Journey to the Acropolis

At the end of April and beginning of May, we took a Mediterranean Cruise with Royal Caribbean for our one year wedding anniversary. It started in Rome, went to Sicily, Turkey, Athens/mainland Greece, and the island of Crete.   I’ve already written about Rome. Each one of these places is going to get their own post too, otherwise this post would be obnoxiously long.

I was so excited to go to Athens.  The history there is so incredible.  What I was not expecting was exactly how big this city is.  I knew it was huge, but it’s really beyond huge. When standing on the Acropolis all you see are buildings from horizon to horizon.

It is massive.  Our tour guide said the city was only supposed to grow to be about 150,000 in population.  Well, they greatly surpassed that number as Athens’ current population is around 4 million people.  Since the city did not plan on becoming so large, placing parks and green space within the city was overlooked.  There are very few green spaces within the city, the majority is building, after building, after building.

The Acropolis was amazing. The temples were awe inspiring and I really am amazed that they could build these structures without modern conveniences, like cranes.  If you’re looking for advice on what time of day to go, get there when they open in the morning or before they close in the evening.  Luckily, our cruise ship tour was on the ball and got us there fairly early before all the crowds.  When we were leaving the Acropolis, in the late morning, the entire pathway up to the top was one huge line filled with bus and cruise tours.  It was very crowded while we were there, but we definitely missed the rush!

You can see many other Greek ruins from the top of the Acropolis.  It was fun to think about what it looked like back when all of these temples and buildings were still in use.

My favorite part of the tour was after the Acropolis.  We returned to our bus and went down to Cape Sounion, the southern most tip of mainland Greece.  This was unbelievable. Cape Sounion is where the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon stand.  I loved this the most for a couple reasons – it was located right on the coast and there were hardly any people there.  The people that got off our bus were the only people there with us!  We could relax here and not have to worry about pick pockets, accidentally walking through someone’s picture or any of the worries that come with large crowds while enjoying the scenery and incredible ancient architecture.

The cliffs down to the water were so beautiful.  The scenery and the ruins made us feel like we were in a movie or dreaming.

If you are looking for advice on traveling to Greece, my personal recommendation is to spend no more than 1 day in Athens.  It is absolutely worth it to go see the Acropolis, but aside from that, I wasn’t a big fan of the city.  It was dirty, obviously very busy, and just so expansive that there is no where to take a break from the hustle and bustle.  The ride from Athens to Cape Sounion was about an hour and a half and the coast was so beautiful.  If you are spending the money to come to Greece, might as well stay somewhere with a gorgeous view of the crystal clear water.  This picture I took on the bus ride will give you an idea of how gorgeous the water is.

Don’t waste your time stuck in the city when this is right down the road!

I would love to go back to Greece.  I loved just about everything about it.  Our next trip to Greece will be the island of Santorini.

Hope you enjoyed!

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2 thoughts on “Journey to the Acropolis

  • I think Athens deserves more than one day – there is so much to see. My advice is skip Santorini, it is so touristy – go to Naxos, Paros, Amorgos or Folegandros – theses islands are so much better!

    • I’ve come to learn that travel is super relative and so highly a personal preference. I’m not a city person, so my opinion generally will be to not spend much time in cities. I like to get in, see what I want to see, and get out. So, you are right, others might enjoy more time in Athens, but for my husband and I, a half day was more than enough. 🙂
      I’ll have to research the other islands some more. Maybe we can hit more than one while we’re there. Thanks for the suggestions!

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