672. Day 20 & 21 of 28 | (Stuck in) Athens

flying into Athens
Up until our arrival in Athens (3 weeks into the trip), everything was going smoothly. Then we had our first major issue of the trip. The plan was to arrive in Athens in the afternoon, settle into the hotel, explore the city and visit the Acropolis. The next morning we had an early ferry to Santorini. Upon checking in, we found out from the hotel that all ferries in Greece were on strike that day. Meaning our ferry over to Santorini got cancelled and we'd have to make other last minute arrangements.

It was really annoying but I was on vacation..so I wasn't as mad about it as I maybe should have been. Although I wish we could have gotten more compensation back from the ferry company (to compensate for our last minute flight booking, first hotel night lost in Santorini, etc) rather than just a refund. Which I am not sure if I even got back yet..but anyways. It was kind of stressful having to arrange last minute flights over to Santorini but we managed to book our tickets there the next morning - at 5am. So we had to stay in Athens one extra day than planned. It was our first time in Athens and there isn't a whole lot to do there. In my opinion, 2 days there is a day too much. & on the days we were there, it was unbearably hot outside.

Monastiraki Square
Our hotel (360 Hotel) was in the best location. It was right on Monastiraki Square, with a view of the Acropolis in the distance. We also had a rooftop restaurant with the perfect view of the Acropolis (the main reason why we booked them). The staff were also really helpful and accommodating with our ferry situation.

kebab in Athens
I guess my favourite part of Athens was the restaurants. It was a nice atmosphere (live musicians and everyone sits outside), and their kebabs were amazingly delicious. I don't think I ever even had kebabs before these. We had them almost every meal there. We were also told that the kebabs there (O Thanasis, right in one of the streets off Monastiraki Square) are the best in Athens.

Athens restaurants
360 Restaurant Athens
Dinner with the perfect views

view of Acropolis from Athens
So this was as close as we got to the Acropolis. We missed our chance to go there on the first day (since we were busy dealing with the Santorini situation). On the second day it was a ridiculous 40C degrees and we had a middle-of-the-night flight to catch that night, so we decided to have a more relaxing day and leave the Acropolis to our second time in Athens (we would come back again after Santorini for one day only). However on that day I was not feeling well and it was also extremely hot so we decided to just skip it altogether. I guess we will have to return to Athens again someday to visit it lol. I didn't really like Athens (besides the food and restaurants) but I love the islands in Greece so I definitely want to go back someday.

Panathenaic Stadium
The Panathenaic Stadium is made entirely of marble and where the first modern Olympic games were held.

streets of Athens



671. Day 19 of 28 | Rome and Vatican City

Piazza di Spagna leftbanked
Early the next morning, we took a train from Monterosso to La Spezia to Rome. The last time I've been in Rome was only about 2 years ago so the city still felt pretty familiar to me. We were only in Rome for one night, mainly coming since it was the most convenient way to go to Greece afterwards. We just walked around the city, had lunch, visited Vatican City, then met up with my boyfriend's friend for dinner and then the Lazio soccer/football game (as he kindly got us tickets). It was my first time ever going to a game.

spaghetti in Rome
Rome Trevi Fountain
streets of Rome
watermelon granita
Delicious watermelon granita..I had two of them!

Vatican City
Vatican City leftbanked
Vatican City guards
pizza Rome
Rome Lazio
Lazio soccer game



670. Day 18 of 28 | Manarola

The final day in Cinque Terre was a bit more relaxed. We went to Manarola. In the beginning I was more excited about Riomaggiore and Vernazza but I ended up liking the view of Manarola the most I think.

Manarola Cinque Terre
leftbanked cat
Petting all the cats..

Manarola Italy
watermelon gelato
This watermelon gelato was so good!

Cinque Terre Monterosso
leftbanked cinque terre
Going out for a quick swim (well, just a dip in the water for me since I can't swim lol). I think this was the previous night actually.

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