How’s that for an alliterating title? The ancient greeks had their A-game on, apparently.

The contrasting difference between colorful, idyllic Santorini and the haggard, sobering appearance of Athens was a bit jarring, so two days was just the right amount of time for us to explore the ancient ruins and wander about Plaka, the more interesting part of town. It was also a great way to end our mini tour of Europe and “recalibrate” ourselves to yearn for the states, again.

As for our first airbnb experience — it wasn’t too bad! I was a bit concerned on the way to the rental, since we passed by what clearly was the redlight district, but then the neighborhood cleaned up dramatically as we got closer to the tourist spots. Prices are also a lot more reasonable in Athens, food is decent, and navigation and communication are both easy. (They even have an Uber-like app for taxis, which came in handy for our early morning flight out!)

Our first stop: The Acropolis Museum.

Afterward, we walked to the actual acropolis, right before sunset to avoid the scorching sun:

We then walked through the touristy part of Plaka, with alleyways lined with souvenir shops and a plethora of restaurants:

The next day, we walked around another part of Plaka and through the flea market:

From there, we continued to the ancient agora, where we were caught in a sudden torrential downpour:

We sought out shelter in the Stoa of Attalos (which now houses a mini museum) until the rain subsided:

Goodbye, Athens!