Thursday, Friday & Saturday, March 23-25: Athens, Greece
Katie and Megan spent Monday through Wednesday in Florence with me as I studied for and took my midterms. It was a whirlwind of a week but I managed to do well on all my midterms. I wasn't able to spend as much time exploring with the girls because of my classes and studying but the did their own exploring. During the week we had many great dinners including an aperitivo. Aperitivo is when you buy one drink for lets say about 10€ and get unlimited drinks and buffet. Lots of places have that here in Italy and it is pretty convenient especially if you are trying to save so money.
Thursday after my last exam we briefly finished packing and headed to the train station. Our flight was leaving from Rome. We made it to Greece Thursday night just after midnight. We had set up an Airbnb with a wonderful greek man who even picked us up from the airport to drop us off at where we would be staying. On our drive to the Airbnb he brought us around Athens showing us where things were and where the metro was. I may say the metro was very useful and right by our Airbnb so it worked out perfect for the two nights we stayed.
In the morning we bought tickets for the sightseeing bus, like the one I did in Paris. We thought it was the best way of transportation to see all the sights of Athens. Our first stop was the Acropolis with the Parthenon, the temple dedicated to Athena. Construction of the Parthenon began in 447 BC, it is the building with almost all the columns still standing. The acropolis was one of the coolest things I have been able to see on my journeys in Europe. I loved every second I had there. We also has an amazing view from on top of the acropolis as you can see from my pictures. Our next stop was the Temple of Zeus which we were able to walk to from the Acropolis. It was a nice walk of about 15 minutes on a road that took you right to it. All of the ruins in the city to me were equal to the ones I saw in Rome if not better. I think location had a lot to do with it, Rome is so busy and a crowded city. Athens just had a cooler vibe, even though it is a big city it is very open with trees, cool landscape and a sea breeze! I loved it. I would go back in a heartbeat. Athens should be on your bucket list.
Next, we got back on our red sightseeing bus and it took us along the coast. There we got off and had seafood near a harbor and then walked to find a beach. On our walk to the beach there was a lady feeding all the stray cats. I can still see Katie face... she hates cats... meanwhile, I was in my happy place. The weather was perfect for the beach we hung out there for a few hour sipping on strawberry daiquiris. Then we caught the bus on its last lap around. The excitement of the day got to me and I was knocked out for most of the rest of the ride. Once were got off we decided to go to the highest point of the city. After a lot of stairs and a kind of strange elevator ride up the side of the hill, we made it just in time to see the sunset. It was the most incredible view and God sure painted the sky wonderfully that night. After our hike down we went back to change and get dinner. We didn't stay out to late because Saturday was Katie and Megan's last day in Athens. In the morning we packed up and got ready to hit the beach. It took us a while to figure out how to get there without our red sightseeing bus but I enjoyed the challenge. We did eventually make it there and were able to spend about four hours basking in the sun. We all left a little bit burnt. It had been a while since my skin had seen the sun. The way home we were able to take a tram and we all were struggling to keep our eyes open. We all picked up our stuff from the Airbnb and then our Airbnb guy picked us up to drop us off where we needed to go. First he dropped me off at the hostel I was staying at for my spring break trip with Bus2Alps. I said goodbye to my best friends and they were headed back to the airport. They had a busy night ahead of them figuring out how to get back to Florence from Rome. The good news is they made it safe but didn't get much sleep. In the AM they had to get up early to catch there flight home.
I am so blessed to have these two girls as my friends. They crossed the ocean to visit me. It was nice to have shared such an amazing experience in Europe with my best friends. It was a hard week for me with it being midterms and I wasn't able to do much with them during the school week and it was stressful for me. I just wanted to be able to spend time with them and not worry about school but I had exams to worry about... Greece was the icing on the cake for me. Midterms were done and I could finally relax and enjoy exploring with them. Katie and Megan if you read this I love you both and am so lucky to have friends like you in my life. I am so thankful. Thanks for putting up with me. I don't know what I would do with out you. <3 Can't wait to be home and be there for you as you both prepare for the next chapters in your lives! You're getting married!
Here are pictures from our weekend in Athens!