Monday, 9 October 2017

Room 718 - Athens

I've been back from Athens now for over two weeks. I wanted to try and get this up on here as soon as possible because my trip was awesome and I really wanted to share it. I wasn't sure what to expect when I booked Athens. It's always been somewhere I wanted to travel to but I booked it on a whim to do some travelling with my younger brother Ryan. There are so many incredible things to see in Athens and I thought I would share my experiences with you. 
Tuesday 19th September 2017 - 06:00am: Travelling to Athens

We set off from my house around 6am. I live approximately 30 mins away from London Heathrow. Ryan (my younger brother) lives in Birmingham so he travelled to mine the night before. We set off later than we normally would as I didn't want to hang around the airport for too long and neither did Ry. 
Traffic on the motorway was perfectly fine. We got there in plenty of time and went through check in a lot quicker than I thought we would. We practically breezed through. 

We boarded on time and reached Athens 10 minutes early. 

Arriving in Athens - 14:40
The entire trip so far was super easy. When we arrived in Athens it took us a little while to collect our suitcases but a part from that, it was relaxed. I booked our transfer to the hotel with Welcome Pickups a few days earlier and I must say, they were nothing but fantastic. They were friendly, affordable and very reliable. 
They were waiting with a sign with my name on and made the transfer really easy. It was a nice drive from the airport to the hotel. No crazy driving experience. When we arrived, we checked into the Hotel Melia which is situated in the centre if Athens. A great location for anyone wanting to see more of the the cultural aspects of the city. 

The hotel room was small but clean. The bathroom was massive and really didn't need to be that size. We could have done with extra space in the hotel room. However, it was great for what we paid for and also the location was perfect. 
We dumped our bags in our room and decided to explore the hotel. There was a wonderful roof top bar which overlooked the city and you could see the Acropolis which was lovely. 

We then decided to go for a wander to see if we could find a tour bus. We managed to get a three day ticket for 29 Euros. The driver made a mistake on the ticket so gave us an extra day which was lucky for us. We sat on the bus and took the tour just to get to grips with the city. That was the best thing we did as the next day we wanted to start exploring.

Wednesday 20th September - 10am: Hop on Hop off

We woke up around 7am. Greece is 2 hours ahead of the UK so it was an early start for us. We got ready and decided to head out for some breakfast then get on the bus. We mapped out our journey the night before so we had a plan of which areas we would like to see. First stop... The Acropolis. 
The cost to see The Acropolis was 20 euros each. It was definitely worth the price and it was amazing once we reached the top. It's such a fantastic location but as expected it was filled with tourists. We were overheating and I think I got a little sunburn.

As lovely as it is, I think It would be very difficult for anyone who cannot walk for long periods of time or who struggle with climbing stairs. Not only is it a long way up but the steps are slippery and it's extremely hot. It was 36 degrees when we were there. We walked around for over two hours, drank two slush puppies and then got back on the tour bus. 

Our next stop was The Temple of Zeus!

I'm not 100% sure what I expected to find at The Temple of Zeus. It was an incredible sight to see but there wasn't much there. We paid 12 euros each to see the rubble of what once was a great temple. We hung around for a little while then headed across the road to the Plaka to have a mooch around the markets. 

Thursday 21st September 2017 - 12:30pm: The lake beach

Ryan really wanted to go to a beach. We decided that we wanted to visit a few but at the last minute made up our minds to just go to the Lake Beach. 
What we didn't realise is that the Lake Beach was a health retreat. It cost us 12 euros to enter. The lake was filled with fish that eat your dead skin which I think grossed Ry out! 
We both came to the agreement that we wouldn't go in - I kind of wished I did now, but Ryan wasn't a fan and I didn't take extra clothes to put on. Although we didn't go for a swim, we did sunbath for a few hours and it was absolutely beautiful. I think if you went with a partner it could be quite a romantic spot. 

When we were waiting for the hop on hop off bus to arrive, we came across a set of stairs which led down to what I like to call a secret beach - not so secret but hidden away. This was just what Ryan was hoping for, and the view was amazing. 

Friday 22nd September 2017 - 11am: National Archaeological Museum

On our last day in Athens we decided we would visit the National Archaeological Museum.
It was in walking distance from our hotel and we could spend an hour or two there to waste some time. The heat and all the walking had completely exhausted us and we were ready to go home. The museum was fascinating. I would definitely recommend taking a look if you're interested in history. 

There's no place like home

Athens is a destination I have always wanted to visit and it will be a place I'll never forget.
I would recommend it to anyone looking for a cultural city break. Both myself and Ryan really had an awesome time and we managed to take so many wonderful pictures!

You can see the rest of my pictures on InstagramYou watch the video below! 

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