Trips

Atena & Aegina, Greece 2017

May 18, 2018
Reading Time: 6 minutes

I visited Greece many times when I was child and I always liked it. I really love the language (more then other languages), I like the mediterranean climate, relaxed people and their habits. I have relatives in this country and I know many things about its culture, but especially about greeks’ life style.

In 2017, in June I visited Greece for 7 days. I had an amazing week, full of adventures, I discovered beautiful places and I checked some stuffs on my wishlist.

But let’s start with the beginning. I flew from Iasi to Bucharest and then from Bucharest to Athens (I found the best price for airplane tickets on this route). From Athena I took a bus to Pireas.

When we arrived, we checked-in at Argo Anita hotel and then we went out to eat; it was too late to continue our trip to Aegina. I liked to see the restaurants full with relaxed, funny people, for whom the evening was just beginning. A strange thing I noticed is that you don’t see greeks (in contrast with romanian guys) at cafes/restaurants during the day, but in the evening, all of them go out for a few good hours, meet friends and stroll until late at night.

I was surprised by the Argo Anita hotel because, even though the room was cheap, the services were flawless. The rooms was clean, spacious, the staff was friendly and they offered us advices related to the journey we were about to make to Aegina, our first destination. The breakfast was diverse and delicious.

Goodie.

The next day in the morning we bought tickets for the ferry and started our journey to Aegina, a small, charming island. It was the first time I travelled with the ferry and I really enjoyed it. I love the sea; I could travel for days, even weeks with a ferry and I would never get bored. Unfortunately the trip was just 2 hours long.

On the island we checked-in at the Angela Hotel, a top mark location. The staff was really friendly and always made sure that our needs were fully satisfied. The breakfast was exceptional – each morning they were preparing something different, so that we can taste as many greek traditional food as possible.

We visited the St. Nektarios cathedral (I have a special feeling for this location since at St. Nektarios church in Iasi I had the wedding ceremony). The cathedral is amazing, you can find your inner peace between its walls, and its gardens are full with flowers which invite you to walk amongst them.

Another touristic location we visited was Aphaia’s temple. This was the last doric greek temple built and it forms an isosceles triangle with the Parthenon of Athens and with Poseidon’s temple from Sounio. In antiquity this triangle was known as the “Holy Triangle”.

The beach on the island was pretty wild, but the water was clean, perfect for swimming. Unfortunately the weather was not warm enough for me to swim.

People on the island are very welcoming and friendly; no matter where you decide to eat, the food is very tasty. I tried to eat each meal in a different location, so that I can try as many dishes as possible.

Aegina is a beautiful island, but 3 days were enough for me. I packed my bags and I returned to Pireas with the ferry. From there we took a bus to Athens.

This time we checked-in at Blue Sea Hotel Alimos. Even if it’s rated 4-stars, I was not very pleased. The staff was rather distant, the room was clean, but without personality. For the breakfast we had to choose between very few types of food; in other words we had better conditions on the island rather in this 4-star hotel. However, I liked one thing: in the day of departure, they prepared breakfast specially for us even though there was not breakfast time yet (5am).

In Athens we visited Acropolis and Parthenon, of course. What would Athens be without these symbols? The Parthenon was the temple dedicated to goddess of Athens. This is what I always liked about Greece: no matter where you go, or what you, you always get in contact with their rich history. The stories with gods and goddesses were a constant presence in my childhood, I basically grew up with them. Acropolis is a tourist attraction that is worth the visit if you’re in Athens, but you need to take into consideration a few things (I didn’t and had some problems):

– Remember to have sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. If you go there during the warm season, without these things you will be in big trouble. The sun is intense and there’s not much shade, therefore the heatstroke risk is high. I had sunglasses and hat, but missed the sunscreen. And I’m that kind of person with blonde hair and white skin. Can you imagine what mistake I made? I got sunburns and I was in pain for a long time after visiting the Acropolis.

– Remember to have a bottle of water and even a snack. There are a lot of vending machines from which you can buy water for a low price around Acropolis, but why take the chance and dehydrate? High temperatures drain the energy out of you in no time.

– If you’re a girl, don’t wear high-heels; Acropolis is like a small mountain. Rocky and dusty trails, often steep, slippery marble are surfaces that are not suitable even for sandals. I wore sandals and I slipped pretty badly.

That’s pretty much it about things to be aware of. Other than that, relax, enjoy the view, because Athens really looks good from up there. Let the blue sky flood your eye and live the greeks’ history.

Now I’m gonna tell you something about me: I’m obsessed with zoos. I simply cannot go in a new place that has a zoo and not visit it. The way in which the animals are treated tells you a lot about the people living in that city. So what’s the next touristic attraction? You’re right – the Attica zoo.

It was pretty far from Athens, but with a taxi we got there in about 30 minutes (about 50 euros). Most of the taxi drivers speak English – we ran across a guy who told us about most of the greek mythology during the time we spent in that taxi. I’ve learned a lot of new things.

Even if it was extremely hot outside and I was still recovering after the sunburns I got at Acropolis, I enjoyed every moment spent among the animals. All of them were well fed and the cages were clean. Then I found a shop from where I bought an ice cream and a small terrace where I bought a good sandwich (there was little to choose from, but the taste was ok). While standing at the terrace I could see the giraffes enclosure. What a fantastic way to have lunch!

A location where I remember I ate well was Penarrubia Lounge, a restaurant really close to the sea. The prices were a bit high but the food was delicious.

Another tip that I give you is to try every single greek desert. They are really good. In any store we entered, we always bought a few sweets and cookies. Put the diet aside and try them all!

This was my holiday in Greece – I hope that I gave you some ideas for your next getaway and some helpful tips on how to stay away from trouble.

We’ll ‘see’ each other next time when I’ll speak about…Barcelona!

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