A few months ago I flew business & 1st class to Greece, with my friend Jenny. Due to the length of the flight, the upgrade was well worth the $$. Athens will be our home base, we decided, and found a fab apartment in Kolonaki ($62/night on Airbnb). Kolonaki is considered the 2nd best neighborhood in Athens. The owner, a local artist, comes from a long line of artists. We were amazed she was comfortable to leave drawings, books, pottery and other items created by both her mother and her grandmother.
The building was white and grey marble with stairs that curved as gracefully as a woman's hip. The flat was bold and colorful. My room was a luscious mauve with a big brass bed..
The hidden gem was the bistro table on the wisteria covered, 2nd floor patio. I captured Jenny one morning while she was sipping cafe and nibbling delicious honey and yogurt from a silver spoon. Stunning.
Lessons we learned: Greece in October is gorgeous; locals do not wear heels (sidewalks are narrow, mountainous, and slippery); patisseries are open 24hrs/day; Greeks are serious about leaving no trace (plastic bags are frowned upon, people reuse and recycle religiously and air conditioning is rarely used); food and wine are always fresh and rarely frozen; Greeks are as generous as they are abrupt; Greece has experienced both Turkish and Roman rule of law; coffee, coffee, coffee; dining in Athens is a 3 hour experience filled with laughter, the never-ending carafe of wine and new friendships; English is NOT the second or even third language so learn some Greek!
Of all the tours we took, none were less than excellent. From the food tour to the graffiti tour, each experience was filled with a variety of cultural experiences that made each day melt into the other. We lost track of time, social media was only used out of necessity and we enjoyed the outdoors every single day! The Greeks may not have the best economy or boast the best military in the world. However, they do go with the flow and treat every challenge as if it has been preordained. Shoulder shrugs are as common as olives and good bread on the streets of Athens.
Next stop- Asia....who's in?????