Jason and I had an opportunity to travel to Greece in 2012 to be there for the wedding of our good friends and we spent some extra time before and after the festivities exploring as much of Greece as we could. Two weeks is just barely scratching the surface and we were left with long mental lists of places we’d like to see on our next trip back. Next time we’ll explore more islands, venture out to Meteora, and take the kids with us!
We stayed at the popular Plaka area of Athens, where our hotel had a rooftop bar with a view of the Acropolis.
It was surreal to arrive after a long flight and view this amazing piece of history towering over the spreading city below. First priority was braving the summer heat the next day and hiking up to the Parthenon and the Theater of Dionysus at the top. It was a long windy walk through cobblestone streets and up dirt pathways when we finally came to the Theater of Dionysus.
I love being in a place where so many generations of people have walked. This open air theater dates back to the 4th century BC and was home to countless festivals, plays and dramas through the centuries. Sophocles once stepped here.
A circular path from there led to the Parthenon. Again, it was wonderful standing next to an extraordinary piece of history. However, the masses of people with their loud chatter and sweaty bodies and ubiquitous cell phones definitely took away from the moment and if you add the scaffolding and cranes and construction workers and it’s difficult to be reflective. Here are my “photographer” images of the Parthenon…
And here’s what it was really like!
The next day we decided to hike up Mt. Lycabettus for an expansive view of the vast and ancient city. The sun was setting as we walked down and aside from some kind of cactus-like plant with painful prickly hairs that attacked our legs, it was a peaceful and lovely walk.
The next day was a relax and walk around the city day, with a stop at the Doctor fish. Jason and I had done this already in Japan and Thailand, but it was new to some of our friends. And even having done it before, the sensation of tiny carp nibbling at your feet is still squeal-worthy!
Three other major sights we ventured to in Athens were the Acropolis Museum, Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Zeus.
So much history in one city…I can’t wait to take the kids there when they are old enough to really appreciate the sights and I can load them up with Greek mythology ahead of time!
Michelle | Diagnosis:Wanderlust - Your photos are spectacular! No thank you to the feet in the fish tank, though! EEK! Greece is calling! Thank you!
Erica - Your photos just induced too much thirst and wanderlust that I’m going to need to satiate asap! I love that you included the renovations and all the crowd. That is what it’s really like seeing tourist spots, haha. Thanks for sharing these awesome photos!
Revati - I love the airy breeze feel of your photos! Excellent editing!
Gloria @NomadicChica - I agree with you and the love for this city! I was there last year and despite everybody saying…don’t go there…there’s not much to do…I was really surprised! So much history everywhere, really nice people and great food!
Love your pics! Great work 😉
Gabor Kovacs - I was in Athens a few years ago, loved the vibes of the city! You took really nice and vivid pictures that brought back some great memories!
Karla - My family and I spent 5 days here as well and we enjoyed it. Nice history, great food and just a good place to relax . Glad you enjoyed
Simone - Wow I bet you would have seen so much of the city in 5 days! Love your photos!
Simone | The Aussie Flashpacker
Stacey Valle - I also loooe to visits places where so many generations of people have walked. It’s really extraordinary to know that it has great historical stories with countless of people walking around from generation to generation. I feel like that many times when I visit certain sites, such as palaces in South Korea and Hiroshima!
christine - I just wrote all of these down for my trip in September. Thanks for the tips!!
Natasha Amar - Such beautiful photos! Your photos remind me about my experience in the ancient city of Ephesus (home to the Temple of Hadrian, Grand Theater) and found it fascinating- all the history around you is just incredible.
travelgretl - I’ve been two times to this city. One time we were able to stay over at a local family we met hitchhiking the year before. One of my best travel memories 🙂 Thank you for taking me back to this amazing city!
Victor - What an amazing city, this is in the top of my bucket list and Meteora as well. Nice article and I liked the photos a lot!
Anne Klien ( MeAnne) - I love greece beautiful country with stunning beaches and history
Connie Reed - Your beautiful photos make me want to visit Athens. I’ve never been. I agree it’s disappointing to go to a beautiful and historic site and find cranes and scaffolding. It’s happened to me more than once.
Suprio bOse - What lovely pictures, you make the post come alive with the pictures.
Emma Mann - I loved Athens – so many people skip it on their way to the islands. Glad you enjoyed!!
Nic from Roaming Renegades - Nice! Love the honesty in this post too, made me laugh a little! Never been to Athens but have always thought about it but maybe been put off my the overly touristic side. Looks like you guys managed to see it’s many sides.