Thursday, April 13, 2006

Trip to Athens

My husband and I have just returned from a few days sightseeing trip to Athens. We had a fantastic time.

Hotel review:

We stayed in the Arion hotel in Monastiraki near the Plaka area of Athens. We can thoroughly recommend this hotel - very well located for sightseeing, clean and comfortable, friendly staff and good value. We had a 6th floor room with a large balcony that looked straight out over the Acropolis which is beautifully illuminated at night to show the Parthenon in all its splendour.

Sightseeing review:

Sightseeing (at least for a short / weekend break) can probably be categorised into:

  • The fantastic archeological sights in and around the Acropolis (The Parthenon, Museum, Hadrian's Arch, Zeus Temple to name but few)
  • Prominent buildings and obvious sightseeing highlights (Parliament with its unique and fascinating 'changing the guard' ceremony; the National Archeological Museum; the Grand Bretagne Hotel (morning coffee / afternoon tea), for example)
  • Shopping - too many department stores, shops to mention !
  • The various districts of Athens (eg Plaka) each with unexpected and very interesting features including old churches, parks, restaurants, open squares - and of course the very modern metro system which makes it very easy and economical to get from the airport to the city and back.
There are so many fantastic archeological treasures to be found within easy walking distance. We visited (of course) the Acropolis and the museums are just full of wonderful artefacts. These are the Caryatids (maidens) at the Erechtion which is on the north side of the Acropolis:

We spent a relaxing hour having morning coffee in the Grande Bretagne Hotel (very luxurious but surprisingly not as expensive as one might think); this is well worth doing as this is a very luxurious hotel with beautiful indoor features:

We walked miles - from the Acropolis, through the interesting back streets around Plaka to Hadrian's Arch and past Zeus' Temple:

and then up through the lovely parks towards the National Archeological Museum:

Trip to Athens


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