Stl - Phl - Athens
Athens Travel Blog› entry 4 of 12 › view all entries
Day 1 ��" Athens
We made it! Sorry for the delay. Jetlag, way too much walking, and problems accessing internet on first day of this great ancient city ��" ATHENS, but I’m really not complaining.
There’s so much to see in Athens, you don’t realize it until you’re actually here, even though you’ve read all the guide books. It’s spread out and it takes a bit to maneuver the maps and guides ��" especially when the large wall maps on the street or subway are only in Greek! We began with a 3 day metro pass. This is a real bargain. Phenomonel actually as we have used it over 10 times just today, our first day ��" so it’s already paid for itself.
Our hotel was the Athenaeum Intercontinental Athens Hotel as we got a great rate (airline), so we’re very happy. It doesn’t over look the Acropolis, YES IT DOES, we got an upgrade, thanks to Rich's Gold Priority Card Member Card......you must try this all you Holiday Inn People!!!! --- but the Guest Services Manager has given us an offer we can’t refuse, so it looks like the next night will be upgraded along with the ability to have free internet, (we actually got 3 FREE hours, and here, that is a bloody miracle) which is quite expensive if you have to pay for it outright. (It’s 9 euros for 1 hour or about 15 USD. ) Then we will have the Acropolis view from our hotel window, and The Parthenon which we have to see now from the 9th floor if we want to see it from our hotel.
The first thing we did after purchasing our metro pass was to visit the Sunday market It’s the oldest Ottoman marketplace in Greece and has run continually for thousands of years - never ever closing down! It’s where the 5th century BC vendors sold their stuff.
The bus from the airport to the city center is about 23 minutes. Parliament is right here as well, so see it before you move on, or come back to it. The still colorful guards are interesting to watch and you may have your picture taken with them. Interesting subway system in that it’s very clean and spacious and contains phenomenal artifacts and Christian graves which were left untouched as they built this particular subway. It’s encased in glass and it’s like being in a museum. It’s very impressive and very worth seeing, even if you don’t take the subway.
We saw the ruins of the Library of Hadrian, which is opened on Sundays and free that day. This Hadrians library was seriously damaged by the barbarian race of Herulians in AD267 , so says the Guide book.
We continued walking along the market area viewing and haggling about a few things ,. and some stores have set prices. Cash will be the better deal usually, but not always.
We also saw the Roman Agora, which was an ancient market place area which was lined with stalls selling sacred objects. Visitors could buy last minute offerings to the Oracle oh, so long ago. After being out in the market area & traipsing up and down many steep stairs we headed back on the subway/trolley to our hotel .
The Internet is not as accessible here as in other cities …… probably costs more here, for one thing, and not sure why. Most of the time you can find these cafes everywhere, but not in Greece or Athens anyway as we just never came upon one.
I will be writing a review about the Athenaeum Intercontinental Athens Hotel. It’s associated with Holiday Inn, so if you stay there in the US and you’re a gold card member, they’ll do some better things for you. So check this out. It ‘s a really great hotel. A bit far out I thought at first, but with the great public transportation, it all came together.
Day 1 went off without a hitch really, except I tried not to talk too much because everytime I opened my mouth, I sounded a little drunk or stupid. My words kept garbling, or fading off. It was pure fatigue as it is a long flight ��" like over 10 hours from St Louis and even though the answer to sleeping on the plane is simply DRUGS, (well , you know, a sleeping pill), it still is oh so very long.
Tomorrow morning (early) is the Parthenon/Acropolis, which I have taken a zillon photos of already , especially as it was lit up tonight, and can’t wait to see this up close and personal. I can wait to climb those steps, (NEVER CLIMB AT NOON!!) but somehow, I will make it.
I should be more on tract once the jetlag leaves my body and will write more, hopefully.
Thanks for checking in!