in the centre of things
The hotel is situated in the commercial centre of the city; it was completely renovated in 2001. It is actually handily situated for visiting all the interesting sites. It is within easy walking distance of the Omonioa Square, the Acropolis, the museums and the cathedral. The rooms we had were clean. the second one was huge (4 beds), the breakfast was fantastic with lots of choice and very fresh. The people were helpful. The hotel has a roof top restaurant that gives a view of the Acropolis.We did not choose the hotel as it was in the package we booked but we enjoyed our stay and it was great to walk easily to the things we wanted and had time to see.
and finally Santorini
We had lunch on board the ferry and the 3-hour trip was lovely. We got some wonderful views while coming into the harbour. An agent with a minibus met us and took us to the hotel. We were staying in another hotel than was first planned. The first hotel had decided to close a week earlier.
We checked in and then walked into the centre of Fira to hire a car for the next day. Koos had said he wanted to hire a Smart after I had read about a hire firm on the island that had Smarts. We arranged that they would pick us up at the hotel the next morning, then we set off to explore Fira. On the way back to the hotel we went to the supermarket for milk, yoghurt and fruit. We did not want a meal because we were still full from lunch. W sat on the balcony for a while, we were so glad to be out of the uncomfortable room on Paros with its leaky shower and visiting insects and drills.
Wednesday we had breakfast at 8.15 and for the first time while island hoping we were not the only ones at breakfast. Then we were ready for our day exploring with the new model Smart. They picked us up at the hotel and took us to the office. There we got the new model Smart for the day – it cost us 50 euros with the extra insurance. First of all we went and got 7 euros of petrol and then headed out to Akrotiri, it is known as the Greek “Pompeii”– only to find out that it was closed for major restoration. So we went to Oia for the rest of the morning. It is a fantastic place with we really explored. At every corner there is another wonderful view. It is just so amazing how the houses are built up the side of the crater. After lunch the shops were shutting but we had another look around. The cruise ship tourists were gone and it was very quiet.
We went back to the hotel for a drink and we were just wandering what to do for the rest of the afternoon as we had been right around the island with the car. We decided to go back to Oia but we got just the far side of Fira when a thick blowing mist came down and we could not see a thing. So we decided to play safe and return the car. I think all the tourists had the same idea. We spent some time watching the donkeys climbing up from the old port and then headed back to the hotel for dinner.
Thursday – We slept later today and it was 8.30 when we went to breakfast. It was busy with 4 couples this morning. We headed of to walk to the Caldera view away from Fira. We got as far as Senor Zorbas Mexican restaurant (with the highest manmade cactus in the world) when the pavement finished. We decided walking along the mainroad was not a good idea. Still we had walked about 3 kilometres before we turned back. We had coffee in the hotel and then went in to Fira. We watched the donkeys for a while and then walked along the coastal path and out the other side of Fira. There we bought cold drinks and a cake and sat on the cliff looking out over the caldera. In Fira once again I looked in a handbag shop. There was a lovely leather bag but it was expensive so I decided to think about it for another day. We had a club sandwich for lunch. Then we walked down the 580 steps to the old port. They are the steps the donkeys take and for the first 50 or so steps we had to walk through/around the water they were using to wash away they donkey muck and urine. I, of course, had decided to put on my Teva sandals this day. So my socks were soon wet and smelly. Walking past a few donkeys that decided to greet me with a swish of their tail added to my “eau de donkey” perfume. We took the very steep cable car back up to the centre and there we once again walked around the tiny little streets of the centre. We have certainly been active this holiday; I cannot think how many steps up and down we have done in the hill and mountain villages we have visited. We finished the day at the cable car terminus watching the donkeys climb up the steps with the last cruise ship visitors. Then we headed back to the hotel for dinner and a well-needed shower.
Friday – last night we were kept awake by a car alarm that kept going off. We were still awake early and had a leisurely breakfast. Then we packed our things. We went to the Internet cafe to see if we could check in for our flight home tomorrow but it was not possible from Athens. We walked back to the hotel and heard that we were being picked up at 6 p.m. to go to the airport.
