Athens – Our Private Tour
Acropolis – We hired a taxi months before our trip began so that we could maximize our one day there. Our driver met us promptly at the cruise dock and off we went.
Our first stop was the Acropolis. John, our driver, said that we would want to see this site during the morning when the sun was not as hot and while the crowds still hadn’t reached their height. We lined up for our tickets – I suggest you buy these ahead of time, I admit I dropped the ball here. At any rate, it didn’t seem to matter much because Jenn and I were the first ones up the hill right behind the guards. They have a ceremony in the morning to open the site and we were able to see it and follow the guards up the stairs. For those of you who have mobility issues, this site will present issues as it is on a steep incline with sometimes uneven steps. When we got to the top the view was beautiful, however, it was my daughter that had an issue with the height. We were able to snap a few pictures and down we went. I could tell the climb was about to get more challenging as the stairs became more uneven and I did not want to leave my daughter alone on the hill while I tried to get closer, even though she was insisting I do so.
Olympic Stadium – This stadium is in Athens, built in the 1800’s and is not the original stadium (you have to go outside of Athens to see that one). We did not go in. It was enough for us to view it from the outside. If this is an important site for you then you can enter for a fee. You can get good photos from the outside – see ours.
Latte – I have to mention here that I had the best iced latte of the whole trip in Athens (and we went to Italy). We also had some really good pastry type bakery items with cheese in them for breakfast.
Plaka – If you like to shop this looked like a good place to eat and shop. The driver said we should watch our bags as the pickpockets set up shop there. Also, while this area is usually safe, the day before a terrorist had been shot in the same area we drove past. Jenn and I were eager to move on so it was enough that we took a ride there. Our driver took us to a cheaper place to buy souvenirs.
Authentic Greek Restaurant – I’m sorry I don’t remember the name but it was not near the main sights. John said they opened for breakfast and lunch for the people that work in that area. We went up to a large counter with hot food displayed and picked the meal, then sat and they brought us the meal. This is Jenn’s meal. It doesn’t look great but it was delicious.
All of the above was fun but our main destination, the place we were looking forward to the most was Lake Vouliagmeni. I know – we should have seen more RUINS or HISTORICAL places but that’s not how we roll. If it wasn’t for the taxi driver we wouldn’t have seen the Acropolis. When I arranged the trip I really just wanted a picture of us with the ruins in the background. That is how we wound up at this site. Anyway see Part II of Greece to read about this Lake – something very unusual happens there.
Tip: If you plan on going to Greece in the summer/high season, book your taxi in advance. If you are traveling on a cruise ship go to www.cruisecritic.com, go into roll call, find your sailing date and ship, and see if others would be interested in the same private tour. We saved much money doing this and met some very nice people.