidence and gave us many laughs.
It was a long hike up the stairs to see the beautiful view of the city. However, it was worth it. It was cloudy + overcast but still hot. Thank god the sun was not fully out and beaming down on us.
At mid-day, Nick took us to a local eatery for some noms. Lunch was a selection of Greek dishes – we shared it family-style. I love how Europeans drink wine at all times of the day so you sure as heck knew I had one too.
Greek food seems to be hearty + healthy & totally less processed and fake compared to the food here in the US. We also noticed that in Santorini and Mykonos – there were NO fast food chains or any corporate restaurants due to the law. They did not want big corporations overrunning and ruining the islands!
I snagged this lucky shot when nobody else was around. Stunning.
This was during the changing of the guard. The pigeons were relentless and if you fed them, they totally overpowered you like they did to this Asian (Chinese?) tourist? It was hilarious and we ran away as soon as possible after taking a picture since we did not want to get pooped on!
Some graffiti in Athens. HUGS. NO Drugs! Friends that visited Greece before me said that Athens was a gross + dirty city so I expected it to be totally rundown and unbearable. However, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It is just old and with graffiti – it has an old rough charm to me. Maybe it’s character?
It certainly isn’t the best city I’ve ever visited but it surely wasn’t the worst. The big + modern technology-ridden cities like Tokyo and NYC where you have electronic billboards and lights flashing all over the place is ok but I do like the old charm & architecture that old European cities have too.
Click Read More to see the rest of the photo gallery!