Aegean Airlines provided a smooth ride and a decent hot meal for our flight from Rome to Athens. Flying over the Ionian and Aegean Sea gave us a great aerial view of the Greek isles and the Port of Piraeus where the lucky ladies we were traveling with would depart in a few days to go their own way to the island of Santorini to bask in the relaxation only sun and sea can offer. Focusing on a few days exploring Athens together, we landed at Athens International Airport and the four of us made our way to the train station, figured out the route and headed to the Omonia stop for the walk to Hotel Aristotoles. The clerk who checked us in was a bit frazzled and arriving after dark we felt a little “shadiness” about the neighborhood. We went to our rooms on the same floor and upon entering we found them to be tiny and the girls room was a bit stale smelling but after further inspection (clean bedding; decent towels) we all decided that at $38 American a night, what could we expect, we would be fine. We remedied the smell issue once I got the brilliant idea to poor water into the dry floor drain and after battling an initial cold shower until the girls figured out the plumbing handles, all in all we were satisfied, especially because our mindset was to spend very little time in the rooms. And, it was $38 a night. Haha. #semibudgetconscioussomehow
It was late enough and the long last day prior in Rome had us dragging booty a bit so we headed out to the corner of our hood for a bite to eat. We found a Syrian run kebab and falafel type place named Zhnobia and settled in by an Iraqi couple who gave us menu recommendations and offered tastes of their own. My honey ordered up a variety and we enjoyed every bite. Perusing this menu as well as all the signs we had seen so far led us to know that we would be much more challenged by the language barrier here. (All was in Greek, which has its own alphabet, so there wasn’t even any guessing!) But,as we are finding in our travels people are really good and nice at heart and friendliness and genuine courtesy go a long way! After dinner, we made a trip to the neighborhood convenience store, got an electrical adaptor to fit the inset style socket in our room, some bottled water and my girlfriend and I opted for a Greek brew (founded the year of my birth 😉 for our sleeping aid. We did find out from the shop keeper that the neighborhood (and furthermore all of Athens) were viewed as safe from violent crime but that refugees seeking to pick pocket “papers” and “identities” were a concern and even more so in the wee hours of the morning. He warned us to be aware of our surroundings and protect our personal belongings and to worry no more than that. We thanked him for his friendly advice and headed back to chat a bit and call it a day so we could strike out to discover this city the following morning.
We woke and showered after our included breakfast was done for the day 🙁 so we headed next door to Sweet Coffee, a quaint little shop we frequented over the next couple days. The coffee and baked goods were perfect and cheap and the girls behind the counter were super hospitable! We enjoyed lattes, americanos and cappuccino as well as cheese pastries, pizzas and sandwiches on our stops here.