Athens – Last (half) Day

Day 1, Day 2, Day 3

We absolutely couldn’t leave Athens without going up to the Acropolis! We got up early on Tuesday, packed up and headed out. We LOVED the location of our apartment…only a 15 minute walk from door to top of the Acropolis! We had an awesome time looking around before heading back down to catch the metro to the airport. This site was a great resource for us as we were traveling around the city! If you want to see all 500+ of our photos (Day 1 & 2 posts only have iPhone pictures), check out the album.

Ruins at the metro station.

Bye Athens!

Athens – Day 3

Day 3…a couple weeks later (Day 1 & Day 2)! We’ve been pretty busy at school, with our masters and traveling to Dubai. Day 3 turned out to be pretty great!

We made breakfast at the apartment…yogurt with muesli and BACON (on the side, not in the yogurt ;))! Jeff ended up eating pork at almost every meal while we were there. This summer should be interesting!

We headed out to Dionysus Theater. Before going in we bought a combo ticket that allowed us entry into several of the most famous sites. The tickets are valid for 4 days so there is plenty of time to hit everything. The Theater is at at the base of the acropolis. We explored a little but decided to save the Acropolis for later.

Next we walked to the Temple of Olympian Zeus. We were constantly amazed at how old and huge everything was!

In an attempt to save some money we tried to find a grocery store to buy food for a picnic. We failed. SO we ate at Smile again for lunch. This time we had the calamari. Except we ate it the way the Greeks do…grilled!

Our plan to go to the Acropolis in the afternoon was spoiled when we walked up to find out it was closed. With less than 24 hours left in Athens we panicked a little! We had to settle for seeing it from afar (again).

We consoled ourselves with a little more geocaching! It was a hard one…but Abby is getting to be a professional at finding those!

We continued walking around Monastiraki square and Plaka for gifts and souvenirs.

After 3 days full of walking we needed a few minutes of downtime (and drinks) so we stopped by our apartment before going to see the sunset at Areios Phagos (Rock of Aries near the Acropolis).

It was a little disappointing. But hopefully next time we’re in Athens we’ll be able to see a good one!

We went to the grocery store for the fixins to make our own Greek salad (minus the olives). It was fantastic! We aren’t huge feta fans but the Greeks sure know how to do it!

Entrance to our apartment. One of the coolest things about Athens is the ruins everywhere!

The perfect last dinner with a little TV!

Afterwards we went to Smile for one last visit. We couldn’t leave without having the famous Loukoumades! Connie treated us to homemade Greek yogurt with honey after the donuts…we’re going back just for that deliciousness!

We had AMAZING luck with the weather while we were in Greece! Even though we missed our original flight in Doha, we also missed all the heavy rains and flooding. Our 3 full days were gorgeous and we even got a little sun-kissed 🙂

Athens – Day 2

See Athens – day 1.

Yesterday consisted of lots of walking, a little running and lots more walking!

We started the day with the ceremonial changing of the guards at the Parliament. It takes place every Sunday at 10:30am and was pretty cool! (Video to come)

From there we walked to the Acropolis and bought 12€ tickets that grant us access to all the national archaeological sites and museums (valid for 4 days). We walked over to the Roman Agora before exploring the Ancient Agora. We’re still wrapping our heads around how old this stuff is!! While in the area we walked around Monastiraki square. All the while Jeff was on the look-out for geocaches 😉

About 3pm we decided it was time for lunch. We stopped for another round of gelato….

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…before another meal at Smile. We’ve made it a goal to eat there everyday we’re in Athens 🙂 This time Connie (the owner) surprised us with homemade Greek yogurt and honey. Words cannot express how good it was!

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After delicious beer and food, we walked to the Panathenaic Stadium. We were really excited for this…but it was even more amazing than expected! I dare say it was the best part of our trip! We toured the stadium (an audio tour is included in the 3€ entrance fee), saw all of the posters and torches for every Olympics since 1896 and ran a lap around the track. Priceless.

We had a quick pit-stop at the apartment before heading down to the port. We took the tram and walked the Zeas Port and back.

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We walked along the red (pen) lines.

We stopped for dinner in Mikrolimano at a place recommended by our AirBnB host. We were the only ones in the restaurant, but the fresh fish was worth it!

