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Blog 3: Athens/ Delphi

 Journey Through Ancient Greece: Acropolis and Delphi:

Friday, June 21

Today was a day of adventure and exploration under the blazing Greek sun. Our first destination was the Acropolis, a pinnacle of ancient history and architecture. The walk up was intense due to the unbearable heat, but the anticipation of reaching the top kept us going. Despite the challenging weather, the climb itself wasn’t too bad. However, the heat made us eager to get to the summit for some much-needed breeze.

As we approached the Acropolis, the entrance was crowded with cruise goers and tourists. It was a bit overwhelming at first, and the initial experience wasn’t the best with so many people around. However, once we made it to the top, the incredible views made it all worth it. The sight of Athens sprawling below us was breathtaking, and finding a water station was a huge relief.

We took countless pictures, capturing the majestic Parthenon and the stunning panoramic views. Our guided tour was exceptionally informative, providing us with a deeper understanding of the Acropolis’s historical and cultural significance. The guide was knowledgeable and patient, allowing us to ask plenty of questions, which enriched our experience even more.

After descending from the Acropolis, we headed to “O Thanis,” a restaurant renowned for being one of the top 100 in the world. The atmosphere was cozy and welcoming, a perfect spot to relax after our morning adventure. We indulged in delicious gyros, and the fruit salad we had for dessert was refreshing and delightful. The highlight of the meal was its perfect blend of flavors, truly living up to its reputation.

To top off the experience, I managed to get my hands on a Starbucks collectible mug, which made me incredibly happy. It’s always nice to bring back a souvenir that holds a special memory of the place.

We were originally scheduled to hike up Mount Lycabettus, but due to the extreme heat, this plan was canceled. Instead, we had some free time, which we used to head back to our rooms. After a refreshing shower, we took a quick power nap to recharge. The rest was much needed after the morning’s activities.

Feeling rejuvenated, a few of us decided to check out a local pizza shop for dinner. This place was a hidden gem, a “hole in the ground” with an unassuming exterior but offering probably the best pizza I have ever had. The service was exceptional, the food was incredible, and the company was delightful. It was a perfect end to an eventful day.

 Saturday, June 22

Today’s journey took us to Delphi, an ancient site rich in history and mythology. Delphi was once considered the center of the world in ancient Greek culture. According to legend, Zeus released two eagles from opposite ends of the earth, and they met at Delphi, marking it as the navel of the world. The site is nestled on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, offering stunning views of the surrounding valley.

Our tour of Delphi was fascinating. We explored the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, where the famous Oracle of Delphi once delivered her cryptic prophecies. Walking through the sacred site, we could feel the weight of history all around us. The nearby Delphi Museum housed an impressive collection of ancient artifacts, including the renowned Charioteer of Delphi, a beautifully preserved bronze statue.

After our tour, we ventured into a small nearby town for lunch. Being a Saturday, many places were closed, but we stumbled upon a charming local coffee and ice cream shop. The owners were known for their homemade ice cream, and it did not disappoint. The ice cream was delicious, a perfect treat to cool us down after our exploration of Delphi.

Returning from Delphi, we had some free time, so we showered and got ready to head out again. We took the opportunity to explore more of the local area, enjoying dinner at another fantastic restaurant and picking up some souvenirs along the way. The evening was leisurely and enjoyable, and we took our time soaking in the atmosphere of Greece.

Back at the hotel, we caught up on some homework and had an early night in. We had an early start the next day, and a good night’s sleep was essential. Reflecting on the day, it was incredible how much we had experienced and learned. Each moment was filled with discovery, from the ancient ruins of Delphi to the simple pleasures of a homemade ice cream in a small town. This journey through Greece was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, filled with unforgettable moments and lasting memories.

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