Visiting Athena – Exploring Syntagma

Syntagma Square lies in the heart of Athens and it is a historical, political, and social center of the Greek capital. Today’s mission was to go to the Syntagma Square, visit the National Garden, and perhaps grab an ice cream on the go.

Starting Slowly

Little A must think that she has the most boring parents on the planet. Luckily, she doesn’t mind playing between us in bed in the morning. Jesper had a late night yesterday, as he was following the ice hockey world championships. Sweden won the gold medal after a rather exciting game. And I’m just in holiday mode and want to sleep in. So, there she was – our Little A – squeaking and making funny sounds while we were trying to get a few more minutes of sleep. In the end, she won and we got up.

The Boring Stuff: Finding Food

As we’re staying in Athens for a month, we quickly had to find a good supermarket. While I gave Little A her breakfast, Jesper headed out to find one. Fortunately, he found some coffee for me as well.

We actually also went to a second supermarket. The area where we live is very residential, but there is everything we need. Once Little A had taken her nap and we had had our lunch, we decided to go for another mission – to get a monthly travel card.

Getting a Monthly Travel Ticket in Athens

We had decided to get a monthly travel ticket even before arriving in Athens. There are two types. The more expensive one is the one we got. For 49 €, we have unlimited travel for a month, including to the airport. For some reason, we thought that we’d have to go to Syntagma to get the card. So just imagine how happy we were when the guy in the ticket office at our station was able to help us.

So, instead of a trip to Syntagma, we decided to get off the metro in Omonia instead and walk to the Syntagma Square.

A Glimpse of Omonia and Syntagma Square

Omonia Square and the area surrounding it is not exactly famous for its beauty. Many sites and articles recommend you to stay away after dark, I did not find Omonia particularly ugly, nor dangerous. However, we were there in the middle of the day so it might have had something to do with it, We took some narrow streets instead of the main road, and after some twists and turns, we found ourselves at our destination: the National Garden next to Syntagma Square. We took some time to admire the Old Royal Palace (that nowadays houses the Greek Parliament), before entering the park,

The National Garden, the Zappeion, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus

The National Garden, with its lush trees, provided us with a break from the sun. It was a nice surprise to find such a green area in the middle of Athens! We strolled around for a bit – little A was asleep, so she missed the baby goats and the ducks, We didn’t find any coffee or ice cream just yet. Instead, we headed out again after a while,

Between the National Garden and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, you find the Zappeion. This is an impressive building that has had many functions throughout the years, often associated with the Olympic Games.

We felt that we had quite not had enough history for one day, so we made a quick stop at the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It surprised us both. It was so big and impressive! We were indecisive about entering, and as it turned out, it was not really necessary. Instead, we took the chance to have a look at it through the fence from Hadrian’s Arch.

From here it was a fairly quick walk back to the metro. We enjoyed some people-watching amidst old ruins, passing by the Acropolis and the Roman Agora before finding ourselves at the Monastiraki Square. And guess what, we finally found some ice cream before returning back home!

In conclusion, our second full day in Athens was very rewarding and very sunny. Now, over 16,000 steps later, I’m eating some cherries and just relaxing. Tomorrow we plan to start in Piraeus, it’ll be interesting see where we end up.

Photos from Today

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