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September 2017, Athens&Santorini – Greece
Diving into the democracy womb in Athens, flying over the Cyclades, chasing the most beautiful sunset in Europe, watching airplanes over the black sand beach of Kamari in Santorini.
Now this is what i call the perfect end of a beautiful summer!
On Saturday afternoon we set foot in Athens, for what’s going to be a fabulous 2-days crash course comprising 2500 years of Democracy.
At twilight, from the roof terrace of our cozy hotel, the whole city starts to come alive. Mount Lycabettus appears in shimmering lights, and the ancient Acropolis proudly stands on top of the hills, as if time passed only for humans.
The next day we venture ourselves on a guided walk around the city.
As we take a break in front of the Ancient Agora, we find out that people held all political power in the state. This means they had to fulfill all public matters themselves. They voted for projects, not for people. Believe it or not, Greeks had a random system (cleroterion) to pick up and assign people on duties for the community. Yeap, just like a Lotto machine.
Highlight of what we learned? Every year, people were asked to name/vote the most influential man in the city. Guess what? The one who was voted the most, was expelled! 🙂
We leave the heat of Athens for the serenity of the beach.
Santorini dear, I’ve been dreaming of your sunsets for years! 🙂
We set camp in Kamari, a quiet village with taverns by the sea, airplanes flying over the beach and black volcanic rock.
The magic happens when you look at the island from above. Thanks to my Australian neighbor from the plane, I wake up in time before landing, to appreciate the island in its whole beauty.
The volcanic explosion that occurred here 3500 years ago forever changed the Mediterranean coast. Scientists have linked it with the myth of Atlantis. So you may look at the caldera with different eyes.
The day we head to Oia, is when the dream of watching the sunset over the caldera, comes true.
But not without some never-to-forget moments.
We squeeze in a bus from Kamari to Fira. We can barely stand. We change buses in Fira, together with our road companions and other hundreds of tourists chasing the same famous sunset.
Still standing. This one is worse, because we are even more, and the lady selling the tickets starts to make her way to the end of the bus: between, under or on top of us. Whatever works. 🙂
Getting down in Oia is the only thing I dream about right now.
And here we are!
But the chase has just begun. 2 hours before sunset, everybody starts to find a good spot for pictures. Claim it. And hold it tight.
We could barely climb the steps of a rocky edge of the city, claim a giant rock, jump on top of it. Then share it with a group of Brazilians (obrigada!). Hold the camera 1 meter high in the air, using the selfie-stick.
The framework already set, now we can relax and watch the dreamy sunset.
- If you want to learn about the city from passionate people, go with the Free walking tour of Athens.
- X95 bus from the Airport to Athens, runs every 15 min: 6 eur/pers for 1 way trip.
- You can get to the top of Mount Lycabettus with the Funicular: 7.5 eur/pers.
- Acropolis package (Acropolis with North and South slopes, Ancient Agora, Hadrian’s library, Roman agora, Kerameikos, Temple of Olympian Zeus, The Archaeological Site of Lykeion) is valid for 5 days: 30 eur/pers.
- National Gardens, a beautiful green oasis in the proximity of Syntagma square, has free entrance.
- Liondi is a small restaurant in Athens, in the proximity of Acropolis: best Greek food i ever had!
Happy travels and stay safe!