After Italy, we ventured to Athens, Greece. When we got to the airport, we took a metro to a central square, called Syntagma Square. It’s the most important square in all of modern day Athens. It didn’t look very spectacular, but a lot of protests have happened there. Not far from there we found our hotel. The neighborhood was very lively and touristy with many restaurants and small streets. We climbed up a winding road and found a very nice restaurant where we ate Greek treats: Greek salad, very salty olives, spanakopita, vegetable soup, and fresh fish.
Before we ordered the fish, the very kind waiter took us into the kitchen and showed us all the fish they had. He literally swung open the refrigerator, opened drawers with chopped ice, and lifted out the raw fish (including octopus!) to show us what our choices were. We jumped when he showed us the first fish!
We climbed to the Acropolis. It was a winding path up a hill. With each step we got a better view of Athens and the Aegean sea. The building at the top of the Acropolis, the Parthenon, was smaller than I’d expected it to be. But it’s definitely one of the oldest buildings we’ve seen. It dates back to about 400 BCE. A lot of it has been restored, but it’s still amazing how much has lasted. I really liked the women statues holding up the Erechtheum, which was an ancient chapel.
We also went to the archeological museum in Athens where we saw statues, jewelry, and weaponry from Ancient Greek times. The rest of our time in Greece, we filled our tummies with Greek goodies: plain Greek yogurt drizzled with honey, walnuts and pistachios (both a breakfast and a dessert), baklava, and other pastries.