September 11 – 12, 2012

After a short flight from Rome we arrived in Athens and took the metro to yet another airbnb apartment which would be our home for the next 2 nights.  We were looking forward to seeing another ancient city and comparing it to the sights we had just seen in Rome.  But what we were most excited for was seeing Lauren and Dave!

We took the metro into Monastiraki Square in the city centre to explore a bit. The square was lively and it was cool to see the Acropolis lit up at night looming above. We walked around the area where there were market-type stalls and lots of Greek restaurants - each with a pushy host at the front hassling you to come and eat at their restaurant. So naturally we picked based on who was the least in-your-face and enjoyed the first of many authentic Greek meals!

Reunion!! The next day Lauren and Dave arrived and we met them at the Metro station! It was awesome to see them, and we wasted no time getting caught up over yummy Greek pastries.

With only 1 day in Athens together we decided to focus on the most iconic sights - seeing the monuments of the Acropolis! The scale of these ruins is incredible. Not a bad way to start our vacation together!

Climbing up the Acropolis in the summer heat is a thirst-inducing feat. But stopping along the way to peer out at sights like the Odeum of Herodes Atticus - a stone theater built in 161 AD which was the venue for many music concerts - made it well worth the effort.

Once you reach the top of the Acropolis you can see out across a sprawling sea of concrete buildings. It’s a breathtaking view stretching out in every direction as far as the eye can see. So this is where the 5 million residents of Athens live...

The incredible marble and stone ruins made for a picture perfect location for a little bit of a photo shoot. I’m not sure who looks better here... Paul, or the Caryatids - the monumental female figures who served as the columns for the Erechtheion. I’m going to go with Paul here... since these ladies are looking a little old if you ask me.

At last we reached the Parthenon, dedicated to Athena, patron goddess of Athens. Its a remarkable structure and symbol of Greece, and understandable why so much effort goes in to restoring these ruins. Say cheeseburger!

It was great to have the Lauren’s back together again! Looking out across Athens we could see a hazy view of the Sea beckoning to us to come and visit it’s beautiful isles. We’re coming!!

We had a fast but great visit in Athens and appreciated the sights at the Acropolis.  After another delicious Greek dinner in the city square we were ready to hit the sack and get some sleep before waking up at dawn to catch our 8 hour ferry to the island of Ios.

View the rest of the photos here!