On February 28th, my two sisters and I embarked on our first journey outside the States, on our way to Greece. We flew on three planes: one flew from our snowy home state of Minnesota to Chicago; another across the Atlantic to a beautiful airport in Madrid, Spain; and the last brought us into Athens.
Impressive airport architecture in Madrid.
As a off-hand note for future flyers, I’d suggest keeping a close eye on hydration. I had a massive bloody nose just as boarding began for the plane to Athens. It was a nightmare, and the janitor did not seem to appreciate the state I left the airport bathroom in, nor my rusty Spanish. Drink water!
Arriving at our Airbnb last night was a relief by comparison. We mostly relaxed and slept. The food we tasted at nearby restaurants was lightly portioned, but intensely flavorful. My cinnamon toast this morning was nearly spicy if not for the accompanying syrup and latte, and the feta cheese here is unreal in it’s taste and texture.
Athenian streets are busy. Unyielding motorists and strolling pedestrians abound (Greek, tourist, and canine assortments). Buildings and balconies seem to pour over each other and provide out-of-reach areas for sunning cats.
The next day, we dragged our bags past the Acropolis on our way to the hostel. The Parthenon within sits above more monumentally by the night. Admittedly, I was distracted this time by our noisy suitcases and the attention it drew from taxi drivers.
Notice the sign for The Dioskouros Hotel.
Once found, the Dioskouros Hotel seemed to parallel the aged quality of the city itself: it’s marble implements seem to be built to last for many more years. Athens and it’s people carry an expectedly foreign character, but intrinsically, there’s history and reverence within the worn walls that stays just out of reach from the tourist eye, especially in the way the locals speak English to avoid my poor Greek. Clearly, to be a true greek, you’d have to have lived here from birth.
When I have the chance, I’ll update this post (and later posts) with a link to an Instagram account dedicated to the trip.