We were invited to a wedding. A Greek wedding on top of that! Excited as we could be, we quickly realised, we’ll probably spend there longer than weekend only once there and a whole carousel of ideas and plans started moving.
Our flight from London, as for all true adventurers who don’t need to sleep, was at 5am. Meaning we landed in Athens just before noon. Thanks to our friend living in Athens and her hospitality, we were spared the trouble of looking for accommodation. And so we ended up on the balcony of her Athens flat, with spanakopita (traditional spinach cake) baked by her Grandma, fresh feta cheese and tomatoes and so were dragged into the Greek lifestyle.
Maybe you’ve noticed by now, but the two of us are not really the city types and the planned day and a half in Athens should be just enough. We spent our first evening with Woody Allen in Cine Paris, a rooftop cinema in the center with amazing view at Acropolis. So this might be it if you’re looking for something different, not only to walk around the tourist spots and tick the box for Athens.
Next morning, or rather lunchtime, which we consider morning sometimes, we headed towards Acropoils. We started from Syntagma underground station and the Parliament building, along National Gardens, not through, as the gardens were closed to public due to important foreign visit. The next stop was the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Arch of Hadrian. Around noon we started the actual ascent to Acropolis. Ideal time if you’re prepared to sacrifice your life on the hill, despite being September already. We made it eventually, as well as millions others.
It was late afternoon Friday traffic when we were leaving Athens in our rented car. Driving a car in Athens is great fun by the way. No one respects anything, everyone honks, overtaking each other and swearing. We were so glad making it out in one piece, both us and the car. We made it to Arachova, popular skiing resort in winter, after few hours drive through several thunderstorms and heavy rain. Unfortunately the forecast for the next day was pretty much the same. All the more happy we woke up to the sunshine next morning in Xenonas Iresioni where we were staying.
There’s one really nice story connected to the wedding. We were caught in a really bad storm as we were changing location from taverna to a bar for the evening party. There was 5 of us taking kind of shelter under a shallow roof of one of the houses, waiting for the storm to pass. Suddenly a door opened behind our backs and a magical Granny with one arm in a plaster invited us into her house. And because our Greek friend was with us, we found out Granny was 94 years old. The Storm tired out fast, we thanked the Granny and went on to continue the wedding celebrations.
Delphi is only about 10km from Arachova, so it was an “easy target” to explore. It’s a large complex of various temples, theatre, stadium, gym and a museum for many statues and more fragile objects which were excavated there. Delphi is also a navel of the world (according to one of legends) ;).
It was a very special feeling walking between these ruins built in steep hillside just under high cliffs and trying to imagine how it may have looked like 600 years BC. Walking back to the car we were totally drenched and we set up on 3 hours journey to Kyllini on Peloponese, where we boarded a ferry to Zakynthos. But that’s another story…