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Showing posts with label Greece. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greece. Show all posts

Our last stop on the honeymoon was Athens! We were pretty worn out by this point but we still made it to all the essential spots, and even spotted a celebrity along the way.  Our main checklist included the Acropolis, National Gardens, the Ancient Greek Sandals flagship store and getting the delicious chocolate lava cake I had in 2015. I also found out about a cute restaurant a couple days before we left called Little Kook that I wanted to check out because they change the restaurant with fun themes. After that it was just whatever else we could fit in!

All in all, we walked 100 MILES over the course of our 2 week trip. How insane is that?! And pretty much every day was spent in my black 'Alethea' Ancient Greek Sandals. I wore my Athena's on the first day and for some reason I got a weird blister so I was afraid to wear them again (they've never done that before but I wanted to be safe.)

Note: If you don't want to take public transportation to your hotel or airbnb, download Beat, it's like Uber for Athens.  There should be a flat fee to take you to the city center, we paid about $43 which in my opinion was totally worth not having to lug our bags on and off subway trains. It is also a way to avoid having to pay cash for a taxi because you can use a credit card with the app. For our way back to the airport we had our host pre-book a car for us so we paid €45, a little more than if we had used the Beat app.

What to Do

Temple of Zeus

Our cab driver from the airport gave us a great tip. He said if we were going to get the combo ticket for ancient sites (€30 for the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, Theatres of Dionysus & Attikus, Temple of Zeus, Hadrians library, and Kerameikos) to start at the Temple of Zeus rather than the Acropolis because the lines won't be as long and you can just walk straight to the entrance at the Acropolis instead of waiting in the ticket line there.  We were there on a free weekend but we wanted to go to the Acropolis on Friday so we bought the extra pass so we could see most sights on Friday and whatever was left on Saturday.

The Acropolis

This was our main reason for stopping in Athens. Christian is a nut for Ancient Greek mythology so he was really excited to finally see the Parthenon and other sites of the Acropolis in person. We got up early in the morning, but not too early, so we could beat a lot of the crowds but it was still pretty crazy! The sun is BLARING during the day and we were already getting overheated at 9/9:30am so make sure to bring water with you and hide in the shade when you can!

Panathenaic Stadium

We did a quick walk-by of the Panathenaic Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896! So cool! We had a lot we wanted to see on this particular day so we opted not to pay to enter and viewed from the outside only.

The Ancient Agora

The Ancient Agora is home to many ruins and buildings, including the Temple of Hephaestus (last photo) and Stoa of Attalos - which includes a small museum of artifacts. When we first got there in the morning there were areas blocked off because The Good Place was filming an episode. Luckily they left not long after we arrived so we were able to see the blocked off area, which included the Odeon of Agrippa.

We also spotted Kristen Bell walking in the Stoa of Attalos (first photo.) See a screenshot from a stealthy video I took while looking in the total opposite direction pretending I didn't know she was there, haha! They weren't filming at that point.

Hadrian's Library

Hadrian's Library was pretty cool to walk through and we were joined by some tortoises while doing so. Funny how we only saw them when we were at the ancient ruins, never in other parts of the city. The walls and columns are just so cool to look at. Imagine what these must have looked like back when they were all in one piece.

The National Gardens

Another must-see spot was the National Gardens. We spent a couple hours walking around and taking in the views. Since it was the end of Summer we sadly didn't get to see many flowers but it was still a nice reprieve from the loudness and business of the city.  Definitely make a walk through on your trip to Athens if only to escape the crowds.

Ancient Greek Sandals Flagship Store

One of my highlights of Athens was visiting the newly opened (May 2019) flagship store for Ancient Greek Sandals - my favorite sandal brand (my first post gushing over them in 2013!)  I had already bought a new pair while we were in Santorini but couldn't resist getting a pair in the ACTUAL store.  I tried on a few pairs and in the end went with a simple pair called the Apteros in purple suede that were different from any other pair I have because they were slip-ons. Normally I like to buy sandals with backs so I can wear them walking everywhere without worry. I wore these to the grocery store and found they were quite comfortable for walking, but I'm not sure they'd survive one of my Disney days so I'll keep them for normal wear.

After I checked out I had Christian take a picture of me with my purchase (which came in an amazing tote bag with a lookbook!) and I felt I needed to explain my giddiness to the woman at the store. I told her they were my favorite brand and this was my EIGTH pair. She was very excited to hear that.

Unfortunately I missed a special collection for Mary Katrantzou's Spring 2020 show - more pretty pictures here. They created beautiful sandals for the show held at the Temple of Poseidon on October 3rd (only a few days after we left, ahh!) In celebration they also sold some limited edition sandals at the store and changed their displays. Oh well, you can't have everything!

