Are you ready for the second part of this travel diary? Well, I definitely am so you better be as well haha. In the first part of this travel diary I talked about our journey to our hotel, us visiting some sights and sharing everything we ate. In this one I will be discussing the last bit of our trip. This includes us visiting the Acropolis, going on a hike and relaxing at the beach. Are you ready? Let’s go!
DAY FOUR | Saturday July 9, 2016
7:00 AM was when the alarm went off. On Friday we decided we would get up early, get ready, have breakfast and head up to the Acropolis. Even though it was really early, I think it was the best idea to go early since the temperature would get higher during the day. Firstly we got up on the Areopagus Hill. This is the way to the Acropolis. During our climb upon the hill, we got to enjoy this amazing view. We could look over the whole entire city, which was pretty cool.
At the entrance of the Acropolis we thought of showing our student cards. Let me tell you, if you are a student, please do this. We got to enter the Acropolis for free! Yes, can you believe it? This made our climb even more interesting haha (later we found out there are lots of places where you get a discount or get to enter for free).
On top of the Acropolis are a couple of different buildings. Firstly we passed the Herodeon, which is an old theatre. Then we climbed upon a couple of stairs to the Propylalea. Above you can see how busy it was on the stairs. We had to pass lots of people taking photos (that’s when I always wonder in how many strangers photos I am haha) and ended up at this bench in the shadow. Here we sat down for a little and enjoyed the amazing scenery. Then we walked through the Propylalea to see the world famous Parthenon. It’s a really stunning building but they are doing a lot of constructing on it. In the photo underneat this you can see all the white pieces they had to replace. This way they are trying to keep the building as much intact as possible.
Since we got up pretty early, we also got hungry after visiting the Acropolis. So we decided to go to the Monastiraki Square (like we always do) and find a restaurant to have some food. Of course we chose a restaurant we hadn’t been before because we are so daring haha. No, just kidding. We did go to a new restaurant (I believe it was called Attica but it was all in Greek lettering so I don’t know haha) but all got a toasted sandwich with ham and cheese. The thing I absolutely loved about this restaurant was the fact they had marble tables. How awesome does it look with the wooden menu? The rest of the day consisted of looking through some stores, relaxing in the hotel room and having dinner again around Monastiraki.
DAY FIVE | Sunday July 10, 2016
Everyone had something they really wanted to do while we were in Athens, Greece. One of those things for Isabella was going on a hike. I think she has been talking about it for about a year. So on this trip we finally had the chance to go on a hike and that’s what we did. There are lots of different hikes we could have done, but no, we did a hike on the biggest hill of Athens, Greece. This one is called the Lycabettus Hill. I have to be honest, I wasn’t feeling it at all. It was so hot and since there was no shade at all, my mood got worse the more we got up the hill. When I think back, it was so funny because in my head I was being so dramatic when I didn’t need to be. Anyways, in the photos below you can see the amazing view we had.
Once we got to the top of the Lycabettus Hill, we got to enjoy the most amazing view. Plus look at this beautiful white church on top of the hill called Agii Isidori. This reminded me so much of Mamma Mia. Anyone else?
After everyone had a little bit of a rest on top of the hill, we had lunch at the restaurant on top of the Lycabettus Hill. This way we could hydrate ourselves a little and have something to eat so we would be ready to conquer the rest of the day (and still enjoy the view of course). Well, the rest of the day we took a little nap (all day, everyday) and went back to the Monastiraki Square to find a restaurant to have dinner again. We ended up at 33Adrianou because this is where we could watch the final game of the European Football Campignonship. Unfortunately France lost but we did have a lovely evening and got to enjoy some nice food (pizza!).
DAY SIX | Monday July 11, 2016
Monday started off really slow. We didn’t feel like getting up early since we spend two days being really productive and hiking up all kinds of hills. So we deserved a way slower day. That’s why we decided to go to the beach. We had to get there by metro so this would actually be the first time we would go somewhere by metro. We went to the metro station, got a ticket and got into the right metro. After a couple of stops we heard some people yelling and everyone got out of the metro. So that is what we did as well. No one spoke English (of course), which made us very confused. So firstly we decided to walk to the beach but actually found out during our walk it was way too far. So we went back to the metro station and got the metro back to our hotel. This is where we took a little time to get changed and we decided to go souvenir shopping instead. I got some cute magnets for my family and some other things for my friends. In an upcoming blog post you’ll also see what I got for myself.
