Day 0: Home to Athens
The trip didn’t get off to an auspicious start. I forgot my contact lens case, my sunglass clip-ons, and my jacket. And google’s directions to the QwikPark sent us to the middle of nowhere. So we backtracked and went the way we’d gone before. Our flight to Frankfurt was uneventful. We got very tired of hearing “Star Alliance” at Frankfurt. Our 7 hour layover was long but fairly comfortable. Then there were two last minute gate changes. Boarding was kind of a mob scene. Scan yourself in; in no particular order.
Day 1: Exploring the Neighborhood
We found the X95 bus to Syntagma with no problem. It was a little difficult figuring out how to get from the square to our hotel. But it was easy once we found the street. After checkin in we wandered up to Monastiraki, around Plaka. We ended up eating at O Thanasis. We almost ended up eating at the wrong restaurant. We thought the guy who grabbed us worked for Thanassis but he worked next door at an empty place.After dinner we went to Barley Cargo for Viven Imperial IPA (Belgium). We managed to stay up to 11ish. We spent some time looking for contact lens stuff. There were hordes of people everywhere and lots of lights.
Day 2: The Acropolis
We got up around 7 AM and headed straight to the Acropolis. Plaka looks very different early in the morning. Quiet, no crowds. Very few people, in fact.
After leaving the Acropolis area we went back to the hotel by way of a cafe and the flea market on Ermou. Athens has lots of stray dogs and cats. All the dogs look tired.
We asked about a pharmacy at the front desk. (In Europe pharmacies don’t tend to be open late and on Sundays, though they take turns being the “emergency pharmacy.”) The one open was near the Acropolis Museum. We stopped at an ATM and the Temple of Olympian Zeus on the way there. Yup, just pop by an ancient ruin on the way to get the contact lens stuff you forgot!
The pharmacy had just closed for siesta, said the helpful man at God’s Restaurant next door. So, we went to the Acropolis Museum, then climbed Filappopou Hill. It had great views of the city and Acropolis. We walked a quiet street with nice houses leading to Filappopou, which had charming directional signs in the pathway.
We returned to the pharmacy and got our stuff, then had a Mythos at God’s Restaurant in thanks. Then back to the hotel for a shower and a quick nap.
We hit Tzizikas kai Mermigas for dinner. We wandered around a bit, then went back to Barley Cargo for Fix Dark.
Tomorrow we’re off to Naxos.
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Hotel was about what I expected; maybe a bit nicer. No breakfast included, no balcony. Had to put the key in to operate lights and air. Couldn’t figure out safe – had to push bolts in first. People at the front desk were helpful, if not warm and friendly. We stayed both on our way into Athens and when we flew out. They’ve added a rooftop bar since we stayed here.
Athens has excellent public transportation. We took the express bus from the airport into town (so we could see some of the city) and the metro from our hotel to the port in Piraeus to catch our ferry.