Mario and I decided to add another country to our list. Greece marks European country #21 for me, making a total of 25 countries worldwide. We took an early morning flight from Stuttgart to Athens. We were a little delayed due to the fact the plane needed to be de-iced. The flight was 2.5 hrs. Athens welcomed us with cloudy and warm temps in the 70's.
There are numerous ways to get into city center from the airport. One can take a taxi, metro or a bus. We decided to take the metro. Line 3 runs from the airport into the city. We got off the Monastiraki stop which was the closest to our hotel. A one way airport metro ticket was 10euro a person which was a little pricy, but was the quickest. It took about 45 mins to arrive at our stop. Then it was about a 10 min walk to the hotel. We stayed at Fresh Hotel, which is part of the Marriott chain. Different reviews I read said it wasn't in the best neighborhood, which was true but the hotel turned out to be really nice. Our room had a balcony which provided views of the Acropolis. We decided to do lunch at the roof top restaurant of the hotel which also provided views of the Acropolis.
Then we wander around, taking in some of the sites. We saw the Ancient Agora, Stoa of Attalos, Hadrian’s library and Roman Agora. Later that day, we walked a few of the shopping sheets and saw the Parliament building.
The next day, we headed towards the Acropolis which was about a 30 min walk from the hotel. First climbed Areopagus hill which provided a good view of Athens and the Acropolis.
Then we got our ticket to see the Acropolis, which was discount to 10e instead of 20e due to it being the winter season. You can also get a combo ticket which included admission to 7 different ruins and you have 5 days to see them all. But we figured the single entry ticket was best for us. As we entered we saw the Odeon of Herod Atticus and then walked to the top and saw the Temple of Athena Nike, Propylaea, Erechtheion and Acropolis which they were all being restored. From the top we could see Theatre of Dionysus, Acropolis museum, and the Panathenaic stadium.
From there we headed back towards out hotel. We saw the Acropolis Museum and the Hadrian's Arch. Then stopped at a pita place where I had a chicken gyros potion, which was super yummy.
After resting a bit and doing some school work we headed back out to wander a little more, seeing some sites. Then did dinner at a burger place.
The next day we decided to do some island hopping. Our hotel booked us an island tour of Hydra, Poros and Aegina with a local travel company. This tour was 12 hours which made for a very long day but we got to see some of the other islands. We left at 6:40am. We were picked up from the hotel and the hotel packed us breakfast to go bags since breakfast just opened when we were leaving. In the bags were turkey & cheese sandwich, hard boil egg, apple and juice. After picking numerous other travelers, we made our way to the coast and port area called Piraeus. It is here that the cruise boats dock while visiting Athens.
Our first stop was Hydra. We walked around and explored. There are no cars on this island so locals use donkey.
Front there we headed towards Poros. We climbed to the top of a hill to see the clock tower and enjoyed the views it provided.
Our last island was Aegina which is known for pistachio which is their export crop. We decided to take an excursion to see the Temple of Afea which is one of the points of the Scared triangle which Acropolis and Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion. We stopped at the Ruins of the Temple of Afea and took some pictures and then headed to Monastery of Saint Nektarios. By this time it was turning into dusk so I didn’t get the best pictures at the monastery but this is one of the challenges when travel in the winter season. From there we had 1.5 hrs left before we arrived back at the port. Then took the bus back to the hotel.
The next day, Wednesday, called for 100% rain so it was a wet mess outside. We took a taxi to the Acropolis Museum. We waited in a small line to get tickets and then toured it. It was a really nice museum and the coolest part was there were ruins under it. From there we took the metro back to the hotel. We spent most of the day in the room since it was rainy. We did dinner at the pita place again.
The next morning we left late morning for the airport. We had a late afternoon flight back to Stuttgart.
A teacher who loves traveling the world.