I am very fortunate as I get to travel to many new cities/countries every year as part of my job. However, this means that I have little to no time to actually see the place. I am usually shuttling between the airport, hotel, and conferences and meetings. It can get very intense, but if I can, I always try and squeeze in a few hours to see a few things that are on my ‘must-see’ list, and try the local cuisine before I board my plane back home. In my ‘City in 12 hours’ feature, I highlight the things I chose to see, do, eat and experience during my very short trips to some great European cities.
Athens is steeped in ancient history, and I couldn’t leave this city without visiting its most famous landmark, the Acropolis. Luckily, my hotel was just short taxi ride away from the Acropolis, and I visited on a warm and pleasant day. It is a trek up the hilltop to the main site, but getting up there is like being thrown back a few thousand years in time. I visited during the off-peak season, and so didn’t encounter many tourists at all. In fact, at several instances I was the only person around, surrounded by the ancient, historic foundations of a great city. It did feel larger than life. During your journey up the Acropolis, you will see several small temples and sites such as the Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Odeon of Pericles, Theatre of Dionysus, Erechtheion, and finally, the grand Parthenon. The site of the Parthenon offers stunning views over the entire city of Athens spread out below it, and you can also see the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It is a fantastic experience, that will quite literally take your breath away, after the steep climb!
My hotel room had a great view of Mount Lycabettus, which was another tick in the box, and I even managed to devour some Gyros and Souvlaki from a local restaurant before flying out!