After leaving Pompeii, we drove south to the port of Naples, where we boarded our overnight ferry for Greece. We docked at Patras, boarded a new bus, and drove to Athens.
Athens. Is. HUGE. Along with Paris and Barcelona, it was the biggest city I visited. It was also the dirtiest and most overcrowded, sadly, but that didn’t put much of a dent in my awe.
After settling in at our hotel, we took a driving tour of the city, ending at the Acropolis. We climbed to the top of the hill (the second tallest in Athens) to visit the legendary Parthenon. Scaffolding aside, it was a beauty.
That evening, we walked to our dinner at a taverna in a nice area of downtown Athens. Linguistically, I felt like a fish out of water in Greece. Elsewhere, I either knew or at least was familiar with the local language, but I’m ashamed to say I can’t even read Greek!
Our whole table received an array of appetizers. They just kept coming! I snapped this picture when I thought they had brought all they were going to bring, but two or three more plates arrived after I took this shot. Here, from top left, is Greek salad with a hunk of feta (bleh), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves; not my thing either), baba ganouj (mmm!), and at the bottom, some surprisingly tasty fried zucchini chips.
My main dish was rice, peas and carrots, potatoes, and eggplant and zucchini in tomato sauce. It would have been really good…if it weren’t swimming in 1/4 inch of oil. Oh well.
Dessert MORE than made up for it. That’s right—BAKLAVA! So nutty and SO GOOD! Honey and butter galore, and I don’t care, because I got to eat baklava in Greece!
On our walk back to the hotel, I spied a bakery window, and had to take a picture even though the place was closed.
It was a memorable day and night in this famed classical city. The view of the Parthenon, lit up like a nightlight, from my hotel window was the icing on the cake.