It’s 6 in the morning, and we are seated on a Sea Jet fast ferry from Athens to Mykonos, waiting to depart. This hydofoil is massive, like a three story building on floats, and it’s packed with tourists all heading for the blue and white iconic beauty of Mykonos.
Two flight legs and 17 hours later, we arrive in Athens at 4 in the afternoon to 30 degrees and blue skies. We have two rooms reserved at Hotel Parthenon, which is in the middle of the Plaka, the area surrounding the Acropolis. High on the 5th floor, our rooms have balconies, and a cold bottle of white wine, and a fresh fruit platter to enjoy. I love this view: I lean against a balcony and get a birdseye view into life across the street. An elderly lady sits out on her balcony with her back to the view watching a TV across the room inside the apartment. One floor down, as dusk settles in, a beautiful table lamp illuminates the terrace, and a flat screen TV sits in this outdoor space, and shows me the news of the day. The lady of the house does a big pile of ironing, while her husband sits underneath the warm light of that lamp and reads the paper and drinks a beer. Maybe I would do more ironing too if I could lift my head occasionally from the board and commune with the ghosts high above on the Acropolis. Well, no, in all honesty, I would be the one sitting in the chair under the light enjoying the beer. Talking non-stop to the ghosts. Not ironing.
We climbed to the top of the acropolis the next morning. I think my favorite area was the first amphitheatre we came to at the base of the walls. We could walk amongst the uneven aged stone steps, worn smooth from those who have trod before me, and the outlines of chairs resembling thrones still stand. Even from the lower height, the view of Athens laid at my feet is spectacular. The thing that struck me was the enormity of it all, and the smallness of me inside it. Yet for all its vastness, I did not feel out of place inside it. The sunrises and sunsets of Greece are beautiful, but the experience of being a small member of that big space will definitely be my favorite memory from our first full day in Athens.
Here are a few of the pictures I’ve taken during out time in Athens.