Oh how the end of our trip came upon us so quickly! After an early and very very long ferry from Santorini to Athens (definitely flying next time), we arrived mid afternoon at the port and got a taxi to our hotel. This exchange didn’t go down so well as our older taxi driver tried to scam more money out of us. However, he should have second guessed messing with a girl excited to be going home soon and who has GPS and Google Maps.
While we got our tourist win for the day, we decided while it wasn’t too hot to head up to the Acropolis nearby. Thinking because it was a Saturday that there would be millions of people, we were pleasantly surprised to practically wander in around 5.30pm. While there was still a few people around, we could easily experience the site and its ancient significance without too much fuss.
Travel tip: Do NOT wear thongs (flip flops for non-Australians) while walking the Acropolis. Those ancient stones are bloody slippery. I have no idea how they did it in ancient sandals!
After sweating up a storm, we left the Acropolis for showers and dinner at a local small restaurant where the red wine was cheap but did the job. We were fortunate enough to have a hotel with a wonderful rooftop view of the Acropolis too so we enjoyed the majestic site while drinking expensive cocktails and eating expensive desserts. All in all, it was a perfect final night for our long trip around Europe.
The next day after packing we decided to explore a little more. Although we didn’t get too far due to a 38 degree Celsius day and both suffering from colds, we got to experience the city with a bit more buzz of activity by marvelling at Hadrian’s Gate and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. While we admired the Temple from afar due to funds being a little low, we still got to appreciate the significance of what we were seeing. Visiting the National Garden for some much needed shade, we manned up for a short walk to Athens Olympic Stadium before retiring to the hotel lobby for some A/C and to get changed into our long haul flight clothes.
We had a really lovely young driver take us to the airport which made the drive much more comfortable (thank you Suntransfers!). We recommend hiring an airport transfer because while it might seem expensive the airport is a fair way out from the centre of the city and taxis would cost you a heck of a lot (especially if you get a dodgy taxi driver). A transfer is hassle free and has beautiful, amazing, spectacular air conditioning!
After over 20 hours in transit with a short layover in Dubai (that place is still hella busy at 2am at a nice and crisp 37 degrees Celsius) we finally made it into Sydney staying at the Rydges hotel right across the road from the International terminal. Definitely worth it after travelling for so long and arriving late at night. It was a smart decision to delay our 2 hour train ride home until the next morning.
While it might feel a bit surreal that our trip is over, at least we have the millions of photos and all the memories from our trip abroad.
For a photographic array of Athens, see below.
See you on the flip side!