Bit of a recap of a recent trip to Greece as some of you have been asking via snapchat and instagram! We had a long weekend-ish because of Kuwait’s National Liberation Day and I figured why not go someplace. I absolutely loved Kyoto, specifically being able to walk around the city in awe whilst losing a bit of my soul (in a good way!) and taking public transit, which I’ve come to see as a luxury after living in Kuwait lol and the entire experience had me yearning for something similar but Europeanish, and essentially just a random adventure to brave on me own! Thought about Prague and Copenhagen and then Athens randomly popped up one night and that was that. I’ve been to Greece before (Kos), which was so so beautiful, so if you’re looking for a low-key beachy trip, I’d definitely recommend that!
Totally surprised at how close flying into Athens was from Kuwait; 5 hours including a stop in Doha and I was in Europe which I was pretty excited about! I had stayed in a hostel with my sister in Kyoto which was my first ever hostel experience and because it was such a good one, I decided to try it out again on my own which, if you know me, is super daunting for meself! Saira likes comfort and space and feels really awkward with people she doesn’t know and is shy and all that stuff so I challenged myself this time around and chose to stay in a 4-person dorm..eep! I chose to stay at the City Circus hostel which I totally recommend to anyone planning to visit Athens. Everything about it was awesome in terms of location, cleanliness, friendliness of staff, and overall presentation. They even had a rooftop terrace with a magical view of the Acropolis which was beautiful. Because this was kinda sorta a ‘challenge yourself/break out of your comfort zone’ type trip, I took the metro from the airport into the city and walked my way to the hostel and felt like a true backpacker lol (as cheesy as it sounds, it’s quite a big deal for me) and I was uber proud of myself! Hostels are a great way to save money whilst travelling and you’ll be surprised at the quality of accommodation some of them provide; I think everyone should experience bunking in one at some point. Some sites to use are www.hostelworld.com or www.hostels.com or even a quick google search will suffice. You usually have the option to stay with other people (all girls, all boys, or mixed) or a private dorm and bathrooms and showers and typically shared. Have to say it was pretty errr brushing my teeth and having a random boy walk in wearing his boxers ready to take a shower (lawl…) but once you get over all that it’s not too bad!
Anyways! City Circus was located really close to Monastiraki Square which is this lively hipster hub in the middle of everything, with an old Turkish mosque situated up the road from Hadrian’s library and perfectly nestled under the Acropolis with Ermos St. (shopping street) to the left and the flea market to the right and it was basically the most perfect location ever. The entire time I was there I didn’t have to take any public transport or taxis (besides the metro to and from the airport) because everything was within walking distance which was oh so wonderful!
Day 1 was spent having dinner with Vicky, a girl I randomly met on the metro and then again whilst walking around (go Saira for making friends!), prior to which I had a bit of a panic attack about being on my own but a quick cry ing call to shama helped calm the nerves which was okay!
Food wise, I know some of you were inquiring about halal food etc.; I wasn’t too fussed about scouring for halal options only because it was only a few days and I’m totally okay with vegetarian options and salads and sandwiches. I had googled for a bit and found a ‘Muslim area’ with some Afghani kebab joints and halal options but never made my way, but from the looks of it there are definitely places you can go to! On my second day, after introducing myself to another random person and asking if she wanted to have dinner with me (quite literally), we were handed a menu for an Indian restaurant which was halal so dinner consisted of a butter chicken which I’ve been craving for ages so that was nice.
Day 2 was spent visiting the sites (*a majority of the archaeological sites are only open from 8-3 during the winter schedule) *there’s also a 12 euro ticket which allows entry into six of the main sites which include: Ancient Agora, South slope of the Acropolis (Theater of Dionysos), North slope of the Acropolis, Roman Agora, Kerameikos, Temple of Olympian Zeus, and Hadrian’s Library all of which I was easily able to do on foot in the one day whilst taking my time at each place. Met a girl from Malaysia who I had dinner with and we walked the town into the evening which was beautiful and cityish and busy and just everything I wanted out of this trip and I was grateful for having someone to share it with.
The hostel had advertised a day trip to different islands around Athens which I decided to do, so Day 3 was spent on the water stopping at Hydra, Poros, and Aegina. So so beautiful and just being on the water and taking it all in was such a surreal experience. Made another friend at the bus stop and we ended up spending the entire day of the cruise together and taking photos so yay! Hydra was beautiful and is known for the fact that the only transport around the island is on donkey! so naturally we had to take a donkey ride around the island lol which was super cute! Poros was the second island, known for its clock tower which we trekked up to and were pleasantly surprised by a gorgeous breath taking view of the water and its surroundings. The final island Aegina is well known for its pistachio production so pistachio products everywhere lol there was another organized tour at Aegina to another site which we figured we could just walk to, but 1/4 of the way there we were told it was waay too far to walk to so we tried to find something else to do. Headed towards another site only to be told it was closed, so we walked around and Robert decided to climb the wall and jump the fence because why not. So Saira figured she wouldn’t be left behind and also climbed the wall and jumped the fence into this Ancient Greek site of rubble and ruin and it was one of the most exhilarating and exciting moments I’ll always remember! Another proud moment for meself 🙂 !
Day 4 was a shop till you drop kinda day on Ermos Street, and one of the most beautifulest H&M’s I have ever seen lol and then that evening I was back to Kuwait!
This is essentially just a summarized version of my trip excluding all the feel good fuzzy moments felt in my heart and soul and the moments in which I felt invincible and oh so independent ready to take on the world and truly believing Kendrick that “we gon’ be alright” lol but I was proud of myself for doing a whole lot of things outside of my comfort zone and proving to myself that I can do it on me own!
Hope this has kinda sorta helped those of you who were wondering where to go etc. or has maybe inspired you to visit Greece! It really is a beautiful place and there’s lots to do and explore whether you’re on your own or not (because sometimes even your bestests [aka sham, shama, niggs, @mr_alom83] will snake you and leave you hanging!)(but then they also FaceTime you to secretly check if you’re okay and because they miss you so it balances out! x). If there’s anything more you’d like to know feel free to comment below or send me a message and I’ll get back to you inshallah! xoxo