This was our last day in Greece. Very bittersweet. On one hand, I couldn’t wait to get to Ireland and embrace the rainy and cold weather. On the other hand, I didn’t want our adventures in historical Greece to end quite yet.
It was supposed to get extremely hot that day, so we got up early to explore some of the remaining sights we wanted to see. We were within walking distance of most of the touristy sights, so we set off on foot towards the National Gardens.
I have to say, we were a bit disappointed by the gardens. We might be spoiled by the beautiful parks in San Francisco, but we both felt very underwhelmed. We were incredibly sad to find a small ‘zoo’ that was very neglected. There were several birds in a giant cage. Many were missing feathers and looked like they were going to drop dead from the overwhelming heat. We couldn’t even find any water that was available for them to drink. We immediately tried to find an exit.
We made our way to the a Panathenaic Stadium, where we had a much better experience! The stadium was where the first Olympic Games of 1896 were held! It’s also the only stadium in the world made entirely of marble. We spent a couple hours listening to the audio tour and wandering the stadium in awe.
They had a mini-museum of Olympic torches and posters that was so mesmerizing to look at.
Of course, we had to try out running on the stadium and took some photos on the winners podium!
We had one final stop to make on our sightseeing that morning, The arch of Hadrian and the temple of Olympian Zeus. It’s so amazing that ruins like these are just sitting in the middle of a city.
We were hungry and it was only getting hotter. We decided to nap and take it easy until the evening. We had a 4am flight to Ireland with a layover in Switzerland, so we thought it would be best to sleep now and then get to the airport after we had eaten dinner.
We had scheduled a mini-photosession through Flytographer for the evening, so after we napped, we got ready and met our photographer at Monastiraki square. Our photographers name was Lena and she was great! I love that we have these photos to look back on of our trip.
Right after our session, we met up with Tony for one last dinner before we had to leave. I was filled with mixed emotions. All of a sudden, I didn’t feel ready to leave!
We said our goodbyes and collected our things from the airbnb. We grabbed a taxi right outside our place and found ourselves at the airport 20min later. We were extremely early and the ticket counter wasn’t even open, so we scouted a spot along the wall and tried to get some sleep.
The ticket counter opened an hour before the plane was supposed to board and the lines were moving slow, so we got the boarding pass on our phone and went straight to security. Coming from such strict airline policies, we were very surprised at the whole security process in Greece! We were the ones to scan our pass to get to security and they had us take all photo equipment out of our bags, but were unconcerned with liquids or our shoes. We also were concerned that not one person checked our passports the entire time.
Our flight landed in Switzerland, where we had one of the longest and worst 10-hour layovers of our lives. We tried to grab some breakfast at the airport, but the waitress refused to speak English (we choose it because they had signs saying they spoke English). We eventually got a coffee and pastry, but were treated very rudely the entire time. We were originally planning on taking the train into Zurich for a few hours, but we became worried that no one would speak English to us and we were feeling extremely exhausted. We decided to just wait it out at the airport. We watched movies and tried to sleep, but were disrupted frequently by people blatantly staring and a weird scene of guys riding the baggage trolley and blasting techno music while going in and out of the smoking lounge for hours. I could not have been happier when it was time to board our flight to Dublin.
We slept on the flight to Dublin and arrived to a welcoming rainy sight.
After landing, we hopped on the bus and I was overcome with joy of hearing English! We had a 20min walk from our stop to our hosts house, but we found their place and were greeted by a very sweet couple who quickly pointed us in the direction of an amazing pizza place. Dublin was already looking like it was going to be an amazing place to be!