First Stop in Europe: Athens!

At long last, we have arrived in Europe! We’ll be here for the next few months, and even though we’ll be visiting a few countries here, it’s nice to be in a bit more familiar territory and to relax a bit more. We had a few days to spend here in Athens, and so we’ve been pretty busy seeing all we can of the city!

The first thing to note as we’ve explored Athens is the incredible number of ruins and archaeological sites. Of course I knew that Ancient Greece is a big deal, but there are ruins absolutely everywhere. The city is quite proud of them, but it does seem a bit too focused on them to look ahead or look around. Anything that isn’t an archaeological site has graffiti on it, and most buildings are cracked or crumbling in places. It’s a very strange thing to see after spending so much time in cities that are actively growing and expanding. We’ve also had beggars or vendors come up to our table in over half of our meals in the city, which is also a new experience and also not a great indicator for the city overall.

While that may have made the city sound like it’s in a pretty bad way (which it pretty much is), there is still plenty that’s worth seeing here. We’ve gone to the famed Acropolis and Parthenon, watched sunset from the highest point in the city, been to the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Hephastus, and various other famous Ancient Greek ruins. It’s been very cool to see everything. At least, the things that are reconstructed or less-destroyed (I’ll admit that looking at stone outlines of buildings in the dirt is not as exciting when I don’t know much about Greek history other than the mythology). It’s been a fun stop, and I’m excited to see more of Europe!

(Also, my internet access is too unreliable here to upload a photo to this post. So check them all out on my Flickr album here)