Athens

Athens was the beginning of this journey backpacking Europe with my sister! It was such a brief time that we spent in Athens but it gave us the initial feeling of what spending the next month together all day every day would be like. There were ups and downs every step of the way, but we had an overall amazing two days in Athens.

My biggest down of our time in Athens was that I became really ill our first day there. I had been traveling and doing so much between going to London and Kefalonia that by the time we left for Athens, my body was begging for some rest. However, this traveler was not giving herself what she really needed. I was not going to waste my two days in Athens sleeping off the flu. I pushed through the pain and Tina and I started our first day in Athens by climbing up the Acropolis to see the Parthenon.

Because we were traveling at the end of September, the weather was perfect for the climb. The steps were tricky at times and we stopped every now and then for a breather, but whether or not you need to stop for some water, I recommend you do for the views. As you walk up the Acropolis the views change and get better and better. ACS_0001

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It was such a clear day and although my body was hurting, the views more than made up for it. As you’re walking further up the Acropolis, you get a view of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. It’s the amazing amphitheater on the southwest slope of the Acropolis. This theater has heard performances from artists such as Frank Sinatra and Elton John!

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As we walked further up we came to a large set of marble stairs and at the very top was the Parthenon in all its glory. The steps were slippery and I definitely tripped a few times while racing up to get a better view. A lot of the Parthenon is currently being restored, but that didn’t stop Tina and me from getting as up close as possible. ACS_0007

 

The best part of having my sister on this trip was being able to take photos of each other at each historic site as well as having someone there with me who was as excited about seeing the Parthenon as I was! Aside from seeing the Parthenon itself, the best part of being on top of the Acropolis was the views of the city of Athens.

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We walked all the way past the Parthenon to get a full shot of it, only to realize there was another hill to walk up to get a full view of Athens itself. ACS_0003

The view from the top of the Acropolis was breathtaking. We could see Athens from beginning to end. And in the far distance, we could see another mountain that we didn’t know at the time we would be traveling to the next day.

Of course, we immediately had to take some photos of ourselves in front of the Parthenon for the pure fact of how incredible it was.

ACS_0009ACS_0008The opportunity to be able to experience something so ingrained in Greek history was a life-changing and educational experience. We truly loved every minute of exploring and climbing the Acropolis and being able to see an integral part of Greek history. All of the stonework and marble features were nothing like we had ever seen before and we were excited to continue our journey in exploring Athens.

 

Our next day in Athens consisted of Tina and I meeting up with our Aunt Jeanie who took us to the highest point in Athens. We traveled to the top of Lykavittos Hill and thank goodness we took the Lycabettus Funicular which is a cable railroad that helps bring you to the top of the hill rather than having to walk it. In my opinion, it was definitely worth the 7.5 Euros. Once we got to the top of the hill, the views were absolutely breathtaking. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and go on a clear day to see the entirety of Athens. If you want an even better look, bring binoculars to see even further. ACS_0011At the very top of the hill is a beautiful church that you can go in and explore. There is also a cafe up there that was honestly overpriced and had terrible coffee and food. We asked for coffee and fruit and I’m not really sure how you screw that up but it somehow was the worst. However, don’t let that cafe stop you from traveling to the top and seeing the incredible view. ACS_0010

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I want to explain to you all the amazing hostel we stayed in. Throughout our experience backpacking, we stayed in awesome hostels, airbnbs, and hotels and we stayed in awful ones. I’ll give you guys a review on each place we stayed in so if you want to ever travel to that city you know where to stay or in some cases, where not to stay. Our hostel in Athens was Athens Backpackers. It was so centrally located to restaurants, transportation, and tourist sites. It was less than a 5-minute walk to the Acropolis which was so ideal because trust me when I say you’re going to want a quick journey home after the long walk up the Acropolis. We stayed in a four bedroom room with air conditioning and the people we shared the room with were really friendly and didn’t give us any issues. The bathroom didn’t have great water pressure and the shower was super tiny, but it fulfilled its needed purpose. The best part of the hostel was by far the rooftop bar. I didn’t take these photos, but they show you how amazing the views were.rooftop at night
athens rooftop bar

 

 

 

 

 

The picture on the left was the view we experienced during the day which was nice, but the really fantastic view came at night. We truly weren’t expecting this incredible view when we decided to venture upstairs for a late night drink. We ordered some mojitos during the sunset happy hour and became lost in the view of the Parthenon lit up as night fell. The best part about this hostel was that the bar took into account that a lot of its visitors wanted some peace and quiet past a certain time. In order to accommodate their guests, the rooftop closed and the hostel had another bar down the street for its guests who wanted to continue the late night good times. Those who know me well know that once that rooftop closed, I was immediately in bed resting up for the next day of adventure. That’s probably Tina’s biggest complaint about backpacking Europe with me. I still needed to be in bed every night by midnight. But I will say, going to bed at a decent hour every night allowed me to be able to walk the average 6-8 miles a day that we normally walked.

There is so much more to experience in Athens such as all of the incredible shopping and we also explored the Acropolis Museum (which doesn’t allow photos.) It is definitely worth going to see, however you need a few hours to really experience and go through each part of the museum. Also, one last tip for any Athens travelers…..take the subway! Don’t pay for a taxi anywhere!

I hope you all enjoyed this latest post! The next one will be all about our time in Rome so be on the lookout for that! Be sure to give this post a like, comment, or share if you enjoyed what you read!

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