Landing in Athens on Tuesday night, I had no idea what to expect. I had been to the Greek islands before but had not spent any time on the mainland. We flew in from Brussels, following three nights in the Belgian capital.
It was a 45-minute drive from Athens airport to our hotel in the centre of the city. Approaching the city centre, weaving through the evening traffic of cars, motorbikes and scooters, the city scape reminded me of Bangkok. There were groups of people hanging about on the street, some selling bags of fruit and others just standing and watching, as if they were waiting for something to happen.
The next morning, we did what hundreds of tourists have done before us: headed to the Acropolis of Athens. The Acropolis, located on a rocky hilltop above the city, is a collection of remains of several ancient buildings, including the famous Parthenon. It costs 20 Euro per person to enter the area, after which you need to weave through streams of tourists scrambling to get the perfect picture. But despite this, the views over Athens and what remains of the ancient buildings is pretty spectacular.
My favourite spot was the partially reconstructed Odeon of Herodes Atticus, located about a hundred metres away from the Parthenon. It’s a stone theatre that was built in 161 AD, and renovated in 1950. These days, it’s used as a venue for orchestral concerts and events.
In the evening, we caught up with Stefanos Konstantinidis, promoter of Greek Fight Show “The Battle by WKN”. We had dinner at a restaurant called Raki Meze. I love the way Greeks cook fish, octopus and salads with plenty of good olive oil. I had been craving fresh food and this restaurant delivered the goods.