Travel To Greece
When my best friend and I conceived the thought of travelling to Europe for our annual holiday, we were spoilt for choice on the particular destination. This is because Europe boasts of a number of top rated travel destinations that you can ever think of. However, after a little research and taking into account a number of considerations we decided to go to Greece. It was a huge gamble since we had previously heard that Greece is popular with people who love history while we were looking forward to have fun. Luckily, there was so much in store for us when we finally got to Greece. Since we could not explore the entire nation during our short visit, we decided to go to Athens that is one of the any destinations that attracts throngs of tourists every year.
While it is true that Athens is popular for its tacky architecture, smog and traffic, we were amazed to learn that there has been a lot of transformation since the summer Olympics were held there almost a decade ago. In fact, when we took a walk around this city we could not help but notice the ultra-modern subway, spotless streets and parks, accessible airport, new freeways and of course signs that are in English. Generally, Athens boasts of a number of sophisticated sites that will definitely catch your attention when you take a tour of the sights and sounds of Athens.
We visited ten attractions in Athens in a tour that was characterized by numerous fun experiences. Since we wanted to make the most of our time in Athens, we first went for the Vassilios Athens Day Tours that included a lot of sightseeing that gave us an excellent overview of what this city was had to offer. The tour organizer was excellent as he managed to get us close to all the main sites as well as a brief overview of each. This tour included a trip to Delphi with a stop at monastery. What was even interesting is the fact that unlike many day tours I have been to before, the tour operator showed us some very informative videos on the DVD screen that is in his car before the guide at Delphi took us through another informative journey of the site.
Having had a good introduction of Athens through the Vassilios Athens Day Tours, we embarked on visiting individual attractions in Athens and first on the list was the Acropolis Museum. To access this museum you must pay an admission fee. Contrary to what we expected, the museum is a modern up to date structure that is at the foot of the Acropolis and it houses some of the very important ancient Greek statues. In fact, we noticed the preserved ruins the moment we entered the building. There is also a twist that introduces an element of modernity through the glass floors that are at the center of the museum. Besides viewing the artifacts that are immaculately displayed and visible from various angles, there is also a video showing how this structure was built.
Having been to the Acropolis Museum it was only reasonable that we also go to Acropolis that is also listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Moreover, this large hill that is at the center if Athens is one of the most popular sites in Athens because of the presence of the cluster of ancient ruins. The site is spectacular and it took us about two hours to tour it. A reasonable admission fee is charged. You will need to wear comfortable shoes especially if you are interested in going through the stony climb to other areas like the theatre of Dionysus through to Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Parthenon. The view is breathtaking even as you get close to ancient history. It is advisable that you start out early especially in summer to avoid exhaustion. Most importantly, remember to bring a bottle of water because the vendors sell it at exorbitant prices.
Another interesting place that we went to in Athens is Monastiraki that is very lively flea market neighborhood characterized by numerous small tarvenas that serve local snacks of good value. Moreover, while here you can get really nice views of the acropolis. A marching band also came by to play some great tunes even though this resulted in overcrowding. Before you get here, you must keep in mind that this place is not only dirty but also filled with graffiti. You also must be very careful when crossing the roads because most drivers on this side of town do not usually care about pedestrians thus you could easily be knocked over. You also need to be on the lookout for pickpockets who are always looking for an opportunity to do what they do best. We enjoyed some pleasant and relaxing lunch at one of the tavernas before leaving.
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The Benaki Museum is another attraction that you must visit when you travel to Greece, as it is a true representation of the historical as well as cultural development of this nation. This is well reflected in the amazing collection that is drawn from various cultural fields. Moreover, the structure itself is complex. Some of the items that are found it this museum include a collection of vases that are beautifully crafted and gold artifacts. This museum remains until late hours and is in fact one of the best museums in Athens. When visiting this museum you will need about three hours to go through it. We also took some time to spoil ourselves at the Hammam Baths spa and I recommend that you include this experience in your itinerary next time you travel to Greece. The experience here was very relaxing as we both enjoyed a full body scrub as well as a massage on warm marbles. To enjoy this amazing experience, you will need to ensure that you book an appointment in advance. Given an opportunity, I would do it all over again.
Plaka is another great place that you must visit while in Athens. This is one of most magical places in this city. We stopped here not only to see the ruins but also enjoyed ice cream. There are many hotels, restaurants and shops within this neighborhood. You should however expect to find throngs of people. Even then, another plus is that you can easily walk everywhere as you experience the pulse of this city. We also went to the museum of Cycladic art where we saw many sculptures, clay pots as well as figures that are truly amazing. These were done almost four thousand years ago. There is also amazing jewelry that is a clear indication of where modern artists draw their inspiration. Although small, this museum is well curated and architecture that makes it a must see. You do not necessarily need a guide because the artifacts on display are accompanied by English translation.
If you love to go on a hike then you definitely need to go to Mt. Lycabettus that offers beautiful views of the entire city of Athens, clearly giving you a perspective of just how vast this city is. In addition, we also got an awesome view of the Aegean Sea as well as the beautiful white washed church. If you want to experience the night scene in Athens, then Gazi is the place to be as it is dotted with restaurants, shops as well as bars. The atmosphere here is also wonderful and the crowds are mostly young. There were some pyramid flame heaters so we sat outside. Although we were told
that street parties usually take place here, there were not any when we visited but this did not ruin our evening. Overall, I strongly recommend Greece to anyone who is looking to go there for holidays, as there is so much to do.
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