“Travel and change of place impart a new vigor to the mind.”
The quote above reminds me that it is time to get back to writing about travel, the topic that gave birth to this blog in the first place.
It seems we focused most of the last year – with a few carefree intervals – on downsizing our life and shifting residences from one continent to another. While it’s been an amazing process it has cut into travel. . .the kind that provides new adventures and packing suitcases, not moving boxes.
|Acropolis from the Electra Palace Hotel roof bar/restaurant|
Getting to Athens from our house can be done in a number of ways. In summer season, there are flights between Kalamata and Athens, but this time of year you either drive, take the public bus or hire a shuttle. We set out on the 3.5 hour road trip in our trusty Hi, Ho Silver, our Toyota RAV.
|Traffic jams were routine in downtown Athens|
Athens, capital of Greece, had a population of 4.1 million at last count in 2012.
Well, let me tell you with only the three days we had in this city we didn’t have time to do all that we could have, which means we’ll just have to return there again – hopefully soon! And we didn't even get to any of those famous sites!
A Bit of Grit and a Bit of Glam
|Big cities and graffiti seem to go hand-in-hand|
|Street art is taking over graffiti scenes|
|Spotted a couple blocks from Syntagma Square|
Athens is the UNESCO World Book Capital 2018 and has put together a year-long program of events celebrating the written word.
|High-end shops line the boulevards of Athens|
Window shopping kept us entertained as we strolled the areas surrounding Syntagma Square. We are talking high end shops. . .Paris’s Champs Elysees had better take note – this place just might offer a bit more glam these days than do the storefronts along that famous Paris boulevard!
|The decade's old Zonar's Café between Syntagma and Kolonaki district|
Athens at more than 4,000 years of age claims it is the birthplace of Democracy, Philosophy, Theatre, Music and Poetry.
|Spotted on Ermou Street near our hotel|
We followed the advice of another traveling friend (and the Michelin 2018 guide) and dined one night at 2 Mazi in the Plaka district, an easy four blocks from Syntagma Square. The food and wine pairing was perfect, a distinctly modern touch to Greek favorites. We’ll be recommending it to all who visit Athens in the near future.
|2 Mazi is worth a visit|
Several places where we tried to have a glass of wine, were completely booked and required reservations. I’m no longer worried about Athens being able to recover from the economic collapse a decade ago. She’s back and maybe better than ever.
|You'll need a reservation here|
It seemed we barely touched the surface of all that Athens has to offer. We certainly made note of some places that will tempt us on a future trip. Maybe next time we’ll bring some fancy ‘big city’ clothes and dine at the King George Hotel. . .instead of just walking through it as we did this trip.
|King George Hotel restaurant|
And we’ll make it a point to check out the performing arts. . .especially after having happened upon this performance as we walked past a theatre one afternoon.
|Not all dancing is to Zorba's theme song in Greece|
We divided our stay between two of the three Electra Hotels that are located within walking distance of Syntagma Square. This Greek hotel chain (with one property in Thessaloniki as well) has developed their properties so each has a rooftop deck with enclosed space and open air seating for drinking and/or dining. . .and breakfast buffets are included in the room price.
|Breakfast with a view at the Electra Hotel|
Thanks for your time and we look forward to having you back with us again next week when we’ll take you on another Peloponnese road trip to a destination we haven’t yet decided upon yet. But I know we are going somewhere! (Isn’t that a great way to travel? Or do you need to have your travel plans set out in advance? Let us know in the comment section or shoot us an email – as always we love hearing from you!)
Linking up this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Travel Photo Thursday –
Best of Weekend