Emily came to visit during Semana Santa, and for anyone who lives in Spain, you know you have to get out of Spain for Semana Santa if you don’t want to get run over by crowds of people. So we headed to three different locations: Athens, Santorini, and Rome.
Here are my top 5 moments/memories from athens:
1. Finding a hostel
Like many travelers, Emily and I rented an airbnb for our stay in Athens, keep in mind we had to leave to Santorini the next day, so we wanted to see as much of Athens as we could with the limited amount of time that we had.
Once we arrived, however, our airbnb host was no where to be found and instead sent his friend (who didn’t know much English) to help us get settled into the airbnb. Not a big deal. Seemed fine to me. He would just give us the keys and let us go on our way. That is, until we came and the friend could not get the door open because the keyhole looked like it was about to fall out of the door. He told us to call our host to get things sorted, which we did, which then turned to an hour and a half of Emily and I waiting outside as the host and his friend tried to open the door by every means necessary.
A water bottle, two extra people, and a lock pick later, and with the door still not open, Emily and I told our host that we found a hostel not that far from us that we think would be the best option for us. This hostel, Athens Backpackers, had the most friendliest staff and was cheaper than our airbnb would have been. It was such a relief to get settled into our room where we met a few strangers who seemed like nice people. Although the wifi was a bit spotty, it seemed like heaven on earth to us.
2. All you can eat for 10 euros
The guy at the front desk of our hostel recommended us this restaurant where they served authentic Greek food for 10 euros with unlimited wine as well.
Can I get a heck yes.
Special shoutout to Liondi’s Traditional Greek Restaurant. (sponsor me pls)
We were catered to like queens. Although we were sat next to a couple of obnoxious Americans (now I understand what Europeans mean when they say we’re annoying), the experience overall was incredible. The price? 10 euros. The food? Delicious. The wine? Unlimited.
3. Walking through the acropolis while lit.
After our 10 euros all you can eat and drink experience, Emily and I decided to make the 10 min walk to the Acropolis to see the Parthenon, since it’s free, right? Only thing is, at night it’s locked up. So there we were, at the steps leading to the Parthenon, buzzed. So what did we do? We climbed the fence. Just kidding. We are law abiding citizens (and there was a security guard on watch).
Instead we went to another part of the Acropolis (that was free and open of course). We took many photos, attempted at making a video to share with friends and family, and even witnessed two stray cats get into a fight. It was a crazy night. I should have placed my bets on the fluffy white cat.
Anyways, after spending a decent amount of time at the Acropolis and soaking in its history, we decided to head back to our hostel.
4. Meeting Natasha
With previous hostels that I have stayed in, I never made a connection with anyone inside my room. It was always more of a “good morning, hope you have a good day, bye” situation. So when Emily and I ran into Natasha on our way back from the Acropolis, I was pleasantly surprised when she said she wanted to have a drink with us.
Natasha is from a city outside of Dublin. She is such a sweet woman who is passionate about traveling. Connecting with people from different countries is something that I will never take for granted. Realizing that we have such different customs is astounding, but at the very core we are all the same. We all laugh at funny jokes, we all love those around us who matter, we all want to meet new people. It is a beautiful thing really. Meeting strangers.
5. The sun.
Now I have said this multiple times before and I will say it multiple times after this post as well, but the SUN. I feel like I have been hidden from the sun living in the mountains of Spain where there are constant clouds. With the sun comes rejuvenation, and I felt it seeping into my skin. A little sad I only got about an hour’s worth of sun before it started to set in Athens, but nonetheless it was a wonderful feeling.
P.S. sorry for all of the geotags on my photos. I just realized we didn’t take many photos of Athens.