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It is a bit of a journey for us to get from Missoula to Athens.  There was a seven hour layover before our 10 hour international flight, in all we were traveling for 23 hours.  Our hotel was 20 miles outside of Athens right on the Mediterranean coast.  We called ahead and asked the hotel to arrange for a taxi to pick us up from the airport.  This first night we were plenty happy to have a simple meal and try to kick the jet lag.

Athens was a quick couple days.

The Parthenon was a priority, so the first day we made the trek into Athens.  We took a local bus and subway into the city and arrived in the midday heat.  In the city we could easily see the Parthenon ascend from its encasement of buildings and streets.  A quick walk brought us to the base of the hill, but the entrance was a mystery - fortunately, there were only 2 possible directions to travel. We walked a narrow winding path with other travelers searching for the entrance.  We entered the ruins I learned about in my college art history class and they were truly spectacular.  I expected more visitor congestion, but it was easy to navigate the site.  The view of the city shared some of the splendor we found in the history of the Acropolis.

It was time to refuel our bodies after we had our fill of ruins.  With a short walk to the base of the hill we were greeted by many restaurant choices.  A well shaded cafe with a fresh Greek salad and serving of tzatziki were an absolute must.

Using the public transit to find our way back to our hotel was more challenging.  We were able to take the subway, but finding the right bus was guess work.  We hopped on a bus and with some luck a local couple were kind enough to help us verify that were mostly going in the right direction.  We exited the bus at its final destination which was 2 kilometers from our hotel, not too bad.  We don’t mind a little hike, so we took off through some hillside neighborhoods with beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea.  When we arrived to the hotel we knew a cool dip in the pool would do us good, unfortunately it closed early for some maintenance - well, to the shower.

We enjoyed our hike through the neighborhood so much we decided on another expedition the following day.  We didn’t get far from our hotel when rain began to fall.  With a quick dash back to the hotel we managed to only get damp.  After the rain passed the sky gifted us a rainbow over the sea and the hotel pool called to us - I needed to practice my freestyle before our weeklong swim trip in Lefkada.

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