I’m a geek when it comes to Greek and Roman history. In college, Age of Caesar 3001 was the first non business class I took, that I got an A in. Not an A-, an A.
Greece has always been on my list of places to visit. In the past I’d looked into Mediterranean cruises and it was a topic of conversation as a honeymoon destination.
Having visited Rome in 2005 and being underwhelmed overall, but loving the photos I came back with I had hoped for a more balanced visit to Greece.
I spent the last week in Greece; 4 days in Athens and 2 in Santorini. Before I left, everyone had cautioned me that I was doing it wrong. Instead of 4 days in Athens and 2 in Santorini, I should be doing the opposite.
Well, let me say, I think I chose the right balance. My 2 days in Santorini were enjoyable, but more than enough for me and how I travel. And I travel through the photos I want to take.
Athens was a great experience. It shared a lot of similarities with my trip to Rome. The food was great and the wine wonderful. You have to love a country where the wine and beer are cheaper than the soda. Though I speak not a word of Greek the city was easy to get around and the people easy to converse with. Few people and signs I encountered were Greek only.
I came to Greece wanting one photo. Years ago, I created a list of places/things I wanted to photograph. The Acropolis was on that list. More specifically, the Parthenon. On day 2, I was up early and one of the first through the gates to experience the Acropolis. I couldn’t have asked for better light. The early morning Greek sun warmed the location and the deep blue skies provided a beautiful backdrop to the hero of my shot, the Parthenon. I captured it from multiple vantage points and a collection of angles. This was the winner.
It’s already been sent off for printing and will be ready for pickup when I’m back.
Beyond the Parthenon, I traversed the streets like a local. The bakeries, cafes and street vendors helped me add on a few extra pounds, I’m sure.
Athens, even in its current state of political and economic turmoil…complete with riots, tear gas and armed military guarding government buildings, is a beautiful city. Not beautiful in the way Paris or New York are. Not beautiful like the Caribbean islands. But beautiful in the way the combination of old and new will leave you hypnotized. Beautiful in the way Rome was. Earlier I commented that I was disappointed with my visit to Rome, yet here I am talking about the similarities of the two cities. The problem I had with Rome is that it’s a very hard city to enjoy. The topography makes it a non walking city. Which would be fine if the train system complimented those shortcomings. But, the train system in Rome is built around their history. This means there’s rarely a direct route anywhere, for fear a piece of history would be disturbed.
Athens on the other hand had a train system to rival the wonderful London Tube, New York City’s subway system and Paris’ metra. It seems like a small thing, but when a city is easy to travel, you can see more of it. Athens made it easy.
It was a wonderful week abroad. Here’s a few photos from the trip.
Lastly, a special thanks to all of the people who offered me great advice on what to do and see. Most of the advice came via social media, from people I’d never met. The advice made this trip so much better.