If you go to Athens (or anywhere in Greece, really) you must promise me that you’ll try Gyros. It’s a delicious, wonderous food.
Now that’s been said, I’ll move on.
Athens is sometimes seen to be a dirty city. I would say that’s a bit true, but that doesn’t make it any less of a city.
You’ll find stray dogs wandering the streets (who doesn’t love dogs, though), and you’ll find litter and dirty buildings at every turn. But that’s part of it’s character, I guess.
Athens was fun, and it felt to me like a very “liveable” city.
As in, you feel comfortable walking around, exploring the streets, market stalls and shops – you feel right at home, really.
You obviously cannot go to Athens without exploring the Acropolis, which is home to the Parthenon.
Stay at Athens Backpackers, where I did before my tour began, and from the rooftop you’ll have a gorgeous view of the Acropolis.
The Acropolis is a magical place, of course – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t immune to heat and sunburn – so take water, sunscreen and a hat (“Yes mum”).
Also, be careful on the train system. It’s very easy to navigate, as there are only two different lines and they each either go one way or another. But the train guards are are vicious.
I, not understanding the Greek ticket machine, ended up occidentally buying a student ticket instead of an adult ticket, and then walked about 5 metres where I was stopped by the ticket police, who, without explaining much to me, informed me I had to pay a massive fine because I had bought the wrong ticket.
I had not even used the ticket, and I was still in the lobby of the train station, and I, of course, said, “Oh, sorry, my mistake, can I buy a new one?”
But no, apparently I had walked past a line in the pavement in the train station that meant I was condemned to eternal hate from Greek ticket police – they were so nasty to me, just taking my ID from me and talking amongst themselves for ages, giving me hateful looks, and not even trying to talk to me about the situation.
I was alone, in a foreign country that had been so nice to me until then, and now some guards were being extremely mean to me. So what did I do?
I started crying. I think the stress of travelling for the first time, and alone, hit me, and so I sobbed.
Eventually I got my composure back, after being stared and snarled at for a good while by meanie ticket police, took my fine, and placed it in my passport where it will never be an issue again.
Until, maybe, when I go to visit Athens again and find I have an even greater fine to my name for not paying it…. We’ll see…