Oh, what to say about Athens, other than we have absolutely loved being here and experiencing the lovely people, the warm weather, the ancient ruins, and the modern, over-the-top restaurant decorations. Our stay at. In(n) Athens was really great – breakfast was exceptional, and the staff is so helpful and accommodating. Together, we had only been here for one day on a cruise in 2009. We journeyed to the top of the Acropolis to see the temples, and that is about all we remembered of that trip. Some things never change – the Parthenon, on the Acropolis, was formerly filled with construction workers, cranes, and scaffolding. All of those remain. It has been undergoing restoration and reinforcement continuously since 1975. Built in 438 BC, it was bombed in the 1687 Siege of the Acropolis. From 1800-1803, the 7th Earl of Elgin removed (looted) some of the surviving sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles.
Our ticket for entrance to the Acropolis was at 8:00 am, as it would be cooler and not as crowded to visit at the time it opens. Are we ever glad we did! The weather was perfect, and the early morning views over the city that you can see in the first dozen photos were worth getting up early for. It is a bit of a hike to the top, but not overly strenuous.
Now that we are about six years older than when we started roaming the world full-time, we are increasing enjoying going slowly. We don’t try to see everything in a city, just a few sights, so that there is more to visit and discover next time we visit. That is certainly true here in Athens. There are so many ancient sites and ruins to visit, but we didn’t want to spend our week just slogging through them all. We went out every day and walked, but only for a few hours. It is a nice pace for us. Athens is absolutely glorious, so a return is warranted. It is one of the great cities of the world, and one that we would recommend highly.
Our daily walks usually culminated at one of the local restaurants, often within a few blocks of our hotel located near the Plaka Neighborhood. There are many restaurants in that area. Most of them are reasonably priced, and many are very good. We were shocked that at Mamacita (see photos below), we had some of the best Mexican food we have had outside of North America. Sharing the Spanish language didn’t help the authenticity of the Mexican food we recently had in Barcelona. But, Mamacita…wow! At any rate, the food alone is enough of a reason to stay for a while in Athens.
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