Στην υγειά σας from Athens!

Flying over the Mediterranean Sea was unlike anything we have seen before. The deep blue color of the water was so mesmerizing, it seemed to go on forever. And then as we got closer to landing down in Athens, we could start to see the colors change from deep blue to crystal clear teal as the shorelines approached. We arrived at our Airbnb shortly after landing and made ourselves at home. We were in a loft that was on the top floor of the building. It had an awesome patio area with a view of the Acropolis! We played a lot of cribbage out there while enjoying some Greek beer.

Spectacular view of the Acropolis from our Airbnb balcony!

Our Greek beer of choice!

Spectacular view of the Acropolis from our Airbnb balcony!

Our Greek beer of choice!

Day 1

The Greek beer I am talking about was mainly Mythos, as this turned out to be our favorite. We bought a good amount of it to enjoy our time on the lovely patio the first evening. And before that, our host led us to a true taverna for dinner just around the corner from his building called The Tricycle. There were maybe two people working and they did not speak any English, so we figured we found a solid local spot. The dishes were so cheap and came in either half or full plate portions. Being pretty hungry we decided to order three full plates and 3-4 half plates. Now, currently we were not aware that Greek style eating is family sharing style eating. The waitress gave us an odd look after we rattled off our long order and then she brought over a whole separate table to have room… First the feta cheese and Greek salads came out. Then the bread and olive oil. The Mediterranean carbonara. Fried meatballs. Saganaki. And finally, watermelon for dessert (which is apparently traditional). All while taste testing ouzu, the national drink that tastes like black licorice booze. We did our very best to stay and eat as much of our ridiculous amount of food as possible.

The Tricycle

A local restaurant serving up fresh tasty food like this!

The dish on the right is saganaki: fried feta with honey and sesame seeds!

Ouzo: a very common Greek drink!

The Tricycle

A local restaurant serving up fresh tasty food like this!

The dish on the right is saganaki: fried feta with honey and sesame seeds!

Ouzo: a very common Greek drink!

Day 2

This day was all about ruins! We each grabbed full ancient Athens tour passes and hit the ground running. We checked out the slopes of the Acropolis and then made our way up to the Parthenon, the cherry on top that everyone always talks about. It was pretty cool but unfortunately, they are always doing renovations to maintain the integrity of what is left of the ruins. So, you are pretty much going to have pictures with construction in the background, but oh well. Coming down from the Acropolis we hit the Temple of Zeus. We stopped by the Panathenaic Stadium next and then paid a visit to the National Garden which was beautiful. We wandered through Syntagma Square after lunch, which is their central square. After checking out the Ancient Agora and Hadrian’s Library we discovered a neat flea market area just northeast of the ruins. It was near here that we decided to try out one of the bars we had heard about on the internet- Six D.O.G.S. And we were glad we did! You enter into this backyard garden oasis and feel at peace. All of it is open air but shaded very nicely by massive tarps. Definitely would go back there. We made our way through the Plaka neighborhood, which is a fantastic spot to shop and eat, toward the Acropolis Museum. This museum actually turned out to be very informative and it even had a Lego reconstruction of what they think the Acropolis looked like at its peak! To end our busy day of “ruin-hiking” we had dinner at the very-packed rooftop bar A for Athens. We were thankfully back to normal eating times again (after our schedule significantly shifting in Spain), so we got an amazing view of the sunset hitting the Acropolis.

The impressive Acropolis.

The Parthenon

More ancient ruins!

We saw so many ruins that Adam had to take a break…

Six D.O.G.S.

The impressive Acropolis.

The Parthenon

More ancient ruins!

We saw so many ruins that Adam had to take a break…

Six D.O.G.S.

