Posts tagged: Athens

Good Morning from Athens

By , August 12, 2015 08:06
View of the Acropolis from the roof of our hotel.

View of the Acropolis from the roof of our hotel.

In a few hours we fly back to the UK from Athens.

We had most of yesterday on Syros, before taking the 15:00 ferry from Ermoupoli to Athens. A journey which takes 3,5 hours, it was a nice leisurely journey across the Aegean, passing the islands of Kea and Kithnos on the way before following the coast of Attiki in to the port of Piraeus.

We were met at the port by one of Athens’ many taxi drivers – all the taxis in the city are yellow with a blue stripe down the middle, so you can’t miss them! As we made our way along the dual carriage way from the port in towards the central part of the city, we had a great view of the Acropolis straight ahead of us.

The hotel we are in is the Apollo Hotel in the Metaxourgio district – it’s just round the corner from where I stayed last year. After checking in and getting ourselves sorted, we headed to the hotel’s rooftop bar, which had great views over to the Acropolis: A view I didn’t get in my hotel last year!

Athens as a city is a bit of a mess – most of the buildings are high rise flat and apartment blocks and they’re all a bit grubby. After being almost completely destroyed in WWII it was a case of rebuilding as quickly as possible. But ignore the state of some of the buildings, and you can enjoy many areas of the city.

For our last night, I wanted to take my parents to one of the areas of the city I liked last year. We got our tickets for the Athens Underground and went towards the touristy Plaka district, where, hidden in one of the narrow side streets, was the Giouvetsakia taverna. We had a starter of Greek salad, Greek beans, and some sort of spicy cheese. Then we all had a very tasty Giouvetsaki – the specialism of this particular restaurant.

I was amazed that, even in a city like Athens which gets very large numbers of tourists each month, the waiter in the restaurant remembered me from my last visit there! I only ate there once – he must have served thousands of people since late July last year. Yet he recognised me instantly.

Perhaps making the effort to speak to the locals in their own language helps to stick in the mind a bit more. From what we saw, some of the other tourists in the city weren’t all that pleasant. There are a lot of people come to Athens who perhaps don’t really know the Greek setup as well as those who return to their favourite islands year on year.

It’s approaching 8am over here – we have a taxi booked for 9 – so it’s time for a quick breakfast before we go.

See you on return to the UK,

Fred.

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