So as most of you know, I am home now. But I'll fill you in on what happened during the last week of my adventure, if anyone is actually still reading this. If no one is, that's okay, but I should finish it anyway.
So Athens. I flew in from Dublin on April 3rd and took the metro from the airport into the centre of the city. My hostel was across the street from the Acropolis, which was really cool, and I had a great view of it from my balcony. I had a gyro for dinner, and enjoyed the many cats and dogs that were just wandering around. Also, there were orange trees everywhere, so some places smelled delightfully citrusy. My first full day in Athens I went for a long walk down a bunch of narrow streets filled with shops. I think I went into every single one... I hadn't bought many souvenirs over the rest of my trip, since I didn't want to carry them around for weeks, so almost everyone's presents plus my own are from Greece. The streets went on for quite a while, until I ended up in a big square with an adorable church and a bunch of fruit vendors. They were literally shovelling huge, ripe strawberries into paper bags. I walked back towards my hostel a different way, while eating ice cream, obviously, and made my way to a big park where the Temple of Zeus lives. I took some pictures of the temple as well as of Hadrian's Gate (a different Hadrian than the one in England), and then went back to the hostel. This hostel hosts nightly events, so that evening I went with the people of my hostel room to a neighbouring bar for a trivia contest. We lost, but I met a guy from Vancouver, and the people from my room were delightful.
The next day I went to the Acropolis. It was a decent hike to get up there, but the views and the ruins were definitely worth it. I was a bit disappointed that the Parthenon had scaffolding on it, so I couldn't get the "classic" picture. I took many photos nonetheless. While I was up there, I passed a family walking around who had just come up from the many stairs. The little girl was saying "we came all the way up here for this? So not worth it!". I disagreed. I walked back down the opposite side that I came up, got more ice cream, and continued walking through the streets. It was a gorgeous day, and I got slightly sunburned but it went away by the next morning.
My third day in Athens was quiet. I went to a park and had a picnic, and read three books. That evening I made plans for the next day. I had decided not to go to Santorini on this trip, which is sad, but I felt it would be wrong to be in Greece and not go to some kind of island and go swimming. So I booked a ferry for the next day. My day on Aegina will be a separate post.
My last day in Athens I went back to the market streets and picked up my last few gifts. I had another picnic, enjoying the beautiful weather and the fact that I was wearing shorts. I had a tasty souvlaki for dinner and managed to pack everything I had bought over the last few days into my bag. Nothing broke, so I clearly did a good job. On the morning of the 9th I checked out of the hostel and took the metro back to the airport. There was a slight struggle getting my bag checked, which I 100% blame on the Aegean Airlines website. Eventually I gave up and paid the 45 Euros and got on my flight to London.
I highly recommend Greece, and I will definitely be back. Santorini is calling me. I will post something about Aegina shortly, and there will be one about my journey home as well. Stay tuned.