Athens: The Parliament, A Guard & A Gyro
The Greek Parliament
The second leg of our trip was a day in Athens – the capital and largest city in Greece. Here’s the quick run down:
- Ferry from Diakoftis, Kythira to Piraeus
- Rode the metro to Syntagma Square
- Took pictures with a guard outside of the Greek Parliament
- Ate legitimate Gyros at Bairaktaris Tavern
- Saw the Acropolis
- Wandered around the Athens museum
- Ate a fancy Michelin star dinner
After all the festivities in Kythira, we took an overnight ferry from the port in Diakoftis to Piraeus in Athens. It was all kind of sketchy, but again, I was grateful to be with some locals. Auntie & Uncle (my friend’s parents) drove a car so we loaded all the goods in it and booked 2 cabins for all 8 of us (+ baby). Funny thing is Uncle refused to sleep in the cabin because he used to be a ship captain and didn’t trust the ferry captain!
Our cabin on the ferry.
Waiting for a cab in in Athens.
We arrived bright and early to Piraeus, close to 7 AM, brought our stuff to Auntie & Uncle’s apartment and got ready to explore Athens! We took the metro for the experience and surprisingly, I found it cleaner than most American public transportation. We got off at Syntagma Square and stopped for a picture with one of the guards in front of The Greek Parliament.
Me and the girls with the typical mirror selfie.
The metro station under Syntagma Square
I had no idea that the Greeks had their own guards, kind of like the guards outside of Buckingham Palace. Apparently, people gather outside the Parliament on the hour to watch the changing of the guards. The guards wear these big wooden shoes and stand completely still – you can’t even make funny faces when taking pictures next to them because the security for the guards will scold you! These guards are super special, they’re called the Evzones and one of the many qualifications needed to even be considered is they have to be very tall. I’m 5’2″ on my best day – look how tiny I am next to him!
Little old me with the guard.
Of course, the next thing we did was EAT! We had lunch at Bairaktaris Tavern, a restaurant that’s been around since the late 1800s and was featured by Andrew Zimmern from the Travel Channel. (I didn’t know this ’til afterwards). The restaurant is kind of in the middle of a shopping district close to the flea market and they have tables outside on the cobblestone walkway. I ordered a lamb gyro with fries in it and a frappe; the frappe is pretty much the closest thing they have to an iced coffee but there’s foam in it. I don’t know where they get their coffee from but it’s really strong – and this is coming from a self-proclaimed caffeine addict.
I’m ALWAYS happy to have food.
After lunch, we wandered through the flea market/shopping area but not before running into this huge Orthodox church. My friend told me his parents got married in this church! Me and the girls did a little shopping, of course, but to be honest, I kind of dislike shopping because most of the things I like end up being expensive and I really don’t need anything. Funny thing, I looked around a little jewelry shop and asked for the price of a necklace in the display – it ended up being over 1000 euros! (O____O) I talked to the shop owner for a bit and he said, “I can tell you have expensive tastes.” Truth be told, sometimes I wish I didn’t! He also mistook me for a Leo (I’m a Pisces) which I thought was kind of funny because I don’t think I’m alpha at all!
After wandering around the market, we finally trekked up to the Acropolis, but I will save that, the museum and the Michelin dinner for another post!