kc goes to athens
This summer a college friend of mine was getting married in Athens. It was dangerously close to the end of our time in Switzerland and while any responsible adult would realize that time should be focused on packing and shipping things back to the U.S. to prepare, I was busy booking flights and researching places to eat and islands to visit.
Our 10-day Greek vacation/farewell to Europe try took us to Athens, Santorini and finally Folegandros (foe-lay-gahn-droes). Admittedly, Athens lacks in the European city charm that so many other cities deliver in spades. Most people, it would seem, are perfectly continent to use it as a city to lay one’s head for a night while dreaming of the early morning ferry to a beautiful island. We likely would have been in the same camp had we not had this wedding and I’m so delighted that we had a few days to just wander the city. Coming from Luzern, even seeing graffiti is exciting and made me miss city life.
It goes without saying that a trip to Athens is wasted without seeing the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum. And it was fun. The bride-to-be was kind enough to arrange a guided tour of the museum which is highly recommended. I really felt that I walked away with so much more had I not been with anyone else. From the acropolis, we had this amazing view of the hilltop of St. Lycabettus, that small white chapel on top of the hill is where my friend was married the next day. Stunning.
Our final to-do on the tourist list was changing of the guard in Syntagma square. They run all day and virtually all night, so catching one is easy and always good fun. The pom-poms on the ends of each of their shoes is reason enough make the trip over.
But most of our free time in Athens was spent simply walking around, enjoying gluttonous amounts of Nescafe frappes and people watching. Now that we’re back in Boston, city escapes are a little less urgent, but life in Luzern required the occasional dash to a city. Waking up in the morning (or maybe early afternoon–don’t judge, it was vacation! 🙂 ), grabbing a paper, sitting around and just buying time between meals…that’s my idea of vacation.
More to come on Santorini and Folegandros, but for anyone planing an upcoming trip to Athens–and I hope you are–here are some KC recommendations.
St. George Lycabettus: I generally don’t consider myself cool enough to stay in hotels like this, but we had a great time. Taxis are super cheap in Athens, which saved us the hike up the hill to get to the hotel a few times, but what makes this place incredible is its roof-top pool and restaurant. We ate there twice during our time in Athens and we’re amazed by the food on both occasions.
Spondi: Perfect in every way. One of Athens’s most acclaimed restaurant and priced to match. Foie gras lollipop amuse bouches don’t come cheap, but they’re worth every penny.
Kuzina: The spot we chose for our first night in Athens. Great rooftop overlooking the Acropolis and solid food. Nice wine list to boot.
Strofi: Another great place for views from the roof deck. Reservations are a must and bring your hunger. Plates are generous and incredibly tasty.