My friend and I both studied Classics at university so, naturally, Greece was high on our travel bucket list. When we had the opportunity to travel there together in October of 2018, we jumped at the chance.
Day 1: Athens
Day 2: Athens
Day 3: Corinth; Mycenae; Epidaurus; Nafplion
Day 4: Nafplion; Olympia
Day 5: Olympia; Patras; Delphi
Day 6: Delphi; Thermopylae; Kalambaka
Day 7: Kalambaka; Meteora; Athens
Since this was our first trip without our families, we elected to book a group tour, ensuring that we would be travelling with many others while also giving us the opportunity to learn about each city from our very knowledgeable guide.
Our hotel in Athens was located in the perfect spot. After we’d landed and checked into our accommodation, we had the rest of the day to explore on our own before convening with the rest of our group the next day. On that first afternoon, we had no sooner stepped out of our hotel, ready to begin our adventure, when we noticed the beautiful Acropolis just up the hill and in perfect view of our hotel. That was when it hit us: after all our dreaming and planning, we’d made it. We were finally in Greece!
A short walk up the hill led us to the fashionable Plaka neighbourhood. The oldest part of Athens, Plaka is made up of narrow cobblestone streets and is a hub for jewellery stores, cozy cafes, restaurants, and cute little shops. We had a lot of fun exploring this lovely, historic section of the city. *
On our second day in Greece, we travelled with our group to visit the Parthenon*. This temple was built in the mid-fifth century BCE and is dedicated to the patron deity of Athens and my personal favourite of the Greek pantheon: Athena.
Walking around the ancient Acropolis hill was breathtaking; looking up at the massive structures and temples which have withstood the test of both time and physical destruction is awe-inspiring and humbling. Though I’ve learned about this place and seen it in textbooks and on tv, nothing compares to the feeling of standing in the presence of such an ancient marvel, of standing in the (literal) footsteps of many votaries who have come before.
Construction of the Parthenon began in 447 and ended in 432 BCE. Its erection served to glorify Athens; in addition, the building was a testament to the victory of the Greek πόλεις (poleis/city states, such as Athens, Sparta, Corinth etc.) over the invading Persian armies. This new temple was also meant to replace the buildings of the Acropolis that were damaged when the Persians attacked the city in 480 BCE.
Some Useful Words and Phrases If You Decide To Go:
- γεια σας (pronounced “YAH-sas”)= Hello
- Ευχαριστώ= “Ef-hari-sto” =thank you
- παρακαλώ= “para-ka-low” =please
- πώς είστε?= “pos e-ste?” = how are you?
- Αντίο = “an-di-oh” = goodbye
- Όχι = “o-hee” = no
- Ναί = “nay” = yes
- Λυπάμαι = “lee-pa-ma” = I am sorry
- Νερό = “neh-roh” = water
- Εγώ μιλάω Αγγλικά = “ewo mil-ow agg-lee-ka” = I speak English