Sunday, May 1, 2016

Athens and the Acropolis

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We arrived in Athens from London in the late afternoon on Tuesday, the 12th. Although we were exhausted we were so excited to be in another country and have the trip really starting that it didn't really hit us until that night.
It was crazy to be in a country that uses a whole other alphabet system because you really had no idea what things said AT ALL unless there was an English translation written below the Greek. We found the taxi line outside and just walked up to a random one but he motioned us forward. We then figured out that there are lines for taxis (a system that was also used in Italy) and it is a line system they strictly follow (getting on the planes we found out later was another story ;-). We got in the first taxi in line and we were off to our hotel. I was surprised at how much Athens reminded me of southern California as far as landscape and vegetation.
We stayed at the Hilton Athens (using points) and it ended up being a very convenient location for site seeing. We got settled in a bit, talked with the front desk about how to get to the Acropolis and headed out. We took the metro most of the way and then walked the rest of the way, through the Plaka (shopping and restaurant area) and up the big hill to the Acropolis.
It took us a little bit to figure out where the entrance was and then where to buy tickets, but we made it and it wasn't insanely crowded which was nice. By the time we were at the top to take pictures the lighting ended up being absolutely gorgeous! Despite some construction on the Parthenon I got a couple shoots with the sun coming through that I love! This was our first major site to visit on the trip and the detail of the columns and the overall grandness of what was constructed thousands of years ago made a big impression on me.
We walked around the ruins for a bit and then headed back into the Plaka to find dinner. Navigating the streets with the map from the hotel was doable but not easy so we decided against trying to find any specific place and just kept our eyes open for something good. We weren't having much luck until we spotting In Town. The name was weird :-), but it looked cute and the waitress out front was so nice we decided to try it out. The feta appetizer ended up being one of my most favorite eats of the trip! A thick block of feta, coated in sesame seeds, toasted and then drizzled with a mild honey. It was amazing! The rest of the food was good too and we ended up heading back there when we were in Athens again on our way home.
We decided to walk back to the hotel instead of taking the Metro again. It was good to be moving around after flying for hours and hours and hours to get there! The next morning we were up and headed back to the airport to fly to Italy!!!
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The Tower of the Winds
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original stairs underneath the wooden ones
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the feta appetizer...YUM
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view from our hotel balcony
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