Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Greece Itinerary: Part 1

Today, I'm going to give you the rundown for what we did in Athens and Mykonos. Santorini we'll save for later this week. Keep you guys on your toes.

We flew in to Athens (from Istanbul) around two. We took an express bus that was 5 euros per person to the Dafni bus station. We stayed in a room we found on Airbnb. Airbnb is a site where people rent either their own place (or a room in their place) for people to stay. Our host was AWESOME and made a big difference. She had given us directions ahead of time on how to get to the stop from the airport, she picked us up at the bus stop, took us to the apartment and gave us great info on how to get around and where to go, etc. 
By about five pm we had gotten settled and headed back out to see the city. We took the metro (1.40 euro per/trip) and headed to the Akropoli station. We wandered aimlessly and stumbled upon the Acropolis Museum (we didn't go) and then the Acropolis itself. You buy a ticket (20 euros I think) which will get you into 6 different major sites in the city. At the site we visited you can see the Theater of Dionysis, Acropolis and a few other theaters. The view from up there is incredible!

On the other side of the Acropolis from where we entered you get to the Plaka, or old area, of the city. It's touristy but you can get kind of lost in the little alleys and find some gems. We found a little cafe with a bunch of tables/chairs in the alleyway. It was mostly a bar but I got some sangria and ordered a Greek salad. We also got tzaziki and bread and Seth ordered a meat pie. It was probably one of the cheaper places we ate in Greece and was my favorite meal there, for the ambiance and sangria. 
After that we walked around, got fro yo, and headed back to our apartment. Early the next morning we got a taxi (our gracious host woke up and ordered one for us!, again such a blessing). We had to pick up our tickets from a travel agency that our driver couldn't find, so instead of just dropping us off, he asked around and found it for us after 20 minutes. Very nice. Then we took our ferry to Mykonos. 

On our last day in Greece we went back to Athens (I'll get to Mykonos later). It was beastly hot so when we lugged our stuff back to our apartment we hung out in front of fans, watching MTV, until 5 pm. That was not our finest moment. :)

We did head out and got back to the main part of town. A few touristy areas were already closed (like the Temple of Zeus) but we did find the Panathenaic Stadium, which is the earliest modern stadium andmade entirely of marble. For 3 euros per person we got a free audio tour which was really informative and made the place much more interesting. 
They have a display with all of the posters and some of the torches! 
On our walk we also walked past an area of cool government buildings. 
We ate a restaurant called 2Mazi I read about on an in-flight magazine. They had this fantastic outdoor eating area, great food and wine and I loved it. That was our final night in Athens and we left this next morning for home.
 Now, back to Mykonos. We booked our ferry from Athens to Mykonos through Greeka. Our ferry ride was 4 hours sitting in deck chairs, thankfully out of the sun, with people smoking around us. Not ideal, but I sort of slept and we got there eventually.

I hadn't looked up how to get to our hotel ahead of time, so we just waited for a taxi when we got to the port. There are only 27 taxis on the island (there were 29 but two of them got in an accident that morning - HA). He charged us 8 euros to go 2 km to our hotel. Oh well.

We stayed at the Pension Matina. It was a 20 min walk into town and a little pricey, but it was comfortable and had a pool. In town we got a mediocre lunch, amazing ice cream and saw this view:
That's Little Venice. We also saw the windmills, which are old. 
 That afternoon, we sat out by the pool and ate at a restaurant next door (where I got that amazing sea food bowl I posted on Sunday). The next morning we got an awesome breakfast at Illy Cafe close to our hotel and then rented a scooter! Our scooter was the favorite part of our trip.
 It was 20 euros a day and we got to see the whole island on our own schedule. Seth drove, I rode.

We stopped at Elia beach for a few hours in the morning. Before 1 there weren't many people. We set up towels in the sand, but there were areas of chairs and umbrellas you could pay for, and some that were not as comfortable but free on the other end. We went back later in the afternoon and it was much more populated and there was techno bumping by all the chairs. The other side was still nice.
 At a little random cafe on our scooter ride.
We ate gyros for 2.50 euros, and ice cream for lunch. Scootered around, beached it. Then headed out for dinner that night.

We went to M-eating. It's in one of the many alley ways of the Little Venice area of the town. That part is super touristy and difficult to find things. A nice Aussie man saw our wandering and directed us to find it. It was dark and I forgot to take pictures but the meal was GREAT. I've never had servers be so attentive and concerned when I didn't finish my meal (I was full), they were worried I didn't like it. Anyways, it was a wasn't cheap but I would recommend it for sure.

The next morning we scootered, beached it and then headed off to Santorini!

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