"Four Years of Change" Athens by viaggiatore45

Athens Travel Guide: 4,468 reviews and 10,227 photos

I was just awakening from an hour nap as my tour bus drove down the main road into Athens. There was not a cloud in the sky and as I looked around, there was a distinct 3rd world country feeling but one that I embraced. I liked Athens far more then Rome or other large tourist cities. Immediately I was romanced by the simplicity and the dusty age of the city.

A friend nudged me and pointed ahead. Between the bright sunlight pouring through my seat on the 2nd floor of my double decker bus front seat, I wasn't sure I was seeing what I saw. What...what is that up ahead. The city surrounds us but there is something I cannot place straight ahead. My friend laughed. He responded by saying The Acropolis. My throat caught in my chest and Athens immediately captured my heart as my favorite European city.

While most people dream of Rome, Venice, London and Paris, I dream of Athens. It is a simple city but rich in history. I spent my last day with the tour and visiting the Parthenon and the Acropolis. I enjoyed kicking the rocks under my feet along the roads nearest the Parthenon. There is something magical about those rocks.

As we continued our day tour, our bus dropped us off in front of the site of the 2004 Olympic Games; those games that are being kicked off tonight as I write this. It is a different place four years later. When I ran the track in my mini-skirt, crop top and running shoes it was a more simple structure. At most it was the equivilent of a very nice high school track here in America. It never crossed my mind they would tear that structure down and build what exists today.

I spent two days not enough in Athens and I hope one day to go back. It is a simple city but fun. I remember hopping in a cab the day I left, speeding to the Pier and discovering the boat an hour delayed. The thrill of the cab ride remains with me. I had time to step off of the ferry that would take me to Paros and grabbed my favorite treat: Baklava. I ate at least a half-pound. I haven't touched it since. It was delicious but I overate to the point of illness.

Greece is a fantastic country and Athens a city of mystery and of history at every corner. There is a magical spirit that is almost intangable, as if it comes from a story book thousands of years old. Yet, everyone should embrace this simple city in the critical eye of a philosopher. So many things originated in Athens and one short two day trip doesn't suffice to fully explore thousands of years of history.

  • Last visit to Athens: Jun 2000
  • Intro Updated Aug 13, 2004
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