My friend and I went to Athens for a whirlwind weekend, and we had an overall good time, though everything in Athens seemed to be not what we expected; Athens is great, but it is hot and sort of grimy. There’s nothing bad to say about Greek food, which is generally healthy and full of fresh fish, vegetables, and bread; Athenians eat dinner pretty late, with a mid-day break, like most of Europe, and certain areas of this huge city are loud and noisy from dusk to dawn. Be prepared to pay extra to eat outside. Goody’s, Greece’s fast food chain, has cheap fast food, but the health quality of Goody’s is higher than McDonald’s, and street food is fine. We took the free bike tour of old Athens (you meet at a metro station around 10:30 on Saturdays, you can just show up) and that was a fun but awkward way to see the beautiful streets of Athens. We met people from all over Europe on the bike tour. All the “big stuff,” like the Acropolis and the Temple of Zeus, were worth seeing (crowded even though we were there in September), and we got smoggy but memorable pictures of the city from Lycabettus Hill, which you can walk up or take the funicular (we walked up and took the funicular down). I think because my friend and I (two girls) were traveling by ourselves we attracted a lot of attention from men, which wasn’t mean but creepy – there seem to be more men then women in Athens. The Greek sailors by Pireaus were over-friendly. Also, there are a lot of people begging in the streets with little kids; we saw several near the park (National Garden of Athens). Most everyone spoke some sort of English, and almost everyone smokes a lot, indoors and outside. I’d go back and see parts of Greece other than Athens, but I enjoyed the history of the old town.
Filed under: Europe Tagged: | Acropolis, athens, free bike tour, fresh fish, funicular, Goody's, greece, Greek food, history, juror #19, late dinner, Lycabettus Hill, National Garden of Athens, old Athens, Piraeus, protests, smog, smoking, Temple of Zeus, vegetables