Our Family Vacation in Greece: Part One

I wanted to share a few photos (okay, a few more than a few) from our vacation in Greece at the end of August and tell you a little bit about it, in case you’re interested in going.

We flew from Logan airport in Boston to Frankfurt, Germany and then to Athens, and came back via the same route. Flying with a baby was interesting. We packed a TON of distractions and snacks (they let you bring food on the plane if it’s for a baby), but it was still challenging at times. The flight from Boston to Frankfurt was the easiest, because it left at 10 p.m., so G was already very tired, and we were lucky enough to book the bulkhead when we checked in 23 hours in advance. If you book the bulkhead on an international flight, they can hook up a bassinet on the wall in front of you. G cried a little during takeoff but then he slept most of the 7+ hour flight in the bassinet, which was AWESOME. The flight from Germany to Athens was short so we were able to keep him pretty entertained, plus he took another little nap.

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G playing during our layover in Frankfurt.

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Napping RIGHT before we boarded our plane from Frankfurt to Athens. Bad timing little G!

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Before we left, I read somewhere that window clings are a great way to entertain toddlers on a plane, and it was definitely helpful. Also, wrapping toys up in lots of washi tape and letting them peel all the tape off, then play with the toy. And, stickers. Nothing is a perfect solution, but it will occupy them for a few minutes at a time and stave off their frustration at being cooped up on your lap for hours on end!

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Daddy and G taking a little 45-minute doze before we got to Athens — YES!

One thing we weren’t prepared for was the culture shock that we felt when we got to Athens. We had to take the metro to our hotel, and we encountered grumpy Greek ticket vendors that didn’t want to deal with English speaking tourists at all, a crazy man yelling on the train, and the tiniest little boys dressed in rags begging for money. Then we left the metro into Syntagma Square which was full of so many people. We were very disoriented by how different the city was than anything we had seen in the States. Maybe this is a feeling everyone experiences their first time in another country.

We stayed at the Arethusa Hotel just off of Syntagma Square. One thing to note is that the hotels in Athens are not necessarily as modern as hotels we are used to in the U.S. Everything is very pared back and simple, which was okay for us, but might not be okay for everyone. The hotel manager was VERY helpful with directions, restaurant recommendations, and sending up a crib for G to sleep in. He took immediate advantage.

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The next day, we woke up early and ate breakfast at the hotel, then walked to see the sights. S carried G in our Baby Bjorn (which he has almost outgrown! 3 pounds under the weight limit — thank goodness he’s a peanut), and we saw the Parliament building, an old church we didn’t identify, the Temple of Zeus, the Arch of Hadrian, and the Acropolis. We only planned for this one day sightseeing in Athens, and even though it was a busy day, it was definitely worth it. Those ancient structures are truly awe-inspiring! It gave me chills to think that people built those thousands of years ago and they are still standing.

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Greece is the country of beautiful doors and gates apparently. These were right outside our hotel, and had to be 15-feet high.

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Greek key type patterns were everywhere, as was marble. I was dying over the marble steps and public squares. It made me reconsider marble countertops for our someday kitchen remodel, because the aged marbled looked so beautiful and had so much character!

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A beautiful stone church in Athens.

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As you can see, G has almost outgrown the Baby Bjorn! Thank goodness we could still use it for the trip.

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There were SO many stray dogs and cats in Greece. It made me so sad to see them wandering, I wanted to adopt all of them!

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The Temple of Zeus.

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G wondering why we were all staring at a bunch of columns.

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The Arch of Hadrian (you can see the Acropolis in the background.)

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The beautiful aged stone structures on The Acropolis.

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The Parthenon.

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The view of Athens from the Acropolis was absolutely stunning. That city goes on forever!

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G was flapping his arms and laughing. Kid has no fear.

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There was a great view of the Temple of Zeus from the Acropolis.

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G running away down a cobblestone street below the Acropolis.

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There was graffiti everywhere, and some of it was beautiful.

I’ll be back with one or two more posts with pictures from the rest of our trip!

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