Published: May 21st 2012May 21st 2012
Today marked a big transition in our trip. We woke up early and got ourselves to Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. After checking in and getting through security we boarded our flight to Athens. We flew on Olympic Airlines which was surprisingly nice given it was the cheapest flight available when we were planning the trip. Nice spacious seats and snacks throughout the 1.5 hour flight were much appreciated.
Upon landing at the airport on the outskirts of Athens we boarded an express bus to Syntagma Square near Parliament. The bus ride was over an hour as a result of the Olympic flame travelling through Athens that day and causing traffic snarls. After disembarking at the Greek Parliament we walked 15 minutes to our hostel. The hostel (Athens Studios/Athens Backpackers) is a very highly rated hostel in Athens and it lived up to its reputation. Our 6 person and 4 person rooms, both with ensuite bathrooms and a kitchenette were nicer than our expectations and should provide very comfortable living for the next 5 nights.
Once we were settled we decided to wander Athens a little to get our bearings. We wandered East and checked out large, ancient arch near our hotel. Next we visited the Zappeion and checked out an Olympic exhibit. We then finished up our wandering by strolling through the National Gardens. All of the sites proved very impressive.
Hunger soon started to take over and we walked to a highly recommended souvlaki restaurant as rain started to fall. After getting a little lost, we came across Saavvas. After cramming ourselves in and ordering a 2.20Euro souvlaki each, we stood out in the rain and ate our dinner take out style. The souvlaki can only be described as indescribably delicious. We all agreed that many more meals would have to be had at Saavas.
After dinner we came back to the Athens Sports Bar associated with our hostel and spent the evening mocking each other’s karaoke skills. A good way to wrap up our first half day in Athens.