Friday: Since Tommy was coming when I had Monday off from school, we decided to take a trip together for the long weekend. We had both always wanted to go to Greece, so it was decided that we would go to Athens and then hit up one of the islands. Friday was mostly a travel day; since we tried to pick the cheapest way to get from Madrid to Greece (none of which are very cheap), we had a layover in world’s most random airport in Bulgaria. After having lunch and some weird grapefruit beer drinks, we got on our plane to Athens. At the airport, we caught a 5 euro (and zillion degree) bus to the city center, where we met a group of women from Texas traveling together, two of which were running the Athens Marathon on Sunday! We got on the metro to the area that we were staying in- THANK GOD FOR GOOGLE MAPS. The funny thing is that the metro is surprisingly hard to use when it’s Greek characters rather than regular letters. The name that comes up on the maps app on my phone is the same name as on the metro signs but they somehow look totally different?
Finally we arrived at our hotel and got cleaned up for dinner. We soon realized that it was in a sort of random area of Athens with virtually no restaurants. We ended up having a makeshift dinner which we brought back to the room, a combination of the few walk-up fast food type places around our hotel (including local wine in a water bottle type thing??). By this time we were exhausted but excited to explore Athens the following day!Saturday: Since we only had one day in Athens, we had to make the best of it! We had planned on doing a tour of the old parts of the city but decided to bypass a guided tour and do some exploring on our own. In the morning we headed to the Acropolis, which both of us had always wanted to see. It was pretty awesome to see history come alive. It’s a totally different experience learning about all these buildings and customs through a history book than it is actually standing in front of them. The Acropolis contains the famous Parthenon as well as the Temple of Athena and my favorite, the Theatre of Dionysus.
After walking around the Acropolis for a couple hours, we were fiending for some real Greek food. We ended up stumbling across a place near the Acropolis called Gods’ Restaurant. It’s on a street with a bunch of super touristy places so at first we were wary of trying it out but it ended up being awesome! Tommy told the owner that we wanted to try out some traditional Greek food but I’m a vegetarian and he picked out all the best entrees for us, as well as a few appetizers and locally made wine. This is where we had the AMAZING fried feta; I could eat this stuff all day! It was a perfect lunch and we definitely got to experience the tastes of Greece.We thought we might do a bit of shopping but it turns out that most stores close super early on Saturdays. Instead we found a fish pedicure place I had been talking about and I convinced Tommy to do it too! If you’ve ever seen the episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians where they all go to Greece, I can tell you that Kim’s hilarious reaction is not that far off! We got to Athens Fish Spa where we sat next to each other and had fish nibbling at our feet for 20 minutes. When I put my feet into the tub, my first thought was that I was going to spend 20 minutes laughing hysterically because it tickled so much. It eventually became more normal but it was definitely an experience, and I would totally try it again!At this point we had to head back to the hotel to grab our bags and get to the airport to catch our flight to the island of Crete! Of course, the skies chose this time to open up and bring us an absolute downpour. Luckily we were able to hail a taxi, which were few and far between, and I snoozed in the backseat until we arrived at the airport.