Hey folks, it's day 2 of our Mediterranean tour. We waved a short farewell to Roma and started to prepare for our next destination; Athen's Greece.
We had the opportunity to really take in FCO's airport on our departure. The airport tried to impress us with its high-tech screens and modern amenities....... and it worked. We were already in awe of the airport, but our level of excitement grew to the next level when we arrived at one of their lounges. We were able to enter this particular lounge because we had priority access on Aegaean Airlines. The lounge was so impressive! There was a friendly, English - speaking bartender fresh juices, a well-appointed breakfast buffet, and staff members offering amazing service.
We left the lounge and boarded our flight on Aegean Airlines. This was our first time flying with Aegean Airlines, so we were excited to experience a Greek airline. However, once we got on the plane, our excitement turned into disappointment rather quickly. The seats looked like we were on a bus. There weren’t any cushions, style, or appeal to the plane. The worst part was that the plane was dirty. This was a huge turn off. I immediately thought, if the seats and floor are this dirty, how are they possibly preparing breakfast for me?
Once we landed in Athens, we were so blown away by the Greek language in the airport. Of course exit is translated to Exodus [Biblical reference]! How cool is that?!
Our initial impression of Athens wasn't exactly what we expected. There was a lot of graffiti, almost like graffiti seen in the rougher parts of New York, but even more. Athens took graffiti to the next level. My initial thoughts were to ask the driver about the safety of the city, but he assured me that the only common crime was pickpocketing and he showed me which area to stroll through comfortably after hours.
We arrived at the Perianth hotel and we were quite pleased. The service at the front desk was top notch, the rooms were spacious, the art in the hallway was really cool and eclectic, and we could see the Acropolis from our balcony!
Although the hotel has an incredible restaurant, the Perianth Cafe, we wanted to explore the city and eat dinner elsewhere. We went to the Acropolis Village. This restaurant was off the beaten path and was filled with locals. Even the bartender wanted to know how we found the place. The food was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! At that moment, I realized that the Greek food that I had been eating in the U.S. was not Greek food at all. We have been insulting the Greeks by calling what we eat Greek food. The textures, flavors, and spices were absolutely incredible.
Our next stop was the Electra Palace. This is a classic hotel with rooftop views of the Acropolis. A friend of ours recommended this spot for late night drinks because the view of the Acropolis from this rooftop restaurant is enchanting.
We were very pleased with our first day in Athens, Greece. We loved the crisp winter weather, were in awe of the food, and really appreciated the love we received from the people. We headed back to the hotel and went to bed so that we would be ready for our next day.