ATHENS - The Acropolis "High City - In Greek"!
We had one crazy day in Athens....Since we were traveling by cruise ship we had made a plan to make a mad dash for the Acropolis first thing in the morning. We disembarked the ship, negotiated a taxi and were fortunate enough to be one of the first on the hill that morning. This place gets insane not to mention hot as the day progresses. So my advice - be there when it opens to enjoy it as it should be enjoyed and not with thousands of strangers. As you can see from the shot above, people were just arriving. This is an OBVIOUS Athens MUST DO and seeing the Parthenon was amazing.
From the top the views are infinite of the city. That's a lot of rock and stone for one city! Another MUST DO - Is the Changing of the Guards at the Parliament Building in Syntagma Square. A very cool thing to watch and it happens every hour. These guys called the Evzones represent the best of the best as they have to stand over 6ft tall and remain motionless for extended periods of time. And who can pull off shoes with pom poms on them any better!
And while you are there you might notice hundreds/thousands of pigeons! Buy a bag of corn to feed these hungry birds and see what happens. I was a little shocked at the aggressive behavior but it made for a great memory and picture! Do take note that there are people here that will give you a bag of food and then offer to take your picture.... this is a money making scam. If you want a picture - great - if not - stay away and don't take anything from anyone you don't know.
The PLAKA! A City within the city in the shadows of the Acropolis. The Plaka is an awesome way to spend the late morning/early afternoon. Strolling these streets in what is notably the nicest neighborhood in central Athens will charm you. The streets are lined with cafes, jewelry shops, art galleries and tourist shops. We had a wonderful morning here as we people watched and enjoyed a java and a coke.
In the afternoon we did as we normally do and got off the beaten path. We found the Athens Flea Market and made our way inside and outside of this open air market. Locals buy their fish, beef, poultry, produce and fruit here and it is a sight to be seen! Flopping fish and hearing the locals negotiate with each other in Greek is mind blowing. Note- don't wear open toed shoes or flips through this place... fish juice!
We found a hole in the wall place, he disappeared inside and came out with an authentic gyro! This thing was the size of a small animal and cost about a buck fifty! Getting away from the tourist areas will save you money and buy you more authentic cuisine. So when in Athens... do as the locals do!
It's All GREEK to ME!