Thursday, August 11, 2011

Going Greek... VistaBreak stop #4

On Wednesday we hit the road early, as in 6AM early, to the airport for our flight to Athens!  Leaving the cold weather behind us we were off and running to the next part of our trip which had us super excited.  The flights were non eventful and had us going thru Heathrow and then on to Athens.

However once we landed, I was in for a not so great surprise with the cabbie.  First off, he had no idea where the Marriott was and he took off on the highway going 160 km/hr (I just calculated and that is 100mph) while trying to input the hotel info into his GPS.  Yes, white knuckles the whole way to the hotel which was the longest 20 minutes of my life.  And no, the kids had no carseats with us since we aren't going to have a car on Paxos and we rented seats with the car in Ireland.

I'd been told not to expect much in Athens and that was so on the money.  The city itself reminds me of Barcelona - it's very spread out, not much as far as greenery (since they don't get much rain either) and the building structure is similar.  However that's where the similarities end.  The city is very dirty and not well maintained at all.  Graffiti is everywhere, even on the playgrounds and in the windows of many buildings.  It's really a shame that a city with such history could be so run down.

The hotel is great, a standard Marriott hotel.  Josh and I are both Marriott members and we managed to get upgraded to a room with a view of the Acropolis (though a suite would have been a much better bonus but ah well, I tried).  The real bonus was the rooftop pool for the kids which we immediately had to hit.  The best part of that is that Liam finally decided it was time to move away from the stairs and get into the actual pool.  I've been waiting for this moment all summer as he's gotten bolder and bolder in the water - this from a kid whom a few months ago was absolutely terrified of the water despite growing up on it. 
View of the Acropolis from our room

Aidan in the rooftop pool

Liam tries the hot tub before venturing in to the "big kid" pool as he calls it

He's swimming!!!  Yes, he has a bubble on but the fact that he moved away from the stairs is a HUGE step in the right direction!  We could not get him out after that!

Sun setting over Athens

View of Acropolis from rooftop pool as sun started to set

The kids swam for a few hours and we ordered some food by the pool.  It was a great way to end a long day of travel and the kids needed the reprieve from all the flying we'd done during the day.  We were all in bed relatively early though since the boys were sharing a bed, no one actually went to sleep early.. chatting for hours, you'd think they'd hadn't seen each other for years!!  But at least they were getting along!


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