It’s been over a week since we came back and I still long for that warm Greek sun. Living in Belgium for over three years has really left me unused to such weather. And while I remember how frustrating it used to get even in Croatia, I have to admit I kind of missed it. I never thought I would say that! But it was nice to get to enjoy the Mediterranean landscapes! We were actually visiting a friend in Athens so unlike our usual trips, this one included long nights filled with talking and laughter. It was a welcome change from our usual schedules because everything felt more relaxed and laid-back. There was enough time for exploring the city and plenty more for unwinding. But let me start from the beginning!

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

Firstly, our trip began with a layover flight which was something neither of us ever did before and we can safely say now, never will do again. We landed in Sofia, Bulgaria where the temperature was literally 30° higher than the one at home. Our layover wasn’t very long so we only had enough time for lunch before our final flight to Athens. And catching up on a few episodes of Arrested Development, which I’m enjoying re-watching! Anyhow, our friend was kind enough to come pick us up and we spent the rest of the evening eating amazing food and chatting until 1 AM. This was one of my first impressions of Greece, the food being absolutely amazing all the time! But more about that later.

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

It was on our second day in Athens that we finally set out into the center of the city. The first place we went to was the Acropolis. I don’t want to say it was first in order to get rid of it but sort of, thinking of the crowds. Also, according to Greek people, May is too early for sunscreen so we couldn’t find it in any local store. It was only two days later that we finally found one in a pharmacy. Not having any that day at the Acropolis, we felt like we were baking in the sun. Nonetheless, I was still eager to see the Parthenon and even more so the Erechteion! I was like an excited kid pointing at everything and remembering random details about it from college.

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

Exploring all of the Acropolis took a while and by the end of it, we were ready for food. We stopped by Efcharis and had it all to ourselves because we seem to be the only people eating lunch at 11 AM. The food was delicious and the portions surprisingly big; basically, when it comes to food, Greece completely spoiled us. But I’ll go into more detail soon in a separate blog post on food! The following morning, we headed to the Panathenaic stadium, the place where the first modern Olympic Games were held back in 1896. Basically, another thing I’m nerdy about! Across from the street is the Temple of Olympian Zeus, an impressive structure of Corinthian columns. These surviving columns make up a small part of the original building but they are still equally imposing and breathtaking today.

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

To escape the sun, we went to the Acropolis museum which was a delight to explore. By then we were pretty hungry so we went to Avocado where, without a doubt, we had the most delicious veggie burger ever! And then we just sat there waiting for our friend to come by because the burger was so big, we couldn’t move after finishing it. We strolled through the National Garden which feels like an oasis in the middle of the busy city. I highly recommend it, it’s the perfect place to rest and find shade in sunny Athens.

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

The nice thing about visiting Athens for 8 days was that there was no hurry to go anywhere. Whenever we felt exhausted, we could just go back and relax for the afternoon or even the rest of the day. This was a big change since we normally do shorter visits in cities where there is plenty of things to see. So it was nice to leave the city bustle and maybe even nap before the evening. Because usually, our evenings in Athens consisted of going out for drinks and chatting with friends for hours on end. Both Grégory and I fell in love with the Greek language during the course of our stay. I’ve always loved the sound of it but it’s another thing to listen to it every day!

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

Our fourth day was the first one that didn’t begin with us hopping on the bus to the center of the city. Instead, we slept in and had brunch all together on the balcony. Which my friend forgot to mention overlooks the entire city and has a great view of the Acropolis! After a proper Greek breakfast that included lots of feta cheese, we headed out with our friends to explore the scenic neighborhood of Anafiotika. We walked until we couldn’t anymore and found a cozy café where we sat down for ice chocolate. That is something I am still missing since leaving Greece! I never found anything like it anywhere in Belgian cafés so if anyone did, please let me know? Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed this first (long) blog post about Athens. More to come soon!

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

Our first time in Athens: Part 1

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