Athens exploring.

At the beginning and end of our Greek summer vacation, we spent a few days exploring the capital and its environs.

Highlight #1: the Acropolis Museum. I can’t believe I didn’t hit this museum on my last trip to Greece! What a wealth of archaeological treasures. And for the low price of €5. After seeing the Acropolis itself, this museum would be my number one recommendation if you find yourself in Athens. Afterwards we met V’s sister for lunch and were treated to the following view:

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The view was the main event at this restaurant, but it’s also a fun surprise to turn down a street and have the view of the Acropolis ahead of you.

Highlight #2: Bouzoukia! The Greeks love their heritage, especially their musical heritage. They also like smoking, dancing, and staying out late. Bouzoukia manages to combine all these elements. We arrived at about 1 in the morning (totally past my non-Greek bedtime) to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The smoke was thick and the music was loud. On stage were minor Greek pop stars performing the hits of the day. Later in the evening they would sing the classic hits. Circulating through the crowd were waitresses, some serving drinks (bottle service only, of course) and some serving wicker plates of flowers you could throw towards the dancers. Lots of flashing neon lights, lots of skimpy costumes. I was reluctant to go (see above: way past my bedtime) but in the end had a great time and was glad I went. Though I definitely needed a shower when I got home.

Highlight #3: An afternoon at Sounio. Sounio is an archaeological site at the southern tip of Attica, the peninsula that includes Athens. It is the site of the beautiful temple of Poseidon, perched on craggy rocks overlooking the blue Aegean.

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We went swimming afterwards, in the shadow of the temple. I find it so cool that as you do ordinary things in Greece, you are surrounded by ancient, extraordinary architecture.

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Later we had a decadent, multi-course pescatarian lunch with V’s parents and godparents. We eat way too much when we are in Greece, but we can’t help ourselves!

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Not pictured: fries, fried calamari, tiny fried fish…

The Greeks can be obsessively proud of their country and its beauty… not hard to see why after my visits there.

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