I'm trying to post our honeymoon pictures gradually and I'm trying not to post a zillion pictures of the same thing so keep on reading...... they are coming! There are 10+ more cities to go after this Athens post.
It was the first time that Mat had ever been to Europe so it was really endearing to see it through his eyes. He got so excited about seeing everything. It could have been an ancient grey boulder sitting on the side of the road and he would have been quite interested in it. Lol! It made my heart happy. He was like a little kid very wide-eyed with amazement and awe at all the sites we saw.
After spending a full day in each city, there are definitely ones that we want to go back to. Athens was the first stop we made on our European adventure and it is a city that you don't have to spend a lot of time in. There are a few things that you want to see but you can do the whole shebang in 1 to 2 full days.
We took a red-eye flight from NYC to Athens, checked into our hotel, and went straight to Acropolis and climbed uphill in the tremendous heat. Wow...... hot! It was like a workout and sauna in one!
Even though it was very hot and crowded with tourists, the views made the journey totally worth it and we reached the Parthenon. This is one of the moments Mat's eyes grew wide in amazement. It was really astonishing to see how grand these ruins were. I was just imagining all the slaves who had to carry all the huge, heavy pieces of stone up the hill to build this thing. I'm sure it was quite a production and incredibly laborious, back-breaking work especially in the summer heat. We have it easy in this day and age.
Around the city and actually all over Europe, there were so many stray dogs lying around asleep everywhere. I don't know how they handled the heat! I guess they sleep right through it!
For food, we couldn't leave Athens without trying Greek yogurt, tzatziki, gyros, and souvlaki. I would definitely recommend Kostas for souvlaki! A souvlaki is like a kebab pita sandwich and Kostas is a hole in the wall place at the Plaka. This owners's family have been making souvlaki for many generations and when Mat and I were eating there, there was a constant flow of locals getting a bite to eat there. We ate a quick lunch for a total of 5 euros and we each ate a pork souvlaki with thick greek yogurt, fresh parsley, tomatoes, and a sprinkle of paprika in a warm, toasted pita. I didn't get a good picture of it but it was very yummy and I could definitely go for one right now!
The Greek eat gyros with french fries stuffed in them.
This is the Plaka and there are a ton of shops and restaurants with outdoor seating. The area is very touristy. It is a place to check out when you are in Athens and it's close to the Acropolis.
For dinner, I chose to eat at Palia Taverna Tou Psarra. The food was pretty good and authentic but the reason I chose the restaurant was because of the views. It was sitting on top of a hill surrounded by rustic houses and we sat outside on the rooftop. The scenery was exactly what I pictured eating dinner in Europe with the romantic candlelight. Dreamy no?
It was a lovely Greek meal and I think I ate moussaka or something like it (pictured below). Not exactly sure what I ordered because the menu was in Greek. I did not want to bust out my Greek dictionary during dinner. Just kidding! I didn't carry one around because my luggage was already overweight but if it could have fit in my bag, I would have. Haha!
If you are in Athens, it is definitely worthwhile to check out the new Acropolis Museum. We didn't check it out and that is one regret I have about Athens. We walked pass it and decided not to go in because we were tired from jetlag but we heard from other folks that it was really cool seeing what the Parthenon would have looked like in its full glory.