It’s been a short stay, but we’ve achieved what we wanted to. We landed in Athens two days ago at 7am local time after sitting on a 12 hour flight from Singapore. Weary from the predominantly sleepless night we just had, we left the plane and made our way to Greek Immigration.
Five minutes off of the plane and we were already amazed. There is a smoking section in the airport. Indoors! I think that’s when I truly realized that we were now in Europe.
We grabbed our bags and made our way to the train. Some sketchy Greek pronunciation from myself bought us two tickets to the train, where we boarded and made our way to Acropoli station. It was a pretty easy ride, with one train change at Syntagma station.
After leaving the train we made our way up to the quiet streets in the early morning. It was a nice relief from the humidity of Singapore. Around 11°c and fine. We checked into our hotel, Airotel Parthenon, literally 200m from the metro station, and had a shower. For anyone considering going to Athens, it’s a quality place. Cheap for young travellers like us, but has everything you need. It’s four star in Athens, probably equated to a 3 star in Adelaide, but it’s clean and it’s central – we could get to all the historical sites in anywhere between 1 minute to 20 minutes on foot. Since we are travelling together, it worked out cheaper than the backpackers place down the road, and this way we got our own shower and room – something we wanted after the long flight.
To see the Acropolis and other sites surrounding, it will set you back 12EUR. You can see the Parthenon from everywhere. It’s just so impressive. We were basically pinching ourselves the whole time we were here. It’s so surreal, and everything is just so much larger than life.
On the flip side, it’s almost as though every man and his dog (literally, I don’t know if people own these dogs, but there are dogs everywhere) is in on the deal. For the major tourist attractions of Greece, the gardens, paths, and all of the infrastructure surrounding seems somewhat makeshift. It looks as though they are constantly working on the Acropolis, however when you walk around, you can see where rubbish has been thrown after previous repair jobs.
For these reasons I have mixed emotions about Athens.
Enough negativity though, we both enjoyed this place. Yesterday’s lunch was at Thanassis, where we had some authentic lamb kebabs. Melted in your mouth!
We were worried about visiting in February – not really sure what the weather would be like, but it was perfect. I’d definitely come again during this time of the year. Yesterday it rained in the morning, but it was only drizzle and it didn’t affect us at all. The rest of the time the sun was out and we were comfortable in a jacket.
Ultimately we had a great time here. The people are friendly, the streets are very picturesque, and the history is just something neither of us have seen before. It was short, but sweet.