Part 1 of 4: Adventure in Greece
In September of 2018 we arrived by air in Athens, Greece on an early rainy morning at the end of September. Steve and I didn’t mind that it was raining out. We were on our honeymoon and it was Greece!! We were staying in the Plaka Area, situated below the Acropolis. So on this rainy day in Athens, we decided to start exploring the area and the ancient sites. Plaka was everything I envisioned Athens to be. The neoclassic architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, history everywhere, outdoor cafes and markets all enhanced the area.
Kydathinaion Street is a pedestrian street in Plaka and easy to find. Restaurants line tables along the street and the shops of this area have everything a tourist could want. A must go to in Plaka is O Brettos on Kydathinaion Steet. Having the distinction of being the oldest distillery in Athens which distills Ouzo. More specifically, Ouzo is a popular liquor that has a licorice flavor, you will find it in many Greek establishments. Colorful bottles line the unique back wall , while wooden barrels line up a side wall. I have heard Ouzo is very good and very strong. Sadly, I did not have any but wish I would have tried it just to say I did!
I was getting hangry so it was time to eat. I read about an area in Plaka where the restaurants are lined up and down an outdoor stairway complete with tables and chairs! Of course I wanted to eat there! Due to the rain we chose to eat indoors but none the less it was a fun experience. This was our first meal in Greece!! How exciting!
Psaras Tavern is where we decided to eat, known as the oldest restaurant in Plaka. While walking up the stairs, I could smell the delicious food and I knew I wanted to eat here! If you are looking for an authentic Greek menu, great food, great service, and a cozy atmosphere this is the place to go. Climbing every step was worth it even if the weather was gloomy.
We barely sat down and while staff served bread and olives immediately. Incidentally, You will find bread will be brough with every meal in Greece, there is often a small charge for the bread but usually served whether you order it or not. Bread with your meal is part of the culture here. The meal did not disappoint and the service was great. You will find when you dine at a Greek restaurant is an amazing experience. The friendly staff will serve you with hospitality and great food. Above all, each place we dined the staff seemed eager to please and enhance our dining experience.
We continued on our journey to The Tower of the Winds which is located between the Plaka and Monastiraki areas. More specifically, it is in the Roman Agora on Aiolou Street. The Tower of the Winds was built sometime between 100-50 BC. This site is considered the oldest Meteorology Station and was constructed with marble. The Roman Agora dates back to the times of Julius and Augustus Ceasar. To the West of the Agora is the Gate of Athena Arhegetis which was dedicated to the God Athena. In addition, the Parthenon overlooks the Agora.
We went back to our hotel, The Electra Palace. The Electra Palace is in the Plaka area and easily within walking distance of everything we wanted to see. The staff greeted us warmly. Furthermore, our room included a bottle of wine and a generous fruit basket!
The hotel boasts a roof top pool, and a rooftop restaurant both with a great view of the Parthenon. Dinner was amazing with a view of the lighted Acropolis overlooking the city.
After dinner we decided to find some gelato. The rain poured down at times. Regardless of using an umbrella, we found ourselves a bit wet. We ate amazing gelato at a place called Gelatalia West of the Agora. We were all giggles and smiles, like a couple of teenagers, while scampering through the narrow streets of Athens, in the rain, eating our Gelato! Perfect end for exploring Athens on a rainy day!
Note: We brought the Rick Steves Pocket Athens guidebook with us and found a lot of useful information in it. We used it to help plan our trip prior to visiting, and also used it as a guide throughout our stay in Athens.
For more on my trip to Athens and Greece you can follow these links: