Lately, Greece has become a popular site for those who are seeking a mythical vacation experience.
Freshman at UW has been good to me, but never good enough than home. Even when the plane ticket cost $1,200, it still didn’t stop me from going back home.
After 15 hours on board, with two layovers, I was finally back in Athens, Greece, drained and exhausted. My #1 tip for fellows who are traveling from the States to Europe: never have more than one layover!
One thing that as an international student must need to have a skill for is to deal with jetlag, and it only gets better through repetition.
After a night of rest, I was back on Greek time. Here goes my itinerary after the second day of arrival.
1st stop: 360 Cocktail Bar, Athens Greece
Grabbing a drink at the famous 360 Degree bar in downtown Monastiraki, while indulging the view of Acropolis during sunset right from its roof garden, is usually one of the daily routines that both Athenians and tourists love to do. It is a glimpse away from the famous Plaka, lined up with tons of gyro restaurants, souvenir stores, and a flea market. For teenagers who are under 21, Athens should be the Las Vegas in Europe with no drinking age restriction (maybe there is, but no bars actually reinforce the law, so have fun with that).
2nd Stop: Acropolis and the Parthenon
“Acropolis and the Parthenon visit is a must,” says me who always think twice when it comes to sightseeing as a part of the traveling agenda. The Parthenon is really something different. It’s the building pillar of Athens life that sparks day and night. The night view of the Parthenon is always a killer one; you could easily get the view at every corner in Athens. However, the Parthenon is closed to visitors during the night. So do make sure you check the hours before you go on a visit.
3rd stop: The ribs at Beer Academy in Halandri
One of my favorite spots for a meaty hangout while I was back in high school. The Beer Academy is located in the suburb of Athens, where you can get to the famous Golden Hall easily. Golden Hall is one of the few upscale department store in Athens, which is a fantastic place to shop for your Greek and international designer brands, and a good workout after having those guilty ribs!
4th stop: The famous shipwreck in Zakynthos
Athens could be fun and exciting, but never miss the islands to complete your vacation in Greece.
For winter vacation in Greek, I recommend Zakynthos for two reasons. One, beautiful scenery to share with only a few folks on sight. Two, quite and mythical during the winter season when tourism is low. I visited Zakynthos with my family over the summer. It was pretty crowded. When I went back again this winter, it was a complete scenery in terms of tourism traffic.
5th stop: Get down to that shipwreck
Rent a boat, and get down there to view the actual ship. It’s a different experience when you’re down there than up on the mountains! The view was astonishing from the sea-level, as the water was still crystal blue. But one drawback: the wind could get strong, and the boat could wobble like a thin paper in a tornado, and the feel of nausea could be inevitable. Prepare your meds before getting on there!
Though Athens hadn’t changed a bit ever since the day I left for the States, the way I felt for this city has become more “attached”. I guess it’s just what others say: only know you miss home when you’re away from home.