We walked back to the centre of Fira adopting 2 dogs on route. We managed to lose them after a while although they had stood patiently with us while we looked in the window of a camera shop. We were actually a bit crafty because we waited until they were smelling a man and then nipped around a corner. The bought the bag – well actually a different design than the first one I looked at, same colours different design. Then we had lunch a last wander through the narrow streets now with everything closed.
We sat in the square and had a lazy cup of coffee watching the world go by until it was time to go to the hotel for our pick up. The bus arrived exactly at 6.00 and there was another couple in the bus. We checked in and had a coffee; it is a very old airport. We were taken by bus to the plane, it was an old propeller plane and it had seats by the wing. It was a 40-minute flight to Athens, where we had a long wait for our luggage. The taxi was waiting for us with the same driver as when we arrived two weeks ago. He took us back to the King Jason Hotel for the night. We got a room on the 5th floor – it had four beds in it. We had a late meal and a shower and went to bed. It was almost 23.30, which for me is VERY late.
Saturday – so our last day. We were up just after 8 and had breakfast. It was very strange to sit in a very full restaurant; we had forgotten just how noisy that could be. We decided to walk to the Omonioa Square and then back along the Athinas to look around the central market. That is smelly and colourful and a great photo chance. We had coffee in the same cafe opposite the market we had been in on our first day. Then it was time to walk back to the hotel and wait for the taxi back to the airport and our flight home. Our little Smart car was waiting for us and we were soon home after a great holiday, luckily we still had two free days before we had to go back to work.
Saturday – so our last day. We were up just after 8 and had breakfast. It was very strange to sit in a very full restaurant; we had forgotten just how noisy that could be. We decided to walk to the Omonioa Square and then back along the Athinas to look around the central market.
That is smelly and colourful and a great photo chance. We had coffee in the same cafe opposite the market we had been in on our first day. Then it was time to walk back to the hotel and wait for the taxi back to the airport and our flight home. Our little Smart car was waiting for us and we were soon home after a great holiday, luckily we still had two free days before we had to go back to work.
hotel in Athens
I'm thinking of booking a room in the King Jason Hotel on Kolonou Street.
I have two questions.
Is this in a safe neighborhood? They say it is centrally located in the commercial center. I prefer the Plaka but due to the Special Olympics, my first choice at Hotel Attalos is no longer available.
How do I go from the kIng Jason Hotel to the Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum? Is the metro convenient?
Re: hotel in Athens
I don’t know either of the hotels. I looked up the address and it seems you’re in walking distance of the National Archeological museum (north of the King Jason hotel). So is the Acropolis but you must take into consideration that the entrance to the Acropolis is on the southwest slope of the hill. If on your way to the Acropolis you walk on the northside of the hill, you’ll pass through one of the richest archeological areas of the Athens (Tower of the Winds, the Agora, the old Mosque, the Thession, etc.).
Here is some info on the metro:
For the Archeological museum get off the metro at Omonia. There is a 5-10 min. walk to the museum. Or get down at the Metaxourghio station.
For the Acropolis the closest metro station is Acropoli. It is right at the entrance of the Dionysos theatre at the bottom of the Acropolis. That means it’s on the south side of the Acropolis, whereas the K. Jason hotel is on the north. It is a beautiful 5-10 min. stroll up to the entrance of the Acropolis.
The Athens metro is clean and efficient. Trains every 3 min.
For more info on the metro check http://www.ametro.gr/. They have lists of places of interest, connections with other public transport and vicinity maps for each station.
Your entrance ticket for the Acropolis is also valid for several other archeological sites (Acropolis site, Ancient Agora, Theatre of Dionysos, Kerameikos, Olympieion, Roman Agora). The Greek Ministry of Culture has a website with very reliable info (description, address, opening hours, prices, etc.) of archeological sites and musea: http://www.culture.gr/2/21/toc/arc_sites.html
As for safety: Athens does not have a very high criminality rate. It is generally speaking relatively safe. Some drug addicts may be seen around Omonia Square. However there are plenty of offices, hotels and thus tourists around Omonia so that you should not feel inhibited.