Matt Richardson

On the road again - Athens...

November 15, 2004 | 3 Minute Read

Its raining outside, its cold, and i'm drinking coffee in a french café... Sounds like its a good time to write a bit more about the whole travelling thang.

And the next location on the list is Athens. Well, where do I start? I left Paul and Lydias house on the 25th of October at something like 4am (ouch :)), and jumped on a plane at 6.30am. Not much fun, really. Managed to find the hostel, which charged a whole €8.16 a night, for a 'dorm' room with only 4 beds, and an ensuite. Was a bit of a dump, but who cares. Also managed to find Amy, which was a good thing. Amy is a girl I met in Rome, who was travelling alone, and was looking for a travel buddy. For those who are asking questions about Amy (you know who you are!), no, its not like that (Sorry <IMG alt=:P class="emoticon" src="/images/emotions/emotion-4.gif">).

Anyway, on our first day there, we did the random wandering thing, just exploring and getting to know the place. We managed to see the Acropolis (from a distance) by night (very cool) and wandered through Plaka (Athens version of Chapel St), which was cool. Also saw lots of little bars and cafés that looked really cool. Could've spent a while there.

The next day, we got all organised and went on the tourist trail, and managed to see:

  • the Acropolis (including the Parthenon, the temple of Athena Nike and the Erechitheion (with the pillars carved in the form of maidens). Very cool all up. It was quite something to see the structure that i've heard and learnt so much about. Also learnt that the 'Elgin marbles' that are in the British museum were actually bought, not stolen, so its a lot more understandable that they don't want to return them (i still think they should, but...)
  • the Temple of Olympian Zeus (only a few columns left, so not that exciting, but still cool)
  • the Roman Stadium (built in the 4th century BC, but restored in 1895 for the first modern olympic games in 1896), which was alright, but not that exciting
  • the Roman and Ancient Agoras (both mostly ruins, and not that exciting)
  • the Temple of Hephaestus (really well preserved - pretty cool)

After our wandering round, having seen the majority of what Athens has to offer, we headed down to the port to catch the ferry to Santorini Island, but, we ran into the whole 'assuming issue', and found that there wasn't a ferry that night. So, back to the hostel, which although we weren't to happy about it, turned out to be a good thing, as we met up with a few Belgians (Anya and Lievin), and a bunch of Frence Canadian girls, and had a really good night (involving a fair bit of vodka ) .

So, on our extra, unplanned day in Athens, we headed down to the National Archaeological Museum, which is apparently the most important in the country. Had some pretty cool stuff, but I found that I was looking at it from an art perspective, rather than a historical perspective, so it was a bit of a let down. We did a bit more wandering, then checked out a bit of 'local' food, and had a gyros pita, which was a bit different to back home, but still damn good, especially for €1.50 .

Then, it was attempt number 2 for getting out to Santorini. We managed to meet an American (Vanessa), and a Canadian (Anna) at the train station, who were heading the same direction (at one point it was a regular backpackers convention - we had a corner with 6 backpackers in it ). Then, it was on the overnight ferry to Santorini (with an uncomfortable seat to sleep in, and a very loud rattling roof - so not much sleep...)

And seeing I enjoyed Santorini so much, and i've got a fair bit to write about, that can be done later.

Tagged: On Travels