I only had the opportunity to stay four nights in Athens which wasn’t nearly enough. I stayed at The Stanley Hotel, which from all the reviews online and from the looks of it was a nice place! It was hard for me to believe I could be staying in such a nice hotel for only $80 per night. I checked out my room and everything was just as described online, it was great. I quickly checked out the gym area and discovered they had nice weights and even a sauna. Seemed like heaven compared to some of the shit holes I have stayed at in the most recent weeks. Next I decided to try to find some food because it was late and I had only eaten airport food all day. I found a traditional Greek restaurant located directly across from my hotel. I got everything pictured below including the wine for only $8. What a deal!
The next day I woke up early and went for a run. In Athens, you can see Acropolis from everywhere since it sits on top of a huge hill. I decided for my work out that I would run up Acropolis and back which is about 3 miles roundtrip. It probably is not actually an ideal place to run because it is a tourist area. I figured this would not have stopped the ancient warriors so I wasn’t about to let it stop me. It was a hard run because it’s all uphill and sometimes you are climbing steps up narrow hallways.
Later that day I had a business meeting and I told my clients where I was staying. They laughed and informed me that I was staying in the most dangerous part of Athens. After hearing this, I took a bit of extra care in maintaining my personal security but you should do this even if you’re in a good part of town. Honestly, during my whole stay in Athens I did not noticed anything that made me feel even a little uncomfortable.I talked to a taxi driver and asked him his opinion. He agreed that it was not a great part of town but explained that it is because of the large concentration of brothels in the area. He seemed to think that if I was to mind my own business that I would not have any problems.
Later that night, I went to Monastiraki Square which is a great part of town where everyone goes to eat and drink at night with their friends. During the day in Monastiraki Square there is a large flea market with many small shops that you can buy souvenirs and gifts. I visited a cocktail bar called A for Acropolis, the view was amazing.
The next day I had another business meeting where they again laughed at me for staying in the wrong part of town. We had an amazing dinner somewhere by the sea. I couldn’t take pictures of the food because it was a business dinner but I did manage to take a picture of the Ouzo! Ouzo is the national drink of Greece and has a strong taste of anise. When you mix ouzo with water it turns a cloudy color which I thought was cool.
Later that night I met with an old friend who was born and raised in Athens. He took me to a few typical places to drink beer and on a small walking tour of the city. One of the most memorable things we passed was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This is a memorial dedicated to all Greek soldiers who have lost their lives serving their country. It is guarded around the clock by the Presidential Guard. I am told that these men perform their duties rain or shine around the clock. I am thankful to have friends in these cities that are willing to spend time with me. My experiences would not be the same without them.
Saturday was my last day in Greece and I had big plans of going back to Monastiraki Square during the day. I wanted to go visit the flea market and pick up some small gifts. To be honest, I decided to just stay at the hotel and catch some much-needed rest. I used the hotel gym, relaxed in the sauna and then had a nice meal at the Greek restaurant across the street. The next morning, I had a big day ahead of me with a flight to Kharkov, Ukraine!
Do you have any questions about Athens? Post them in the comments below and I will try my best to answer them!