IT is often said you can’t explore a city in 24 hours. Maybe this is true for some cities but it is my personal opinion that this does not apply to Athens. I first visited this decaying city in 2007. I had planned to stay a week but only after a few hours being in the city, I was keen to move on. So i jumped a plane to Santorini with my dear friend and travel companion Daniel Bibby. I did however, during my time in Athens, see its acclaimed and historic site, including the Acropolis.
This time round I knew only to spend minimal time there, during my stopover between Santorini and my long-haul flight to Dubai. So, I booked a hotel near the Acropolis for the night. Lion and I rested and repacked for our journey towards Australia the night we arrived and got up early to do some sightseeing. Most of the shops were closed on the way to the Acropolis and after a short wait, we started the climb in the ridiculous heat, it was summer, so the temperature was climbing towards 40 degrees Celsius.
There is no denying the amazing history or the beautiful view from the top of the ancient site. But I don’t believe you should have to be an archaeologist to find the beauty and charm of a city. Athens’ beauty is definitely there, but it is hidden beneath dirty, graffiti-covered and not maintained streets. The ‘touristy’ spot of Athens isn’t what you would expect from a famous city. But by all means don’t take my word for it, I would love to be proved wrong.