Of all of the cities I have visited in Europe, Athens is one of my absolute favorites. I find Greek mythology absolutely fascinating and to get up close and personal with the ruins was an incredible treat. I met with friends, wandered the historic streets and had a few negative experiences that skewed the journey but failed to ruin the incredible experience completely.
From Kuwait to Abu Dhabi, I finally arrived in Athens after quite a tiring journey. I couldn’t wait to retrieve my bags and get to the hotel to rest my head. After about an hour of waiting by baggage claim, the luggage never came and I was forced to abandon all hope and report it missing to the staff. They promised to deliver it to my hotel in no more than 24 hours and I was forced to begin my journey with only my phone, camera and wallet. My first stop was to my hotel where I dived into some delicious breakfast and met up with a friend from my flight who’s luggage was also missing. We decided to forgo showers and just head out to explore the city instead. Anything to take our minds off of our missing bags.
After leaving the hotel, we decided to head to the nearby Monastiraki Flea Market so we could purchase some warm clothes and personal supplies to hold us over until we received our bags. Luckily, the market scenery was bustling, interesting and full of places to check out some antiques for sale. When I decided to check up on my bags, I noticed that my phone was drained of power and I instead had to go back to my hotel to have the clerk call for me instead. After receiving news that my bag was still lost, I was feeling particularly upset about my trip. I took a moment to reflect, look out my window at my view of the Acropolis and decided that I needed to cheer up. I freshened up, went out with my friend for some authentic Greek food and spent the rest of the evening chatting over some beers and enjoying the night.
Upon awaking on my second day in Athens, I find that my bag has still not arrived. I was in better spirits after my fun the night before, so I brushed it off and met up with a friend who was staying in another hotel. We hopped onto a sightseeing tour bus and spent the entire day exploring the city. We visited the ruins of the Acropolis and I spent the day feeling like I was going back in time. It was everything I could have hoped for-beautiful, interesting and educational. This ancient landmark is one of the most famous and important structures in the world. We opted to avail the free walking discover a lot stories haven’t written in the books. Entrance fee is affordable at 12 euros and gives free access to six other must see archaeological sites. If you can only see one thing on your visit to Athens, the Acropolis is an absolute must.
By the third day, my backpack had finally arrived. Although cursing the airline, I felt significantly better about my trip and continued my sightseeing with my friend. We visited the Piraeus Port and The Agora-Athens Central Market. It was my last day to explore the city and just when I was starting to have a really fantastic time, I was robbed. Apparently the gangs of pickpockets run rampant in the touristic areas that I was in so make sure to take care of your belongings if you ever visit there yourself.
click photos to enlarge:
Although I experienced some hardships while in Athens, nothing could have truly ruined my trip. I saw some stunning sights, met wonderful people and learned a whole lot about traveling, myself and the city’s history.