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Fried baby blunt snouted (mullet)

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Small gilt head bream

After dinner, we were surprised with an after dinner liqueur that we were told would make us sleep well and have good dreams – masticha, a traditional drink to the island of Chios. It was…interesting! We made it back to the metro by midnight and collapsed when we got to the apartment!

We’ve noticed that many Greeks have been incredibly nice to us since we got here! Connie at Smile, the server at Trehadiria (dinner), a random guy at the tram…we’ve loved it here and can’t wait to come back!

Athens – Day 1

Today made our crazy day yesterday worth it! We had a great sleep last night with the help of the amazing ‘blinds’ that are pretty standard in Europe. Jeff went out for breakfast (Greek pastries) and some essentials this morning. After getting ready for the day we headed out! We walked the 7ish minutes to the Acropolis. Amazing. We explored the Filopapou Hill while geocaching!

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Can you see the cache?

We made our way to the top during our hours in the park.

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We meandered to the north side if the acropolis for lunch (gyros and beer if course). We did a little more exploring before having some gelato and heading to the New Acropolis Museum for 2.5 hours (must go there I’d in Athens!). We found a small (health food) market for 2 bottles of wine and a bar chocolate.

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Greek wine!

We headed back to Smile for more deliciously amazing food!

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Spanakopita

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Moussaka

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Pork souvlaki

We’ll have many more non-iPhone pictures when we get back to Kuwait 🙂

Καληνύχτα και όνειρα γλυκά

We made it…finally!

It has been a DAY! We were at the airport in Kuwait by 3am. Our flight left on time and we were excited to experience Qatar Airways for the first time. When we arrived in Doha, it took us awhile to get off the plane (we were near the back), get on the bus, go through security and arrive at our gate to leave for Athens. By then they had closed the gate and would not let us on (even though we didn’t have any checked luggage). No one along the way ever gave us special consideration thinking that we might miss our connection. We were not the only ones from our flight (but apparently there were a few who did make it) and we were told to go to be transfer desk. We were booked for the 1pm flight…and that’s all. We were nice and asked what they could do for us…nada. Upon further insistence we did get a voucher for (nasty) breakfast. Luckily I didn’t get the I edible eggs on toast like Jeff and Abby!

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Amongst all this…the blame was put on US for not making our connection. We were labeled as ‘gate no show.’ The most frustrating thing throughout the whole morning was that they never took responsibility for what happened. And they didn’t treat those passengers who missed the flight the same (some got into the silver lounge…others had to beg to even be put on the 1pm flight). The positive was that the airport did have free wifi! The views flying out of Doha were beautiful!! (Pictures when we get back)

In Athens, we missed he metro into the city by 10 seconds (literally) and then had to wait 30 minutes for the next one. We switched to the tram in the center of the city on our way to our AirBnB apartment. When our stop came…the door didn’t open! We had to go past our stop and walk back in the pouring rain. Jeff left to see about getting a SIM card for his phone and Abby and I waited to see if our ‘host’ showed up. She did…minutes after Jeff left but we had no way to contact him!

We finally made it to the cute apartment!

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Luckily the rain had stopped so we dropped our stuff and headed out for a bit to eat at a recommended restaurant!

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It was amazing to be able to order a beer with dinner again!

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The food was amazing…(oven baked feta)

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…but the gyros were to die for! In Abby’s words…”I’ve never eaten a gyro until this moment.”

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On top of the amazing food, the service at Smiles was fantastic! We may or may not be contemplating going back everyday 😉

Goodnight from Greece!

And we’re off!

Today at school…we celebrated! It was probably one of the best days that we’ve seen since coming here. 99% of the students were dressed up in some way for the upcoming National and Liberation holidays (February 25th & 26th). The elementary school students all stood in the courtyard before school started and sang the national anthem. It was just fun! The rest of the day was filled with parties and more national fun 🙂

We got in the spirit too!

Accidentally cut off the top of Jeff’s head!

Since we’ve been told the country gets a little crazy for these holidays, we decided to get out (we have Sunday through Tuesday off). Jeff and I haven’t traveled since coming to Kuwait (we don’t count going home for Christmas) and this will also be Abby’s first travel since arriving. In a few short hours we’re heading to the airport, then to Doha (Qatar) for an hour layover before we reach our final destination of Athens (Greece) just before noon! None of us have been and we’re pretty excited to explore the city for 3 full days.

Happy weekend everyone! xoxo