The time to pack up and say good bye to Croatia arrived on Wednesday. I returned my hire car and boarded a plane to Athens. The first stop in my next travel adventure. The last 50 days in Croatia went by pretty quickly, and I need to leave there now so that I can return to explore the Zagreb Christmas market. At this point it doesn’t look like I will be sorting out the student visa to be able to return there to study online, but the same program also offers A1 and A2 levels for free online so I have enrolled in the A1 and starting to work my way through that. The goal is to get that done before I go back to Croatia.

I arrived in Athens and checked into my accomodation by about 8pm. Then scoped out where the closest supermarkets were and made my way there to start getting my neighbourhood bearings. There are some great hills near where I am staying so this is going to be a good workout for the next few days. Actually I am hoping that this whole trip is a good workout. Just as I reached the shops I realised I hadn’t eaten anything except for a small tin of Pringles and some roasted almonds. I spotted some restaurants just across the way and decided to just see what they had. Usually I go to the apps to find somewhere to eat but I just walked up to the first place I came across and asked if they had anything vegan. The woman was lovely and super helpful looking at the menu and trying to figure something out, mostly looking at salads. I then realised seeing the menu this was the beefiest place ever. So I thanked her and just moved onto to the next one. (You can read more about this in the VEGAN EATS: Athens post)

After dinner I went back and checked out the two supermarkets next to each other and grabbed a few snacks and breakfast. As I’m doing a road trip I could buy things like a jar of peanut butter as I can take it with me. I then just went back to my AirBnb, watched the last episode of Vikings Valhalla, and went to bed. I had only slept about 3 hours the night before so I was pretty exhausted. I also had tickets booked for visiting the Acropolis the next day.

I only recently found out before coming here that toilet paper doesn’t go in the toilet. The pipes are old and too small so they get clogged. It just goes in the bin. So the place I am staying in has the tiniest bathroom. (I really should post the accomodation tour videos I have filmed at everywhere I have stayed.) If you’re taller than me I feel that sitting on this toilet would be difficult for you. However, I was really happy when I discovered the standing bidet in the shower. I hadn’t seen one before. In Japan I’ve seen them built into the fancy smart toilets, and in many other places a separate seated unit. I really do like bidets and I get excited when I find them in a bathroom. Much more excited however about finding one when the other option is keeping shitty toilet paper in a bin.

After getting ready I headed off towards the Acropolis. It was about a 25 minute walk from where I was staying. I had pre-booked tickets via Tiqets for the Acropolis & Archaeological Sites: Combo Ticket and an Acropolis Museum: Skip The Line. Which all up cost me about $70(AUD). The combo ticket allowed a single visit into several different sites including the Acropolis, with each of them costing about 10-12 Euros each to enter.

First stop was the Acropolis of Athens. Well obviously this was all rather impressive. I really enjoy just experiencing what my body feels when I visit places like this. It’s incredible. I find a deep sense of calm generally wash over me and a settled feeling. The views from here are amazing and I really like the view of Athens. It’s an impressive looking city filled with so much history. It blows my mind how many people, for how many years, have visited this spot.

From here I made my way to the Acropolis Museum to check that out. I am so glad I added this on too. Seeing the pieces that were discovered and the statues hall (where you can’t take any photos) was amazing! I was very excited to see urns and crockery with scenes depicted on them (I just think of cartoon Hercules and the Muses). I love the feeling when I get to see things that I have only every looked at in a book, or on tv, or whatever. It’s like when I saw Blue Poles in Canberra after studying it in school in this tiny book, and then standing before it I got teary. I try really hard not to experience emotions most of the time. I am enjoying giving myself time to explore what emotions arise at certain times, and letting myself sit comfortably with them.

I am really happy with where my mental health state is at the moment and that after a LOT of rubbish years, I have managed to get myself to a place where this is probably a good time for me to be having the experiences I am having.

I checked the other sites I could visit and started to look up what was near me on Google maps and decided to head for the Athens Agora. Well on the way there I bumped into the Roman Agora, which I also had access to so i stopped in there first and then headed to the Athens Agora. I have discovered that I have a love for ruins. I also started to notice that I have begun to find it easier to picture how these ruins might have appeared in their early ears. There is also a museum at the Athens Agora which access to the site also gives you. There are lots of super cool things in there and the view from the top floor of the museum is also fantastic. A good birds eye over the agora. You can also view the Hephaisteion (Temple of Hephaestus) here and fittingly it’s still in rather good condition.

It was food o’clock so I checked out Happy Cow and found somewhere to head to next. Again on the way there I got distracted by another site the combo ticket covered, Hadrian’s Library. After exploring this roman built in AD site I finally made my way to Linner (lunch/dinner).

It was about 5pm after eating and I had picked up some presents for people at the Acropolis Museum so decided to head back to my accomodation and drop them off. I was considering doing an evening tour, but once I got back and cooled off, I decided to do some work instead. Cos I still have to fit that in between all the things to pay for them.

This morning my plan was to go check out the remaining 3 sites on the combo ticket, so that’s what I did today. I decided to start with the Kerameikos. On my way there though I got distracted by the street art and just started following the art around. After the detours I made my way to the site and I really enjoyed starting the day here. Unfortunately the Kerameikos Archaeological Museum is currently under going renovations and was unaccessible.

My next stop was, well chosen for me by the maps. I think I had put the 2 locations in but I didn’t pay attention to the order so it was like a roll of the dice what order are we looking at these. It was the Lyceum where Aristotle’s Peripatetic school of philosophy was started in 334 BC. It was also a gym.

Last on my sites of Athens tour for the day was the Olympieion. However, the trend has been distraction and that’s what I did again. I found myself walking past the Panathenaic Stadium so crossed the road to have a look just from the outside. This one isn’t included in the combo ticket, and once I was standing on the outside I really just wanted to see it from the other side of the entrance. So I purchased a ticket (10 Euros) and went in. This stadium is entirely made of marble! It was pretty impressive to walk around and see. I didn’t run the tracks but I walked it. There were lots of running races happening and podium photos. If I wasn’t solo travelling here I would of totally gone for a friendly running race. There was also a little display of a bunch of Olympic Games posters and torches. In the end I was pretty glad that I did enter and get to walk around this epic stadium!

Now it was time to head to the Temple of Olympian Zeus. There is a lot of repair work currently happening here so there are some more impressive photos of the site elsewhere on the internet but it was pretty epic to see, scaffolding and all. Again it was getting to that time where eating seems like a good plan so Happy Cow’d it and found a place to go try near by. I walked in the direction of the Arch of Hadrian so I could see that outside of the fenced Temple site’s grounds.

The rest of the day was pretty much a rinse and repeat of yesterday. I ate, then started wandering back to my accomodation to go cool off and do some work. I’ve done a little bit of work and then I got distracted writing all this done while it was fresh in brain. Tomorrow I check out and go pick up a rental car to start my road trip journey around Greece. I have another 9 places to stay booked, that are located in or around areas of things I want to look at, as well as sights between the accomodation journeys. Even some day trips from some stays. I have 20 more days in Greece and I am looking forward to them. I think that most of this time I will stick with what I have been doing and seeing the things I want to see during my days and not really exploring much nightlife activity. Instead using those hours to work. Once I started thinking about all the God’s and the history, seeing sights was the driving force of me coming to Greece.

My next visit to Greece can be the islands and nightlife tour.