Monday, 26 September 2016

Athens: Everything Else

Athens seems like a lifetime ago, and so with my second week of uni in full swing, I thought what better time to reminisce one more time and share my rather shocking number of photos with you all.   

We stayed in an Airbnb rental apartment which was the first time using the website for both of us, and fortunately, the apartment was absolutely beautiful (my once 'charming and quaint' student house has officially been rendered a hovel in comparison with this place). 

We had a lovely palatial balcony which ran all the way round the house from kitchen to bedroom to living room, and was kitted out with chairs, cushions, candles and a deck seat.  

The location (bar a small, but appropriately challenging hill for two moderately unfit English tourists) was ideal: only fifteen minutes walk from transport links into Athens and a large beach resort as well as countless seafood restaurants and a bar suitably titled 'Cozy'. 

One of the beach bars at Varkiza beach resort, 15 minutes walk from where we were staying.

Getting to the Athens metro from where we were staying was easy enough; a 30-40 minute bus ride took us to Elliniko, the first stop on the metro.  From there, the centre is around 15 minutes ride on the metro.

Some of our favourite districts within Athens included the meandering Plaka, which hosted dozens of souvenir shops, food options, and street vendors and was one of those places you can easily spend an afternoon wandering through.  Athens is full of graffiti - if there's a surface, you can bet it will feature graffiti.  Some of it was arty and edgy...

...and some a little less...

Other good districts were Acropoli (where you can see the Acropolis), Monastiraki, and for nightlife, Gazi is your place.

Speaking of nightlife, one lazy, hungover Sunday we caught the bus to the nearby Lake Vouliagmeni, a great mass of semi-salt, semi-fresh water full of minerals.  The surroundings are breathtaking and it's such a peaceful place to sit and soak up some sun. 

We also had our first, all natural 'fish pedicure'... except they don't stop at just your feet!  The sensation takes some getting used to, and is incredibly tickly at first.  The water is clear and so you can look down and see hordes of fish nibbling at any inch of your body they can get at, removing your dead skin cells - yum. 

We also made a furry friend...

 ... who posed unashamedly for a series of photographs.

Voula is also worth a visit - a long stretch of coastline, plenty of restaurants, kick-ass sunsets... you know the deal.

Another place I can highly recommend is Bolivar Beach Bar. A resort during the day, and a tropical house haven at night, this place also ticks all the boxes.  We spent a relaxing beach day here towards the end of our trip, finished off with the most enormous burger I have ever seen. 
The bar is easily accessible by tram from Elliniko - just make sure you get on the right one (as we didn't!)

Bolivar at night

I'm going to finish with the below picture to show you what Greek food on a budget can look like... for between €2 - €3, this is a 'pita kebab' and let me just tell you, as an English kebab loather, this is worlds apart, and utterly delicious.

Ruby x