Athens Travel Diary - Saying Farewell to Greece

IMG_2988It was so sad leaving Santorini but I was looking forward to seeing the historic city of Athens. We arrived in Athens around 12pm on Thursday. Our Flight back to New York was at 12pm the following day so we had half a day to spend touring the city of Athens. We booked the Royal Olympic Hotel, which is within the vicinity of majority of the main tourist attractions but it was about 45 minutes from the main airport. As soon as we exited the airport, there were several luxury cabs lined up across the street but they were so pricey. Do not book these. If you walk back just a couple of minutes, you will see a row of yellow cabs that are way cheaper and charge a flat rate.

We arrived at the hotel around 2pm and it was quite a sight to behold. It’s a five star hotel that sits just across the street from the Temple of Olympian Zeus. We booked the Panorama room that has views of the Temple, The National Gardens and The Lycabettus Hill from the massive glass doors. The hotel is a 10-15 minute walk to the Parthenon and a 2 minute walk to the new Acropolis Museum. The hotel also has a Roof Garden Restaurant that has gorgeous views of Athens;  their free buffet breakfast was simply amazing.[wpvideo KVvHAk0i][wpvideo LveZPRyl]IMG_2723IMG_2972IMG_2974 We walked around for a little bit looking for a place to eat. I noticed a lot of Indian restaurants in the area, which I was very excited about as I love Indian food. We finally settled on Indian Haveli, which has authentic Indian food and it was quite packed and for good reasons. We had a nice chat with the owner of the restaurant and he mentioned that they are one of the top rated Indian restaurants on Trip Advisor so they are definitely worth checking out.IMG_2724IMG_2726IMG_2734This is one of my favorite tea (tea masala) but it's so hard to find or I just don't know where to find it.

After lunch, we walked over to the Temple of Zeus, which has massive columns. It is one of Athens most important archaeological sites. There’s a fee to get in of about 12 Euros per person.IMG_2744IMG_2745IMG_2746IMG_2749IMG_2756IMG_2759IMG_2766IMG_2772IMG_2782IMG_2783IMG_2784IMG_2791I was so excited to see the water tap outside. I haven't seen one like this in such a long time.IMG_2740After our mini tour, we came across a very persistent cab drive by the name of Demetrious; he was the fifth Demetrious we had met in Greece. He was quite charming and convinced us to do a tour with him for half the price of what it would cost to book with a tour company. I have to admit, it was actually a pretty good deal; we paid about 80 Euros for two people. He took us to one of Athen's first Stadium to host the Olympics. The Stadium had been recently renovated.IMG_2795IMG_2798Demeterious then drove us to Mount Lycabettus, which was about twenty minutes away. It sits so high up, it is visible from many places. It has an amazing panoramic view of Athens. Once at the top, there’s the chapel of St George and a beautiful café.IMG_2803IMG_2805IMG_2807IMG_2806IMG_2820IMG_2828IMG_2838IMG_2840This is the cafe at the top of Mt Lycabettus. It has a beautiful view of the city. Tourists dine here while watching the sunset. Unfortunately, we had no time do that.IMG_2846IMG_2856IMG_2857IMG_2863IMG_2867IMG_2869IMG_2875IMG_2876This is the old university that is no longer in use at the moment. Just across the street is the National Bank. Demeterious explained that many many years ago, the Germans invaded the bank and stole a lot of money, which they are yet to pay back. Germans pay up! :-)IMG_2881IMG_2885IMG_2903We visited several towns of Athens and Demetrious made sure to make a stop at his friend’s souvenir shop called Hydra Gallery so we could buy a few things there. IMG_2908As evening came, we went back to our hotel and below are the pictures that we took from our mini balcony.IMG_2943IMG_2995IMG_2946IMG_2948IMG_2950We didn't get a chance to go and see the Parthenon as it was already closed by the time we got there but we could see it from the hotel. It lights up at night and looks so beautiful standing on top of the hill.IMG_2966Early in the morning the following day, Kevin woke me up so I could see this gorgeous sunrise.IMG_2984IMG_2985IMG_2969IMG_2972IMG_2982IMG_2988IMG_2986IMG_2992 We rushed to have breakfast early in the morning and didn’t get a chance to see a lot of the other tourist sites. I wish we had a couple of days to spend in Athens. Maybe next time.

It was finally time to head back home. Greece was one of the best vacations I've ever been on and I can't wait to go back. The place is so beautiful, there are just no words to describe it. The people are amazing - everyone we met was so good to us, and their food is super delicious. That's it for my Greece travel diary, I hope you guys enjoyed the pics and found the posts super informative.

Until next time, stay blessed!