Where to Eat

Dionysos Zonar's

We ate here on our first night in Athens. It was another accident as the place I had wanted us to eat was all booked up (even though it was only 5:30...I bet they just don't like Americans) so we had to keep walking to find somewhere else and happened upon Zonar's with a lovely view of the Acropolis. We ate out on the patio which has a different menu from inside. This was my favorite meal in Athens apart from the last place on this list. I had the free-range chicken with broccoli, black rice and mustard sauce and Christian tried the Moussaka to see if it was better than what he had in Santorini (it wasn't.)

Funny note - this was the only restaurant on our whole trip that served water with their ice, which I really appreciated. I do love cold water!


Our last meal of the trip was a small outdoor cafe near the Acropolis Museum. It was close to our apartment and we were so tired that we wanted something quick and easy! Christian had a Gyro and I had Meatballs with rice. Not the best meal (mine,) but it did the trick!

Piazza Duomo

This restaurant is where I had one of my favorite desserts back in 2015. I went back again super excited to share the deliciousness with Christian and was sadly let down. We ordered the chocolate souffle and when it came we dug in hoping to find a lovely gooey center. What we got was a ball of hard ganache that had not melted all the way through and a rubbery cake on the outside.   I had this TWICE in 2015 and both times it was amazing so maybe this was a fluke. I'm wondering if they got lazy with their desserts and started to buy frozen in bulk, or this one just wasn't cooked enough.  Either way I was very dissapointed.

We did have lunch before the dessert which was good. Once again Christian tried the mousakka to see if it would be the best of the 3, he said it was better than Zonar's but not as good as the one in Santorini. I had chicken with quinoa salad - suuuper tasty! So at least the lunch was good.

Patisserie Artemis

On our last night we wanted some baklava for dessert and this Patisserie was on the way back to our apartment from dinner so we stopped in. Plus, we liked the name, who doesn't want to eat something made my a Goddess, right? We got some regular baklava and tried a chocolate variety as well, so tasty!

Little Kook

I saved the best for last! As I mentioned above, I found out about Little Kook only a few days before we left for our trip and knew we had to try it! They change their theme every few months and totally makeover the restaurant and menu, when I googled they were doing a Mary Poppins theme and when we arrived it was all decked out in pumpkins and ghouls for Halloween! I even got to sit on a pumpkin throne, the best seat in the house!

If you ask Christian this would probably be his favorite part of the whole trip. He loved the decor, the music and of course the desserts! We didn't realize how big they would be so we got 2 separate ones. I got the Dragon's Hot Breath (chocolate cake with chocolate praline layers and covered in meringue flambe) and Chrisitan had a Dark Witch Brownie (brownie with ice cream.) They were so huge, we definitely could have shared one and still been stuffed.  My cake was AMAZINGGG, the meringue on the outside was the perfect compliment to all the chocolate inside.

Needless to say this was our lunch. Luckily we went here before lunch (it was close to where we were and we were hungry) otherwise I doubt we would have had any room to eat them!

One of the places I was most excited to take Christian to was Santorini. We almost didn't make it due to some crazy flight issues but the travel gods were with us and we made it, even if it was an hour later than planned. We got to our airbnb just before 1am so it was straight to bed so we could  get started "early in the morning."

I chose our airbnb for the view and the fact that it wasn't in the center of the tourist area. If you guys want the link let me know and I can add it! We stayed in Imerovigli, a 15/20 minute walk from Fira, the main hub of Santorini.  The buses to most locations originate in Fira so we would walk to Fira rather than waiting for a bus at our local station (easier to know where the bus was going!)

We visited 4 areas on our trip - Akrotiri, Kamari, Fira and Oia.

What to Do

Enjoy the Sunsets

Sunsets in Santorini are nothing short of breath-taking. Our first night we watched from a restaurant and on our second night we planned on getting back to our airbnb early so we could enjoy it from our little porch. If you get an airbnb with a view I HIGHLY recommend making sure to enjoy at least one sunset from your place, that's why you paid extra for it, right?

Kamari Beach

The first time I went to Santorini we skipped the beach; this time we made sure to take half a day for the beach.  We walked to Fira on our second day and took the bus to Kamari, the bus lets you off just a couple streets away from the beach so it couldn't be easier! We brought a small towel from our airbnb to dry off and I bought a pocket blanket so we would have something to sit on.

The only mistake we made was forgetting water shoes because the beaches are not sandy, they're rocky. I didn't realize it would be that painful to walk on.  After we ate we walked around the boardwalk to find a place to eat and settled on a place with waffles.


