And to Greece I Went – Choosing a Greek Isle

Three months ago, I head no idea I would be coming to Greece in September.  A friend was getting married to a Greek-American and one night having dinner with them, they told me there would be a second event in Greece itself after the wedding in Atlanta; the key was when they said they would love anyone coming from the U.S.  My eyes opened big (at least, I think they did…) and an idea was born.

I had to make sure it would work with work but I planned it as if it would be OK.  Sure enough, most things are possible with good planning so on September 11 (yes, I know…), I boarded my plane to JFK where I would connect with my flight to Athens.

But, as is usual with most of my trips, it can’t just be “the one thing”.  I had never been to Greece though, clearly, with all the history it has, it was on my bucket list towards the top.  However, I said to myself, how could I go to Athens and NOT hit the islands??  That had to be addressed so I began asking around amongst people who have traveled here and the bride herself, which island to go to.

I am not a party-goer (anymore; did plenty of that already) so finding party islands was not the goal.  However, since I would be traveling alone, I definitely wanted somewhere that was not just for honeymooners and had something more than beaches since I am also not one to spend 3 days, 8 hrs each at the beach.  Santorini and Mykonos were my finalists just because they are so well known and I wanted to hit one of them (no time for two of them given the wedding related events and my schedule).  Everything zoomed in on Mykonos as the place to go.  Though it is known for the partying, it is also very close to Delos Island with its rich history (in mythology and after).  Friends also thought the eating and bar district would be fun for a solo traveler.  I will write more about Mykonos but my friends were spot on.

In the end, I would have like 3.5 days in Athens but about 1.5/2 were to be with my friends and the Greek side of the family for various activities including the reception in Kapandriti, north of Athens, and a BBQ at a relative’s in Oropou.  So, Athens was not a hard thing to figure out since the short time there would be taken up with the key sights everyone sees the first time (again, more later on this…).

I did split my stay in Athens in 2 as the reception being further north, it made more sense to stay in the stylish neighborhood of Kifissia than in Athens proper.  Yet for the sightseeing at the end of the trip, it would make better sense to stay in the Athens city center (that and I could stay for free at the Marriott there with my points!).  So, that became the plan and it worked out well.

Hotel Ledras Marriott in Athens, Greece

Hotel Ledras Marriott

As a side note, my connection on the way back was an overnight 11-hr layover in Paris.  As soon as I heard my boss was not going to be in this week, I went ahead and made it a 35-hr layover just to walk around Paris (I lived there in 1999 and have been back a few times since so it is like going to a second hometown of sorts).  I planned to do a maison du chocolat tour friends did in April and just hang out.

So, out of nothing, it would seem, a great trip shaped up.  Stay tuned for my writings on all the exploring!

Comments

  1. Looking forward to hearing about Mykonos and of course, all the good food!

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