Day Tripping - Athens, Greece
Fresh off the ferry from Hydra, we made ourselves at home in Athens.
We wound our way through the Plaka neighborhood in search of dinner.
This was around day 6 of our trip and by this point we’re feeling tired, sore, but still excited about everything! I’m a big believer in taking some needed down time on these longer trips. That could include enjoying some time by yourself with a journal or book, taking a midday nap, catching up on Netflix, or chilling on the couch with everyone… singing?!
This recharge gave us the strength to get up at the butt crack of dawn to grab some fresh yogurt and beat the Acropolis crowds.
The last time I was here we went at dawn and it’s honestly the only way to do the Acropolis. By the time we were leaving, there were MOBS of people that had come in from cruises and day trips.
There she is! The Acropolis of Athens! This place has seen quite a bit of history that spans from the 5th century BC. As you can imagine, it's needed a few face lifts over the years thanks to wars, pollution, and general decay. We happened upon quite a bit of restorative action on this particular day.
We popped into the still new and gorgeous Acropolis Museum for some AC and a break from the sun.
We were feeling a lot like this guy…
But we trekked on! To the Panathenaic Stadium!
This incredible place was built sometime in the 1st century AD and is the only stadium in the world built entirely from marble. It became largely abandoned around the 4th century, but was renovated in 1896 and was the site of that year’s Olympic opening and closing ceremonies. AND the Olympic flame that’s ignited in Greece before each Olympic games passes through this stadium before going on to the host country. Pretty cool!
Practicing a little javelin throwing.
We roasted in the sun that day, but managed to clean up a little for dinner and drinks in the city center.
Because there’s not a ton to do in Athens and we definitely wanted a relief from the city heat, we hopped in a van for a day trip!
Our first stop was a quick one at the Corinth Canal:
Next we drove to Ancient Corinth to see the preserved streets and Roman ruins. Yup, Romans invaded and demolished the area to rebuild their own city in its place. Luckily, we’re able to walk among some of the preserved structures.
We learned about this crazy story when in April 1990, a group of thieves broke into the museum here and stole a couple hundred ancient items. They went missing for years until they showed up at Christie’s in New York and Miami in the late 1990s. Luckily nothing was damaged and they were all returned back to their displays for everyone to enjoy.
This gorgeous place was next on our journey. This is Mycenae, and this place is old. I had a hard time comprehending just how long this place has been around… it was founded between 1350 and 1200 BC!!! During the Bronze Age, this was the place to be as a military stronghold.
This is the iconic Lion Gate which is the largest sculpture in prehistoric Aegean and marks the main entrance to Mycenae. Without diving into a full historical report about this place, the stand out story is that Agamemnon was the king of this place. His brother was married to Helen who was wooed by Paris to then become Helen of Troy. You know… the face that launched a thousand ships and all that! So Agamemnon launched his campaign from Mycenae to go and get her back from Troy!
Most of the site is buried or collapsed, but we were free to wander around the excavated sites.
And pick some of the wild figs!
The sun was BRUTAL out here and I clutched close to this hat all day. We didn’t see much of Chloe out here as she sprinted through the grounds to meet up with us in the museum at the end. Protect your skin, people!!
Just down the road is the Treasury of Atreus. AKA: the Tomb of Agamemnon. But we now think that he didn’t have anything to do with this tomb as the sovereign who was buried here rules before his time.
Sky was especially excited to finally see this place in real life.
It’s incredible that the builders painstakingly placed each of these stones in a sturdy enough way that this room has held itself up for many thousands of years.
We were super happy to get back in the car for an AC and lunch break. And we powered through one of our last few stops at the Great Theatre of Epidaurus. This is one of the best preserved theaters in Greece and has perfect acoustics. Meaning when you stand in the middle of the stage, your voice carries all the way up and out to the back row without having to shout. We were at the point of exhaustion but I led a round of ‘Categories’ to get our energy up.
This was the view from the top, with your 3 fave muses taking the stage!
By this time in the day, our driver was ready to let this giggling group go. But we had to stop one last time for a bit of souvenir shopping and gelato before heading back to Athens for naps.
We certainly packed it all in! And I’m leaving out a couple of adventures just because this post is already way too long.
Huge thanks again to this crew for letting me tag along and congrats to Alexia and Vasilis! This is it from Greece and as usual, it was an absolute dream.