Day 3

We trained over to the port city of Piraeus in the morning to catch our first day ferry to Hydra, one of the Saronic Islands of Greece! We had heard very good things about the port of Hydra and were not disappointed. Magnificent orange-roofed homes surrounded us as we entered the cove to dock. We were greeted by tons of donkeys, as the island does not allow any motorized vehicles. We realized there also weren’t really any bathrooms available either. But that did not stop us from hiking through the island town and up a hill to get a great view of the whole cove. To the left-hand side of the port when the boat is docking there is a paved walkway you can stroll along to a lookout point. We made our way further around the coastline and were pleasantly presented with a small oasis called Mandraki Beach. It is the only sandy beach on the island and has a very gradual decline into the sea. The water looked so stunning we just had to jump in. After all, this is truly what we were here for. We didn’t get to stay long though as we had to continue our island adventure! Before we left on the next ferry, we grabbed some delicious Greek yogurt at one of the port restaurants.

The ferry we took over to the island of Hydra.

Hydra Port

Mules are common due to motorized vehicles not being allowed on the island.

Beautiful views from the middle of the island.

Mandraki Beach

The ferry we took over to the island of Hydra.

Hydra Port

Mules are common due to motorized vehicles not being allowed on the island.

Beautiful views from the middle of the island.

Mandraki Beach

It was a much faster ride from Hydra to Poros which is what we needed as the afternoon was already upon us. After docking we sped through the small port town and were on a mission for more beaches. What we discovered was exactly what we needed. First, we landed at Love Bay, where we had some frozen cocktails to enjoy in the sun. Then after a bit we explored a little further up the island and found Russian Bay, an even bigger beach with plenty of room for sand sports. Both beaches captured the dream-like water that we wanted. Honestly, we could see our bodies under the water as clear as if they were on the beach. To enjoy another sunset, we stopped by one of the many beachside restaurants for dinner (stuffed squid) before our departure back to Piraeus.

Onto the next island, Poros!

Lined with plenty of boats!

Love Bay: the first beach we found on Poros!

It only seemed fitting to have frozen drinks in our hands!

The second beach we found!

With some cool ruins from an old naval station.

Very fresh seafood!

Onto the next island, Poros!

Lined with plenty of boats!

Love Bay: the first beach we found on Poros!

It only seemed fitting to have frozen drinks in our hands!

The second beach we found!

With some cool ruins from an old naval station.

Very fresh seafood!

Day 4

Caught up in the magic of the Mediterranean, we decided to keep our relaxing beach days going and trained/bused south of Athens down to Astir Beach. This was probably one of the nicest beaches we have been to. The sand was perfectly groomed. The water was even more clear than at the islands the day before. Numerous beach games and water sports were up for grabs. This is the type of beach that celebrities go to. Now we weren’t able to afford the private area Obama has been to, but we paid about $30 each for a full day of cushioned beach chairs with a storage bin and it even came with our own giant lounge pillow we could sprawl out on! We took a few dips in the water, played some ping pong, had some beers and frozen drinks, and totally relaxed in this posh environment.

A private beach about 30 min south of Athens.

We sure enjoyed our time on this posh beach!

Where we rented these comfy seats for the day!

And witnessed another beautiful sunset!

A private beach about 30 min south of Athens.

We sure enjoyed our time on this posh beach!

Where we rented these comfy seats for the day!

And witnessed another beautiful sunset!

Day 5

We felt like we did not do the Ancient Agora and Hadrian’s Library justice the first time around, so on our last day we headed back to these sites along with the ruins of Kerameikos. We had another amazing lunch consisting of Greek salad and moussaka, then made our way up Lykavittos Hill, the tallest point in Athens at a little over 900 ft. There is an old monastery at the top and you also get a great overview of the whole ancient city. The last thing we had to do was find some gyros! And luckily there was a spot near our Airbnb that served up pork and chicken gyros. The best part- their street gyros come with french fries shoved into the pita goodness. It went perfectly with the last of our beers on the patio as we watched the sun set once more on the Acropolis.

One more round of ruins!

And museums!

Check out these ancient toilets!

View from Lykavittos Hill!

One more round of ruins!

And museums!

Check out these ancient toilets!

View from Lykavittos Hill!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Suzy

    Was waiting for a picture of you two on donkeys!

  2. Megan McCarthy

    That would have been fun, but these ones were only used for goods!

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