For you history lovers out there, you'll want to make a trip to the other side of the island to see the Buried City, Akrotiri. The bus ride from Fira will be about 20-25 minutes and tickets are €12. Akrotiri was destroyed by a volcanic eruption and the city was buried. It was uncovered in the late 1800s and the excavation continues today. Just in the 4 years since I had last visited more of the city was uncovered.

Atlantis Books, Oia

Atlantis Books is one of the coolest looking stores in Oia. There are quotes and books all over the exterior and the store is overflowing with books. Some are new, some are very old and rare. They are mostly in English but you'll find some other languages too. Definitely check it out.

Athina Gallery, Fira

This is my favorite store we went to while in Santorini. Both times I visited (2015 and this trip) we stumbled upon it by accident.  In 2015 I ended up buying a beautiful necklace for my Mom for Christmas and this year we bought something for Christian's mom and I got a cute necklace with a branch, olive leaf and pearl.  There are so many beautiful pieces of jewelry and also home goods made from real olive branches, leaves and pomegranates. (Covered in silver, copper, etc.)

Ammos, Oia & Fira

If you want a pair of my favorite sandals, by Ancient Greek Sandals, Ammos is where you'll need to go while in Santorini. They won't have a huge selection but you'll be able to find something! I lucked out while we were there and the store in Fira was having a 30% off sale for the end of the season. They carry clothes too but after I spent all my money on sandals I didn't dare look.

Get a Massage

We didn't do this on our trip because Christian isn't a massage fan, but when I went in 2015 my friend and I did a sunset massage at Caldera Massage Studio. It was very relaxing and after we were given champagne (which we didn't drink, haha) and enjoyed the sunset from a viewpoint they provide. Technically it is a couples massage but we wanted a nice sunset view so we did it anyway. Who says it has to be a romantic couple, right?


Last, but not least, just walk around and explore! Most of our time in Oia and Fira was spent walking around and popping into a few stores here and there. Enjoy all the beautiful blues and whites Santorini is known for.

Where to Eat

Meat Corner Grill, Fira

We randomly stopped here for lunch on our first day because we decided to have lunch before heading to Akrotiri and I'm so glad we did. The food was DELICIOUS and very affordable. I just had chicken souvlaki and Christian had a chicken gyro. We spent $15 on both our meals and drinks, not too shabby!

Argo, Fira

We picked this restaurant purely because it had a fun name, luckily the food was good as well! We were also lucky to get a table, we had tried to get a sunset reservation by emailing the day before but they were booked through mid-October. But we walked straight up and they magically had an open table, just not one with a perfect sunset view. Christian tried their lamb and I had mixed souvlaki (minus the lamb, ha ha.)

Varkes, Kamari Beach

We ate here after spending a couple hours on Kamari Beach. We weren't sure what we were in the mood for so we walked all along the boardwalk looking for something and then saw the magic word - WAFFLES!  I got the apple pie waffles and Christian had the waffle with banana and oreo.

Lithos, Fira

On our second night Christian and I were hunting for a place to have an early dinner before heading back to our bnb for the sunset. We had walked by Lithos and I didn't want to eat there because I had an awkward experience there during my 2015 trip. To make a long story short, I ordered fried fish and the waiter came out and motioned with his hand to say it was just a little fish. I thought he meant small piece so I said "sure that's fine," they came out with sardines. I just couldn't bring myself to eat it so I awkwardly had to ask them to take it back. On the plus side we did have an amazing baklava there so I knew that in the least Christian and I would enjoy that!

I got a simple pasta dish for fear or ordering fish and having another sardine issue. Christian had what would be his favorite meal in Greece - Moussaka.  He said it was AMAZING and proceeded to try it 2 more times in Athens, but none lived up to Lithos' version. So pro-tip: get the moussaka and have baklava for dessert.

Patisserie Melenio, Oia

Once again I lucked upon a place I loved from my first trip but couldn't remember the name of. This is where I had the most delicious chocolate cake in 2015 and when we happened upon it on this trip I knew we had to have it! We opted to take it to go instead of sit down and eat it because it was half the cost, so this picture is from my first trip, haha.

Caper Santorini, Imerovigli Delivery Service

Our flight to Athens wasn't until 1:30 on the day we left so we planned on having a leisurely last morning before our car arrived at 12. We weren't sure what we were going to do for breakfast but as we looked through the information booklet our host left there was a breakfast delivery service we could use. It was a bit pricey but we figured it was worth it to have breakfast delivered to us so we could eat on the little porch.

We had to order one "package" and could add on other items. We got "The Caper" which came with a bread basket, omelette, yogurt, some jelly & butter and 2 drinks. As an add-on (for me ) we got pancakes (we ordered the blueberry ones but it came with chocolate sauce, oh well!) As we expected, the food was a tiny bit cold when it arrived but it was still good. And worth it for a private breakfast with an amazing view!

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