travel

Athens, Greece

I'm back with the next in my series of posts on Europe! One place I knew I wanted included in our trip was Greece, so we planned to visit Athens. We ended our trip here, flying from Italy into the city. Our hotel was in an excellent location right in the heart of a shopping district. We had a view from our tiny balcony of the carless street lined with outdoor-style chandeliers. We spent a lot of our free time wandering the nearby stores. 

 

When we arrived we were hungry travelers craving authentic Greek food, even though most of us weren't quite sure what that was! Our waiter at the restaurant was thrilled we wanted to try Greek food and excitedly explained the menu, persuading our choices. We ended up with more food than we needed, but it was very good and we enjoyed ourselves! 

 

Our first full day we had a private tour scheduled. We were picked up at our hotel and given a drive-by tour of some landmarks of the city. Then we went to the Acropolis museum. It was built over an excavation site, so some areas of the floor were made of glass to see - very cool! I felt like a learned a lot on that tour and it was one I thoroughly enjoyed. We ended at the Acropolis. We had a birds eye view of the sparkling city. It really did seem to sparkle! I believe we were told that it's caused by many of the buildings and homes having solar panels. Hundreds of years ago there would have been few, if any, buildings. 

 

One reason I loved visiting Athens was because of the biblical history. It appreciated visiting the city where Paul once preached and we were even able to see Mars Hill from the Acropolis.

 

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
— Acts 17:24-25, excerpt of Paul's sermon in Athens

P.S. I have ONE more post coming and it's going to be good!! The next place comes up in conversation on the regular around my house! Be on the lookout :)

Read more about my trip to Europe:

Rome, Italy

Florence, Italy

Venice, Italy

Lucerne, Switzerland

Paris - Part 2

Paris - Part 1

English Countryside

London, England

Venice, Italy

Venice is such a beautiful city! Venice is so different from anywhere else I've been in the world; it's very fascinating. Their only source of transportation is by foot or boat. We arrived by train and took a taxi boat to the front steps of our hotel. I knew Venice had no cars, but never thought about the fact that they would have trash boats and ambulance boats. It was so neat!

Venice was our first city in Italy, so of course we had to have gelato! Confession: we ate gelato for dinner almost every night the entire week we spent in Italy. Why not?? It was so good! We made up for it one night by having fruit smoothies, too. After eating so many carbs the entire trip, the smoothies were very refreshing! We quickly realized we had a lot to learn about ordering in Italy. Groups typically order together, sharing the food. Our first night in Venice most of us ordered pizza, thinking it would be a personal size because the price was so low. It turned out to be about the equivalent of a large! The crust was very thin, though, so we didn't feel like we looked so much like pigs once we realized that. Every other meal we still tended to over-order until we finally realized we should be sharing. The food in Italy was delicious, though, so we weren't complaining! 

We took a guided tour in Venice and learned several interesting facts about the city. In case you like random facts I'll share some with you!

- Venice is made up of over 100 islands, all connected by 448 bridges. Every time you cross one, you're on a different island. 

- The shape of the combined islands looks like a fish - pretty ironic!

- The foundation of many of the buildings is actually trees. Because no oxygen can reach them underwater, they aren't exposed to bacteria that would rot them out, so they are as strong as concrete.

- Our guide joked that the gondoliers never stop talking. If no one is riding, then they're supposedly on the phone. We did hear one singing to a couple... he wasn't very good, but hopefully it was still a romantic ride for them!

I hope you enjoy my pictures of this lovely city! I can't get over the terra cotta roofs and pink, orange, and cream buildings.