Our first full day in Athens and we chose to do something that I have never done here before – go to the top of Lycabettis Hill. This is a small blob that, like the hill that the Parthenon sits atop, is visible across the city. We walked from the hotel to the funicular which took us to the top where there was cafe and viewing area giving 360 degree views across the city.
Athens is a fascinating place, particularly if you have ever been to another major European city. It is tiny and nowhere demonstrates that better than the top of Lycabettus Hill.
Athens appears to sit within a natural bowl surrounded by snow capped mountains on three sides and the sea and port town of Piraeus to the south. You can literally see the extremities of the city – you certainly can’t do that anywhere in London!
Having got our fill of pictures we walked down the hill and back to Syntagma Square. There we picked up a hop-on hop-off bus which is usually a good way of getting a good overview of a new city. In this case, however, an open-top bus in February proved to be too cold for us and we got off to find a coffee shop to warm up.
If I’m honest Athens is more Delhi than Rome – lots of attractive ancient sites surrounded by unattractive streets. The bus took us through too many of these for my liking and so I was glad to get off and explore at ground level. These wanderings led us to the foot of the Acropolis hill and a series of narrow streets with a flea market. The shops were selling all the usual tourist trappings but it was a pleasant place to be.
Why is it that hotel Wi-fi is universally awful the world over? I can’t think of a hotel we have been where it works reliably. Yesterday’s post was finally completed on 3G, another frustrating experience but at least I wasn’t being charged an arm and a leg for it.
If we leave the EU at the end of March, and I can’t believe at this late stage I’m saying if, two things I will miss will be having my EU data usage included in my package and flying through customs. Obviously there are many more things but this is neither the time or the place.
Tomorrow’s the big one!