Just before dinner we went to the Ancient Agora. This is a park nearby Monastiraki Square with lots of different ancient Greek buildings. Our first stop was the Stoa of Attalos. In the photos below you can see it. Since the sun was kind of going down, I got to take a couple of photos that I am very happy with, especially the last one.
On the grounds of Ancient Agora were also a couple of other buildings. One of those is the Agii Apostoli. This is a little church in the middle of the grounds. In the photos below you can see how stunning the church still looks in between the trees. On the inside it has a small altar and some beautiful paintings on the ceiling.
Besides the Stoa of Attalos and Agii Apostoli, there was also the Temple of Hepaestus. This is mainly what we came for (am I the only one that thought of “This is what you came for”). It reminded me of a small various of the Pantheon on top of the Acropolis. You could walk all around the building and see all of the details. I stayed in front of the building to enjoy the view over the Ancient Agora and see the Acropolis in the background. During my time in Athens, Greece I think I also tried to take in where I was instead of just taking a photo and then walk on to another sight.
Since we were already in Monastiraki, of course we had dinner around here. We walked upon the street for a little while and then decided to have dinner at Dia Tafta. It was one of the restaurants we hadn’t been to, so we thought we should try it. Of course I had a Caesar Salad and I really liked it. The great thing was also we had free wifi so we could share lots of Snapchat photos with our friends from our food haha. After that we went back to the hotel, played some cards and made sure everything was ready for our second try to have a beach day.
DAY SEVEN | Tuesday July 12, 2016
Since our beach day on Monday didn’t work out, Tueaday would be our beach day. Again, we really took our time in the morning. It was going to be a hot day anyways and sometimes you just need to sleep-in a little, am I right? Anyways, after breakfast we got our beach gear ready and went to the metro station. Since the metro didn’t go on Monday, we hoped it would go today and it did. Leaving the metro station in Piraeus, we firstly saw the harbour. Maybe we have this thing with harbours because we also loved strolling around the one in Barcelona.
To be honest, we got a little lost in the harbour haha. We took a little detour when we asked a men in a kiosk to tell us where the beach was at. Anyways, after awhile we finally got to the beach. It felt like a movie when we were walking down the stairs to the beach. Another Mamma Mia moment I thought (can you tell I am kind of obsessed with that movie?).
The beaches are not the same as they are in The Netherlands. They are actually pretty small but the sea is so much more clearer. After walking along the beach for a little bit we found the Riviera Beach House. Here they had beds and parasols, which we really wanted because we were looking for some shade. When we sat down we didn’t know what the beds and food would cost. When we got our first receipt, we found out that the beds only cost 3 euros each. How inexpensive for a whole day! I think we were there from 1 PM until 6 PM and then found a spot around the harbour to have dinner.
DAY EIGHT | Wednesday July 13, 2016
Wednesday meant home bound time. When I am on holiday, this is always a very bittersweet moment. On the one hand I really want to go home and sleep in my own bed. On the other hand I really want to stay because I love to explore a new city. That’s exactly how I felt this day. We had already packed most of our stuff but the packing part always gets me pretty stressed. Anyways, when we were ready to leave, we went to Monastiraki (again) and literally spend the whole day at Attica (where we had lunch before). We had some conversations with the staff about where we were from and what we saw during our trip. Around 5 PM we left to go to the hotel to pick up our luggage and then went to the metro station to go to the airport. At midnight (The Netherlands time) we arrived back in a much colder Amsterdam.
I had such a fun time in Athens, Greece with my friends! We already have some ideas where we want to go next year. If you also have any suggestions, leave them below. I am very curious to know where you think we should go haha. Have you ever been on a trip with your friends? What is your favorite city?