Europe · Greece

Before hitting the famous Greek islands, see Athens, please.

I learned that there are two things one should be careful about in Athens: 1) pickpockets (I saw one in action!) and 2) Greek men (who – in my opinion – waste no time in working their ways with women).

Athens is a city that provokes the senses and stirs the imagination that only the home of the gods can.

If your imagination is easily tickled by Greek mythology, then you will like it like I do. My personal favorites are:

…the ancient ruins, stadiums and agoras. The Acropolis and its Parthenon are a must-see in one’s lifetime.
…the breathtaking city views atop Acropolis and Areopagus (aka ‘Aries Rock’ and ‘St. Paul’s sermon rock’)
…the Monastiraki (flea market neighborhood) where you can sample local food and see all the nice Greek leather sandals
…the street art in Plaka
…the laid-back frappé and pretzel culture
…the ouzo shots
…the cheap gyros and souvlakis
…the generally cheap everything! (compared to Western Europe)
…the characteristic Greek shrug (which involves both the mouth and shoulders)
…the creepy fact that birds can never fly over the Acropolis (google it!)
…the amazing feeling that I walked where the world’s greatest philosophers once did

If I were to go back in time, I would love to be an Athenian and ‘live’ among the gods.

A view of the mighty Acropolis from Aries Rock
A view of the mighty Acropolis (back of Parthenon) from Aries Rock
Aries Rock was my favorite spot in Athens. Great view of the city, but beware of pickpockets up there!
Aries Rock was my favorite spot in Athens. Great view of the city, but beware of pickpockets up there!
I just sat there and looked at the city below. It must be that 'ancient' feeling that captivates every visitor. I was.
I just sat there and looked at the city below. The ancient feel of the city captivated me.
It's amazing that ancient structures are still standing after thousands of years!
It’s amazing that ancient structures are still standing after thousands of years!
The structures were magnificent and colossal! It's a different feeling when you see landmarks in photos, then finally be there and see these!
They were magnificent and colossal! It’s a different feeling when you see landmarks in photos, then finally be there and see these!
The stadium where the Olympics was held.  Below: National Garden of Athens in the center of the city.
The stadium where the Olympics was held and the
National Garden of Athens in the center of the city.
I enjoyed 'people watching' at Monastiraki. It is the 'happening' market place of Athens.
I enjoyed ‘people watching’ at Monastiraki. It is the ‘happening’ market place in Athens.
Monastiraki is full of cafes, restaurants, shopping stalls, and souvenir shops.
Monastiraki is full of cafes, restaurants, shopping stalls, and souvenir shops. A lot of cute knick-knacks! Perfect for souvenir shopping.
The streets are lined with street food vendors. I got so excited trying all the food! Haha!
The streets are lined with street food vendors. I got so excited trying all the food! Haha!
The funniest thing I spotted at the flea market.
The funniest thing I spotted at the flea market.
Plaka, one of the historical districts, has some very interesting street art. Athens is full of surprises!
Plaka, one of the historical districts, has some very interesting street art. Athens is full of surprises!

Travel: October 2013

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