Where we go....Greece

Greece has long been a tourist destination which offers the best of great historical monuments and the fun and sun of it's world famous islands and beaches.  We were able to get a quick introduction to all that Greece has to offer on a recent weekend trip to Athens and the islands of Poros, Hydra and Aegina.

The People

We had a very pleasant experience with the Greek people.  Most seem to mind there own business and get on with daily life.  I must say they didn't really go out of their way to help out, but they seemed to be helpful when asked.  The staff in the hotel we stayed at were particularly helpful in pointing us in the right direction and helping us book tours etc.   You'll find that most Greeks in the tourist areas speak English, but we didn't get the feeling that everyone spoke English. They all seemed to smile when we attempted the occasional "Thank you" in Greek....who knows they might have been laughing.

Things to Know 

We visited both Acropolis and the Temple of Zeus on our weekend visit.  Acropolis was completely swarmed with people by 10:00 am, so it is wise to go early.  Tickets to get in were about 6 euros.  The Temple of Zeus was deserted when we arrived and remained as we left.  Cover for Zeus is 3 euros. Both places are quite breathtaking especially when you think about how old these monuments are.  The view of Athens from Acropolis is particularly good, especially if you get a clear day. One word of warning...both monuments are under serious restoration, for if you are in the Post Card making business, better wait until next year.  


We had a hard time finding a hotel in the Plaka area of Athens, as it is quite nice and close to everything.  We stayed about a 5 minute walk to the Plaka district, at a hotel called Phillippos Hotel.  It was 100 euros a night, including taxes and a light breakfast.  It wasn't good value, as the room, was not the nicest in the world, but the location is ideal and as said above the staff was excellent.  The hotel didn't have any irons, or electricity converters so be sure to bring your own.  

Things to See and Do 

In the two days we were there we did the following things:

- Climbed Acropolis (it is a climb)
- Visited the Temple of Zeus 
- Walked around the Plaka District (lots of shops etc.)
- Took a one day cruise of Poros, Hydra and Aegina, three islands off the coast of Athens

Day Cruise

The day cruise which went to Poros, Hydra and Aegina was a great way to spend outside of the city and see a sample of Greek island life.  The boat we went on was quite large and seemed full but not to capacity.  There were bars and shops on board and also a variety of shows which we avoided completely.  We must admit that the cruise itself is a little cheesy, but the islands more than make up for it.  

Poros is the smallest of the islands and has only a small strip with cafes and a few shops.  There is also a small harbour where the fisherman pull in with their catch of the day.  

Hydra is slightly larger and has a beautiful port with houses in many colours facing the harbour in ampitheatre style.  Hydra's ocean front is full of cafe's and small shops. A great place to dock your sail boat and spend a few days. 

Our last stop on the cruise was Aegina.  It is the largest of the 3 island, 85 km squared and with a population of 15,000 people.  Aegina, although not as pretty as the others,  has many restaurants and shops and has the cheapest pistachios we've ever seen, (they are grown there).  

We had a fantastic time in Greece and plan to return to see the rest of this great place. 







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