Greece; who hasn’t dreamed of visiting the beautiful country, with its delicious food and many gorgeous islands??
My time in Greece was somewhat brief, I spent what amounted to roughly 3 full days in Athens, and I loved it.
My flight arrived late in the evening, and I then got on an hour long bus into the city centre. The map I had thankfully picked up at the airport was my new best friend, as I then had to walk half an hour to my hostel; Hotel Lozanni. (10/10 would recommend!)
It was about 11pm, but the streets felt safe enough, I actually felt more at ease than I do walking the streets of my own hometown at night!
The hostel was great, and there was only one other person in my 6-bed dorm – a sweet girl from Argentina.
The next day I spent wandering around with no real plan. I left the hostel at about 9am, wide awake thanks to jet lag, and found my way to Falafel House. Falafel House was a dream; a massive wrap with lettuce, tomato, tzatziki, hummus and falafel, all for only €2.70! It was the best falafel I’d had in my life, and I quickly fell in love with Greek food.
I stumbled across a town square with a view of the Acropolis in the distance and bought some strawberries from a market seller. There were a lot of men in the square trying to approach people and strike up a conversation about where they’re visiting from, before offering them a woven bracelet, “a gift!”. But beware! This gift is not free, and they will ask for money. If you’re thinking “well, I’d just give it right back to them,” nope, they will not let you return the bracelet, and maybe they already put it on your wrist, so you now feel obligated to pay. I watched this happen to a couple of unsuspecting tourists.
I had been warned of this before my trip, so I knew to politely decline and keep walking, but fair warning, they are very persistent and will try to make you feel bad for ignoring them.
I kept walking, just taking the time to mindlessly explore my surroundings, and I somehow ended up all the way up at the Acropolis. There is a rocky cliff you can climb to the top of that provides an amazing view of the whole city, and this is free! Entrance to the Acropolis is €20, (or for €30 you can get a pass to 5 different attractions) but I decided to save this for another day. I left and returned to the hostel – walking back took just over an hour!
The Argentinian girl had left for Mykonos, (a must-see if you can!) but in my dorm, there was now a girl from Netherlands who kindly invited me to come out and get dinner with her and a couple of guys she had met a few days ago.
I was happy to have company after my stretch of solitude, and we walked around for a while before deciding on a restaurant that featured a mix of cuisines. I decided on a falafel wrap (shocker), while the others selected a burrito, Thai noodles, and a caesar salad. I’m pretty proud of myself for getting Greek food, though I love falafel so it wasn’t a hard decision. The fact that it was only €5 in a restaurant was also a plus! So far, Greek food gets a 10/10 for affordability and deliciousness!
Even after we had finished our meals the four of us just sat at the table playing cards and chatting, and it was nice to have a proper conversation after what had seemed like forever! (Only really 2 days.)
On that note – if you’re a solo traveller, don’t be afraid to approach other travellers and ask to hang out with them! Nine times out of ten they will say yes, and it is always nice to make new friends from different countries, especially when you’re experiencing the same thing!
The rest of the night consisted of a pleasant walk home during the 10pm dusk, and a shower, before finally flopping into my surprisingly comfortable bed.
My first day in Greece; complete!