Thursday, June 23, 2016

TRAVEL: 5 Days in Athens // Greece 2016

The last stop during my travels to Greece was the capital city of Athens. After a relaxing time on the islands, the hustle and bustle of Athens was a nice change of pace. 

HISTORY: If you're into archeology or love looking at ruins, statues and ancient artifacts, you'll likely fall in love with Athens. There's the ever popular Acropolis, which includes the Parthenon, Temple of Athena, Theatre of Dionysus, and Theatre of Herodes Atticus

You can purchase tickets for individual sights, but the Greek Ministry of Culture & Sports has a special package deal (30 general admission, 15 students) which includes the Acropolis of Athens as well as several museums and archeological sites in and around Athens - the Ancient Agora of Athens, Archeological Museum of Kerameikos, Archaeological Site of Lykeion, Hadrian's Library, Museum of the Ancient Agora, the Temple of Zeus (Olympieio), and the Roman Agora of Athens. 

Temple of Athena on the top of the Acropolis

Theatre of Herodes Atticus in Athens, Greece

View of Athens from the Acropolis

At foot of the Acropolis, there's the Acropolis Museum (5 general admission, 3 students), which includes restored artifacts that were once found inside the Acropolis. What's cool is that when the Acropolis Museum was being built, they found ruins of an ancient Athenian neighbourhood underneath. The Acropolis museum has glass floors so that you can see the live excavation from above. 

Inside the Acropolis Museum, Athens

 Ancient gold coins in the Acropolis Museum, Athens

 The Ancient Agora of Athens

 A statue at the Ancient Agora of Athens

 More Statues at the Ancient Agora of Athens

The Roman Agora of Athens

And as if the aforementioned stuff didn't give me enough of a history fix already, we headed to the National Archeological Museum of Athens (10 general admission, 5 students). It's organized chronologically and contains pieces beginning from 6000 BC (neolithic, cycladic, mycenaen) spread across 8,000 square meters. 

Outside the National Archeological Museum of Athens

A sculpture Aphrodite, Eros and Pan in the National Archeological Museum of Athens

A gold leaf crown in the National Archeological Museum of Athens

FOOD: You know me and food, we're good pals. Noteworthy food spots included: 
  • Lunch/Dinner at Mani Mani (aka Manh Manh), which featured modern Greek cuisine. They also had a stellar weekday promo known as "half portion, half price" until 6:00PM. The half portions were quite generous for the price and very delicious. My favourites were the salads. 
  • Falafel at Falafellas
  • Gelato at Pagotomania and Le Greche
  • Dinner at Karamanlidika, a delicatessen and restaurant specializing in cured meats and cheeses. 

Chickpeas flavored with cumin, cabbage with green apple vinaigrette & fresh mint at Mani Mani 

Lentils with fresh oregano, sun dried tomatoes, onions, capers, smoked pork and orange sauce at Mani Mani

Mani Mani Salad with lettuce, rocket, sun dried tomatoes and manouri cheese at Mani Mani

Falafel at Falafellas 

Cherry and Yogurt + Cappuccino Gelato at Pagotomania in Athens

Pavlova, Mascarpone with Figs & Bergamot Orange Ice Cream at Le Greche in Athens

Exploring the Central Market (WARNING: Walking through the meat aisle might make you want to become a vegetarian)

Spanikopita at Arcadia Restaurant in Athens

Salami and Cheese Salad at Karamanlidika in Monastiraki, Athens

OTHER STUFF: I would have liked to roam around Athens for one more day. Each neighbourhood has its own bit of flare. There's lots of stray cats everywhere and graffiti too. We also checked out the changing of the guards in Syntagma Square and the National Botanical Gardens. 

One of my mum's Greek friends and her significant other showed us around on our last day. They took us to a few local cafes and hot spot (whose names I'm having trouble remembering). One we stopped by was Six d.o.g.s a cafe/bar that appears to be underground when you walk in but the staircase leads to a huge room with a beautiful open roof and forest-like decor. Definitely a hidden gem. 

Graffiti and shops in Athens


National Botanical Gardens

Panorama of Athens from the top of the Acropolis

Panorama of the Temple of Zeus

Aaaaand that concludes my Greece travel series! It feels like so long go even though it's only been a month and a bit. Hope you enjoyed. Be sure to check out the other posts and let me know if you have any questions :) 

This is the last post in a five part series. 

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