Acid sun and ancient ruins: Walking through Athens

The sun. I remember the sun most of all.

It came down harsh from up high, turning the city into stark opposing patches of light and shadow. My time in Athens was comically short – just a day long layover en route from Barcelona to Istanbul – but when I was there, the city seem to try and expose everything at once.

Ancient ruins, hot coffee, bright street art, fresh bread and olives and cheese – these were the images in my head when I thought of Athens. And though I barely had 24 hours in the city, I somehow ran into them all.

By either brilliant planning or amazing serendipity, I’d checked myself into a hostel just a ten minute walk to both the Acropolis and the Agora. There was fresh Greek coffee at a bakery just on the corner, Orthodox shrines and miniature churches down the road, a market riotous with people selling flakey white blocks of cheese and sesame breads, and street art blooming up on shop doors just before the metro station. I walked through the town, heading up to the ruins, and felt a little surprised at how suddenly I’d come face-to-face with all the old images of Athens in my head.

I wish I’d had more time – of course, who wouldn’t?! – but I’m thankful for what I saw while I was there. All that light makes Athens an interesting experiment for photos, and the below are just a few from that short day of walking through.

Although, between you and me…I hope the next time I’m in Greece is on the islands, and for muuuuuuch longer.

What’s the best layover you’ve ever had?
Where was it?


14 Responses to Acid sun and ancient ruins: Walking through Athens

  1. Lunaguava 8 August, 2013 at 04:06 #

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Athens when I visited a few years back, on a quick stop before heading out to Santorini (touristy, I know, but it was a childhood thing). The sun was immaculate. As for layovers, Reykjavik wins (flying from Amsterdam to NYC).

    • Naomi Alyssa 10 August, 2013 at 14:38 #

      Reykjavik! I’ve heard that you can get great layovers there, too!

  2. Jessica Wray 8 August, 2013 at 14:38 #

    Although you were only there a short time, it seems like you accomplished a lot! Those big blocks of white stuff… it cheese? (I assume it’s not tofu ;) )

    • Naomi Alyssa 10 August, 2013 at 14:39 #

      Yes! Delicious, debilitating, fresh cheese…………..mmm!

  3. Helen 9 August, 2013 at 17:22 #

    You’ve captured it beautifully! x

  4. Tyrhone 11 August, 2013 at 00:00 #

    I was in Athens for a few days before heading to santorini and loved it. It definitelystands out as one of my favorite cities. I cant believe they are still doing construction on the Parthenon though!

    • Naomi Alyssa 15 August, 2013 at 13:21 #

      I guess they’re not happy with how long it’s stood so far ;)

  5. Colin Farrel 12 September, 2013 at 02:56 #

    I now know why you were on a list I found as a blog to follow. I read the post on Athen and all my memories came flooding back to me. Like you, I was traveling from Athens to Istanbul but I had more time in Athens and yes the sun. It illuminated everything and nothing was hidden. Thanks for your story.

    • Naomi Alyssa 13 September, 2013 at 20:34 #

      Wow, thanks for the kind words!! They are greatly appreciated :)

  6. Taylor Hearts Travel 25 November, 2013 at 05:31 #

    Athens is definitely on my travel list. You managed to get a lot done in one day – good work!

  7. Royalbikeriders 26 November, 2013 at 15:48 #

    Wow ! it’s very historical place. I will plane for tour there.

  8. Naomi 6 January, 2014 at 20:10 #

    First of all, we share a name… :) The images are epic. Well, i’ve never thought of traveling to Athens but now i think i have reason to. Looks like a beautiful destination. And if you loved it, i bet i’ll love it too. And i found this blog on Huffington post of “blogs to look out for” too. Glad i found it.

  9. Esther 8 October, 2014 at 17:47 #

    Best layover must’ve been Kuala Lumpur on my way to Australia. I had 16 hours to spend there. It was lovely. I also heard that these days Turkish Airlines has tours tailor made for people who have a 10hr + layover in Istanbul. Sounds interesting!

    Anyway, I’ve just returned from another lovely Greek city (Thessaloniki) and now I am very curious to see Athens too. Thank you for sharing your pictures.

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