Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Glorious Days in Athens

‘Baby we are here!! Cross this from your bucket list!!’ said Tapan excitedly as we landed in the land of Gods, Greece. Visiting Athens was my dream and my super awesome husband made it possible. So, when we were planning our summer holiday I clearly mentioned that few things are really important & I would LOVE if we can adhere to them. So I gave him a list of my preferences.

·         I want to see some ruins & history

·         Want to dress up and go out partying

·         Want to eat great food  

·         Don’t want to travel for more than 7 hours in flight

After a few days he disclosed the entire plan. So we were covering Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Istanbul in 15 days. I told him about my list and the places on it in our initial days and he remembered it (which was very impressive).

Two months later we were on the flight to Athens (my first international travel).

Athens – Glorious!

We started clicking pictures as soon as we landed. They have amazing metro network. We boarded the metro right opposite the airport and reached Monastrakri station in 20 mins. Our apartment was at Agion Anargiron Street which was 5 minutes walking from the station.

We used Airbnb and rented out this apartment right in the heart of the city. We had our own big terrace over looking to the ‘happening’ Agion Anargiron Street. The property is managed by four friends and we were in touch with this cute looking guy named Anderas. Their apartment is called ‘Live in Athens’. He gave us a map marking all the important restaurants, markets we should ‘definitely’ visit.

I fell in love with the apartment as soon as I entered.  Look at the apartment here.

Must Visit –

Acropolis – You have to walk a lot here. A Lot. So wear shoes. I did a blunder by wearing open footed flat chappals and man it was so difficult not falling on that old slippery stony ramp. Apply lots of sun tan as it gets very sunny in the afternoon. Carry a water bottle.

It’s 12 Euro ticket will get you entry in 2-3 other sites as well so don’t throw it.

This place has survived plenty of cruelties in the name of ‘Faith & Religion’. One ‘Religion’ built and worshiped it, the other one bombed & conquered it, then others made the scared building their headquarters and converted their temples into mosques. And in all this it was highly damaged.

Ancient Agora – The fact that it was built in 6th century BC and is still standing should be enough lure anyone to visit this beautiful site. Again you have to walk a lot so wear shoes.

Temple of Olympian Zeus – We went to Acropolis and this temple on the same day. By the end of it we were really tired. You have to walk a lot. So be prepared, carry water with you and refill the bottle (while you are Acropolis) from the tap behind Parthenon.

Acropolis Museum
– I know Museums can be a little boring. But do not miss this one. Skip visiting other ones but not this one. You are not allowed to take pictures but I didn’t know it. I had clicked a few already when the guard asked me politely not to use my camera. But she didn’t ask me to delete the already clicked pictures. So I think it’s alright to share them here.

Palka Neighborhood - Pláka is the old historical neighborhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis. Walk up and down on the pedestrian streets which are clustered with restaurants. It is slightly expensive so it’s okay if you just stroll here and eat somewhere else. We did the same. We also used the washroom of a restaurant. By ‘we’ I mean my husband. Oh and I think he doesn’t remember anything of this neighbourhood; he was only focusing on restaurants with toilets.

Flea market of Monastiraki - Pictures will tell you what's it's like. 
 Dream Catchers in all sizes

The National Garden - This is amazing! We visited this place on a sunny afternoon after a long tiring walk. In Athens you can drink anywhere..yes that's so cool! So we bought cold beers from one of the kiosks outside the park and spent 4 hours there.It was so relaxing & we managed to get shut eye for sometime. Absolute bliss.

Syntagma Square -
It is know for changing of the guards by the Evzones in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You can skip this one. Nothing can beat what we Indians have at Wagha Border. So might not like it.
So this is a short account of my glorious vacation in Athens. I will definitely go there again!
PS: All pictures are my own, please do not use them anywhere else.

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