Athens! A place I’ve dreamed of visiting since I discovered its existence. I’m fairly ashamed it took me until 28 to visit, but this year I has the fortune of visiting Athens for 8 hours (the first 8 hours of many, I hope).
This trip was part of a cruise that also took us to Mykonos among other delights, and so my first trip to Athens was restricted to around 8 hours – and during it, I had to fit in visiting all kinds of ancient delights I’ve lusted after for years.
Luckily Mr K had visited Athens before, and had a good idea of how vast it was. The clever bugger suggested getting a hop-on-hop-off tour with City Sightseeing Athens for 16euro each (something I would never normally do) and it turned out to be one of the best things we could have done.
Our bus took us from Piraeus port directly to The Acropolis, which took around 45 minutes and dropped us a short (uphill) slog to the most famous ancient ruin in Greece. It was early, so the queues were fairly small and the heat hadn’t become unbearable, so we spent a good 1.5 hours marvelling at the temples. Acropolis complete.
We hopped on the central Athens bus and spent a nice hour tootling round the other sites of interest – the Temple of Zeus (wow), Syntagma Square, Presidential Mansions, Panathenaic stadium, the Odeon and loads of other relics – sadly having very little spare time meant we only got to view these places briefly, but it was enough to whet my whistle & confirm to me that Athens is absolutely a place I’ll visit again (and again and again).
We hopped off the bus for gyros & gelato in a bustling little street with a view of the Acropolis, where the city vibe won me over and I decided with confidence that, actually, I prefer Athens to Rome (my previous all-time-favourite European city).
In order to get back to Piraeus we had to go via the Acropolis again, so we headed back up to the hill & enjoyed the mid afternoon sunshine & said goodbye to the oldest thing I’ve ever seen.
On the bus home we sat up top outside, and I almost managed to pluck a fresh orange off a tree. It was a good day.
Where would you spend 8 hours if you could?