After a few short days in Manchester and Liverpool, it was time to say farewell to the United Kingdom and hello to Greece. I have been dreaming of visiting Athens for a very long time. Since a wee lass, the tales of Greek Gods and heroes never fail to fascinate me. From there, my longing to experience Greece came about.
Even with the unstable economy, Athens is worth the visit. The city is beautiful. The people are so wonderful. The food is lovely (And not as overpriced as Paris).
I had high expectations for Air France, the airline we used to Athens from Manchester. Probably due to the small size of the aircraft, Business class on Air France on that particular route was rather disappointing.
The seat was slightly firm, the legroom was more or less like Economy on Air Asia.
It was quite an old aircraft. Nonetheless, the interior was clean but plain when it comes to decoration. Then again, who cares about flipping decoration.
Still, cabin crew was very friendly and didn’t mind when we spoke in broken French. I must praise their food quality though.
My first time at Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris. I used the Eurostar train for my last trip to Paris. Unfortunately, it was a short transit at the airport. We were chasing after time, hence, no photos of the airport. I love the design of CDG, very chic and youthful although can be a little bit confusing, especially for flight transfers from one terminal to the other.
By the time we reached the departure gate, it was already time to board the plane. I thought I could check out the Hermes store but nah, screw that. If it is meant to be, it will meant to be…
The connecting plane was almost as similar as the last one. Dinner was roasted chicken with seasonal vegetables which I truly enjoyed. Dinner also came with a generous serving of blue cheese which I enjoyed (I am surprised myself because not really a fan of the infamous blue cheese before this flight).
It was already dark when we landed at Athens International Airport or Elefthérios Venizélos. Duh, 1030pm, of course it would be dark. Silly me.
I was slightly puzzled when I realized there was no need to go through immigration after we got our luggages. It turned out that, when we got into Paris, customs already checked and stamped our passports. EU zone, so Paris to Athens is considered domestic flight.
We had three transportations to bring us to our hotel from the airport. Specifically, two cabs and Jo’s friend’s car. Once out from the air-conditioned airport, heat came over to greet us. Such a shocker after a nice cool summer in the UK. Meh. It was not so bad in the evening lah.
The journey to the airport took about forty minutes. Our taxi driver is friendly and quite philosophical. Typical Greek, eh? He made us feel very welcomed. The view of the city from the hilly highway is breathtakingly beautiful (from what I can tell from Aslan’s expression). Pity I lost my glasses somewhere in Glasgow, so, all I saw was blurred city lights. Meh.
As usual, uncle handed me the task of looking for the right hotel. After hours of researching and comparing, I recommended AVA Hotel & Suites situated in Plaka. It was the best decision ever.
Yes, Plaka is touristy but it was such a convenient and safe area to stay in Athens. I must admit, food is obviously more expensive compare to other areas in Athens but if you count in transport costs, it does not make much difference. Besides, nightly rate for AVA Hotel & Suites is affordable and decently priced compared with crazy expensive Hilton which is quite far from central Athens.
Every room at AVA is a suite, so, it is a steal when luxury is affordable. Does that make sense?
Uncle and auntie got the nicer suite, the Executive with the view of the Acropolis from their balcony. Apart from that, the bedroom is separated from the living room and kitchenette.
Once we were all settled down, it was almost 1230 in the morning! Tomorrow will be an exciting day, so, stay tune for the next entry!