AirBnB has been a great tool for meeting locals. Hostels are great as well, but normally you meet other travelers, and not the locals. I would rather meet locals, and learn how they live.
So, in Athens I booked a room with Paulina. It is her first time hosting someone from AirBnB, and I am the lucky one. J When we first meet, she has a very big smile and I can tell right away that she is a super nice person. By the end of my stay, this holds true.
The room is really nice, clean, and big. She has a medium sized dog that I never learned the name of, but I really like her. She never barks, and is a little scared of me, but I pet her a few times and show her how awesome I am. Then I get the see the crazy wagging tail.
My first day in Athens I find out to enter all of the cool ruins, temples, etc, it cost 30 Euro. Uhh, I am cheap. So day 1 I decide to just walk around and find out where everything is. Tomorrow I will make the decision if I pay to go in, or what I do.
As I am walking by one of the tour bus sales girls, I decide to allow her to give me her sales pitch. I already know I am not going on the bus. It is 18 Euro, and I can take the public bus or walk for less than 2 Euro. Anyways, as she is talking, I ask her if there is a combination price, where I get the bus and entrance into each location. She says no, but tomorrow, all of the entrances are free. It is International day!
Well, you know what I do the next day!
I still spend several hours just wondering around town taking in the views and enjoying some mixed nuts from this guy. Damn they were good!
Here are a few pictures from today. Some great views!
The next day I get up early and bus it to the busiest site. Acropolis of Athens and yesterday it had a line-up down the road. Today, I am there just after it opens, and there is no line up and it is FREE! Yes, I am doing a little happy dance.
I first admire some of the stones, and then onto Theatre of Dionysus. I can’t believe 2000 years ago people sat here enjoying their evening out and here I am now doing the same. I sit here for about 15 minutes just enjoying the amazing view and dreaming of what it must have been like.
Well, it is time to start walking up the hill to the Temple of Athena Nike. I am
almost wondering if I can even do this walk. Look at it! But I must, this is a dream coming true being here.
I get about half way up and see another amphitheater, Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Archeologikos Choros Theatro Irodou Attikou. This one is bigger, and is even more amazing than I could ever imagine. It first opened in 161 AD and my ticket today was Free!
I hope you can see what I am talking about from the pictures. I am truly amazed at why, and how they build such a thing, in such a hard to get at area.
Hey, can you picture 5,000 Canadians watching team Canada, beat team USA from here, again! Yes, it held 5000 people. Crazy!
I continue walking up, and up until I reach the top.
There are 3 large buildings up here and I can’t picture how they would build them back in 420 BC. I mean, I am out of breath taking my time walking up the stairs and they only had a path! All I can think is how amazing people are. This is what can be accomplished when a community comes together to build something. When everyone has a common goal!
Why do we not have this now? Back then they had thousands of people working together. Now it is hard to get 3 people working in tandem without bitching, complaining, and screwing up.
However, it just shows what we can do, if we really want too!
I spend a good hour or more just walking around up here.
After my decent I stop at a local cafe for an amazing Frappe Coffee Grande. Mmmm so damn good!
Next I am onto the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and this place is just as amazing as the last. Can you believe construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, and was not completed for another 638 years. Hmm, I worked for software companies that had projects take that long. 🙂
I take my time walking through here, and imagining what it must have been like so many years ago.
Over the next few days, I spend about 4 hours a day walking around finding new hidden gems around every corner. Just look at the pictures below.
On my last day I head to Glyfada Beach, recommended by Polina.
It takes about 45 minutes on the public bus to get here on bus A2. Definitely a nice place to spend a day! Beach, sun, and pretty girls. What more can I ask for? Oh yes, cheaper beer, but that’s OK.
Little Video of that day!
Tomorrow I bus to Patra(s) Greece, to spend a week in an apartment I rented. More to come in Greece…