We arrived at Piraeus, the port for Athens at about 8am and met our tour guide. On our way to Athens, we learned a bit about Piraeus, which isn’t just a port, but an active city of its own.
After a short drive, we arrive in Athens – the birthplace of civilization. We visited the Olympic stadium that was used in the last two Olympics held in Athens. We took a walk through beautiful gardens, close to the Prime Minister’s residence and saw the traditional Greek guards at the entryway. We went to the Acropolis and spent more than an hour exploring. There is a charge to walk up to the Parthenon (12 euros), but it is well worth it. Quite a bit is in scaffolding which you find everywhere in Europe.
With only a day of excursions we only had a chance to go to the Plaka and have lunch. The Plaka is Athens’ old town – lots of restaurants, shopping, old churches, tourists and locals. Our guide took us to a restaurant and they suggested dining family style and started bringing out the dishes. All the regular Greek favorites starting with bread and salad, appetizers of hummus, fried chick pea-balls, cheese balls, followed by stew, dolmates and mousaka. The food and wine just kept coming!
Our trip did not leave much time for shopping, but the Plaka is a great place to buy gold jewelry.