Alex and I headed to Athens on a red eye from Heathrow Airport, only after realizing I forgot my bathing suit (for a trip to Greece) making me buy one in record time from the only store in the airport that had them. Arriving around 4AM, we waited at the airport till the sun came up to venture into our new territory. Stepping out of the airport, the sun was beckoning us towards a warm, historic playground, making the London gloom erase from my mind.
Athens is quite the walkable city, as long as you're in the center of it all. Many of the streets and landmarks fall into a literal circle, making it easy to do a loop with well-known stops nearby your route. Starting with Syntagma Square, we watched the changing of the guards. This tradition is presented in front of the 'Tomb of the Unknown Soldier'. Cutting through to the National Gardens, we walked along the canopied pathways, taking a break from the sun. Across the street, we found ourselves at the Panathenaic Stadium, the first Olympic Stadium from 1896.
Continuing our walk, we decided to trek up Mount Lycabettus, which was looming above the city's landscape in the distance. The hike wasn't too difficult, just hot. Once we got to the top, we were rewarded with views of the entire city with the surrounding Aegean Sea.
The next day we headed to The Acropolis, which took much of the day. There is so much to see and so many landmarks to explore. Alex and I were eager to find the Theatre of Dionysus, oldest theatre in the world! It was surprisingly hidden and not easy to locate, but once we did, it gave me chills. As far as the Parthenon, IT IS HUGE. Being on top of that mountain with beautiful views and ancient pillars with decorative sculptures felt like I was in a movie. Easily accessible from there is Plaka Square, a great place for souvenirs and Grecian trinkets.
After hitting the National Archaeological Museum, I had my third Greek salad of the day and turned in. We had an early day of island hopping ahead of us.