We have been in Athens the past few days for the TBEX Europe Travel Writers Conference. We have had the chance to explore Athens and truly soak up the city while we have been here. As part of TBEX the Athenian locals rolled out the red carpet for us to show how much they love their city and Greece.
I can’t tell you enough how much we have truly loved our time in Athens. The locals have embraced us and showed us so much of their city. Today we met Nick the Greek who showed us hundreds of business cards from friends who have moved to the US and opened Greek restaurants and other businesses. We heard how important the US is to Greece and how much he loves our land of opportunity. He reminded us that some days you have to slow down and just take a moment to talk with shopkeepers and locals. You never know what amazing stories they have to tell and how they will become a highlight of your travels.
Last night we had the chance to enjoy Pandrossou Street during a street fair and it was amazing. The vendors made us feel so welcome and happy to be in Athens. I may have bought a lot of Olive Wood products from an amazing Olive Land store. The spoons, cutting boards and other olive wood products were beyond amazing. If I didn’t have to worry about how heavy my suitcase is becoming I could have bought one of everything in the store I loved it that much. We met the shop owner who showed us the pens that he hand crafts for the store. They take between 45 minutes to 2 hours to make and are absolutely gorgeous. My one regret from this trip so far may be not buying at least one of his gorgeous pens.
One thing we have learned during our time in Athens is the local people truly love their city and their culture. They want people to know how amazing the area is and that they support travelers. They want to show you Ancient Greece to Modern Greece and how the city has showcased each era of its history.
No trip to Athens would be complete without a visit to the Acropolis. We are still fighting off a bit of jet lag so we were up crazy early this morning and headed towards the Acropolis. A quick subway ride and we were right at the base of the Acropolis. The hike up the hill looks a bit daunting but is soooooo worth it.
Each step of the way you are taken back hundreds and hundreds of years to Ancient Greece. From the olive trees to the dogs roaming the hill side each moment reminds you how far we have come over time. This was our second time visiting the Acropolis and it was still stunning and spectacular to see. This time we did not have a time schedule or tour to catch up with so we took our time really absorbing the sites and sounds of the area. We sat on marble park benches and took in the details that still show on the Acropolis. We watched cats walk the marble paths and remind visitors that they are king of the hill here.
Even with a bit of rain and ominous skies overhead we found the Acropolis to be breathtaking and well worth a few hour visit.
Our afternoon continued wandering the streets of Athens and taking in the area. We found ourselves back on Pandrossou Street talking with our new Athenian friends. If you have ever wanted to visit Greece or even had a tiny thought about taking a trip here we highly suggest it. This is a place that you can easily fall in love with and want to come back again and again.