We arrived in Athens at 9:30 am and found it a surprising clean and newish airport. It was easy to navigate, quick to deliver our bags, provided a convenient ATM, and made it easy to find the Metro for the city.
We took the blue line 16 stops (45 minutes) to Monastiraki station for about 20 Euros. The walk to Hotel Attalos was a short 100m or so up Athinas street. Although our room was modest the view of the Acropolis from the roof top garden lounge was spectacular.
We took some time to get ourselves oriented, shower and change before we headed out into the city. We walked down Athinas street and ran into Tom who would be joining our flotilla in the Sporades. He pointed us towards the Plaka and we made our way through winding streets and a myriad of storefronts and street merchants.
It was warm, but not too hot. So we found ourselves at a little streetside cafe where we had our first taste of Greek Beer – Mythos!
We continued our stroll around the Plaka for an hour or two, stopping in shops, taking photos, meandering the labyrinths of streets that make up old Athens. It got hotter. We stopped for lunch and had our first taste of Greek food. A simple Greek salad, extra feta and olives on the side never tasted so good (and of course more Mythos!)
We wandered our way down to the Temple of Olympian Zeus in the shadow of the Acropolis. Complete after nearly 700 years in 161 AD it is the largest temple on all of Greece. Although today it is little more than a half dozen of the 103 columns that once made up this formidable temple.
In the afternoon we returned to our hotel to rest and seek refreshment at the rooftop deck of the Attalos Hotel where the view of the Acropolis was transfixing. We were soon joined by the rest of our party who had just arrived, my father and his wife, her brother Barry and his wife Judy, longtime family friends Jim and Carol, and again Tom. Clara, exhausted from the jet lag slept through the reunion)
We took in the view (and some Greek red wine and Mythos beer) and headed to Monastiraki’s “Souvlaki Row” for some dinner.