How can my Grecian Dream be complete without visiting the Mother City - Athens. This journey made a stronger and braver Alyson, trying to find her way to Ethniki Amyna which I booked thru Airbnb on my own, late at night in Athens city, while my phone was dying. I thought I would be sleeping on the streets that night. (Seriously!) That was just the beginning of it all.
The Athenian journey was everything enchanting, mysterious, lively and full of history rolled into one beautiful piece. This may be what I loved most about Greece and my growing desire to be here - for her ancientness, significance in world history, the lure of their gods and goddesses, the development of ideals, art, sportsmanship and philosophy by the world's greatest thinkers.
I decided to start my day early on foot to cover everything. I always explore the city like-a-local taking the public transport and refusing to sign myself on the hop-on-hop-off bus tours. I found the Acropolis Museum by half-accident and not realizing I've already went past the Temple of Zeus and Arch of Hadrian on my way there (Haha!) The visit to Ancient Athens at 30€ was worth the travel back in time, having access to every archeological site, temples and is good for five days to explore it much longer. I couldn't help myself from touching a piece of those marble helms and columns which have stood the test of time. As I fancy going high, climbing on top of the Acropolis Hill gave me a 360 view of Athens. Climbing the Aeropagos Hill gave me a different perspective of the Acropolis and Parthenon, having them all to myself. The Ancient Agora housed the most intricate artefacts and statues of Ancient Athens. While I still have to read more on the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, I am impressed how the people have preserved these monumental wonders and still do today.
As I found a well-travelled buddy, we decided to move to the flea market until stopping for lunch at Monasteraki for some Zouflaki and our wonderful restauranteur blew us away with free Basbousa, Greek yoghurt, and Raki (strong Greek alcoholic drink). More time on foot and we found ourselves in the birth and cradle of the Olympics that is the Panathenaic Stadium. For some of the best Greek finds and trinkets, Plaka has a whole boulevard to explore on foot. And as unplanned, a friend I've made back in Santorini invited us to climb the Lycabettus Hill to catch the sunset. I'm glad I've tagged along with travellers in their nikes and runners while I was wearing sandals and a handbag as my hiking gear. Imagine the struggle. I did not expect to hike mountains that day.
It was worth it. The view of the whole city of Athens at those golden hours was precious. We climbed further to reach an Orthodox Church that had the viewpoint of the city, this time, looking over the Acropolis Hill. And as the sun was slowly setting, so where the city lights coming to life. I had a wonderful dinner starting it off with Greek Salad followed by Moussaka, Moschofilero and Mythos with two amazing souls to share that amazing moment above Athens. And that was a beautiful end to my Athenian journey. Cheers! Se Agapo!