The Shops of Plaka, Athens

Thursday June 5th, 2014

Leaving Santorini was definitely hard for me, especially when it was sunny and blue sky; past three days were cloudy! I wish I had this extra day for more photos! On the flight to Athens:

We spent the next 1.5 days in Athens before our flight back to the States. I made sure we have one full day there so we can visit Acropolis; four years ago by the time we got there, it was closed!!! Within less than 40 minutes, we arrived Athens and then took the 50 minutes airport metro to Syntagma Square, cost was 16 euros for two of us. Remember to valid the ticket before heading downstairs to the platforms! There were two trains down at the platform, one was a sub-urban train, and another one was the metro. The metro heading to and from airport always have an airplane logo on its windows! We got to Syntagma Square at around 10:00 am, hubby remembered those long stairs four years ago that he had to carry our luggage all the way up! I made sure we got out at the right exit to save on walking….all the way to the end for exit marked: Hotel Grande Bretagne. This time, we stayed at NJV Athens Plaza which is on the same block as Hotel Grande Bretagne and King George, those are three 5 stars hotel in Syntagma Square. I booked the hotel using Hotwire, it had a “Hot Rate” for a 5 stars hotel in Syntagma Square for $147 per night, I booked and revealed it was NJV Athens Plaza, still cheaper than regular rate!  Two nights total 344.87 including tax.

We checked in but our room wasn’t ready yet until 1 pm. We dropped our luggage except for our souvenir bag since major of the items inside were ceramic. We sat at the lobby and asked for the 1 hour free wifi access code, connected to the web to check our emails. By 11, hubby was hungry so we walked out hunting for a restaurant named O Tzitzikas Ke O Mermigkas, it was suppose to be a block or two away from the hotel……within those three streets, we walked around at least three times and didn’t see it. At then end, I asked a police officer and he pointed our way. We found it but it is closed, open at 12!! Hubby couldn’t wait so we walked around those three streets again and ended up having lunch at Athen’s Beer. Hubby ordered a steak plate and I ordered a sandwich with a Fanta total cost 23.5 euros. We sat outside, it was a nice bar/cafe, food-wise was average. Best thing was, free wiki, so time can fly by quickly. We walked back to the hotel at 12:30 pm, walked by a bakery to get dessert….oh yes we got into a habit of getting dessert after the meal to enjoy back at the hotel!

Fortunately, our room was ready! It was a descent size room for city center. The bathroom:

The room was better than I expected since it was only $147 per night:

Hubby said what made it not be truly a five stars hotel is this….can’t they cover it better?

Enjoying our dessert in our room:

While we had our delicious dessert, we chatted about where to go for sightseeing. We decided to visit Benaki Museum since it was free on Thursday! We both are not museum people unless the architecture inside is magnificent, but since it was free, we’ll check it out!

You can definitely see me in this picture haha!

Our favorite was this display room, it was dark so definitely need to use HDR to get the details in the picture:

The museum is bigger than it look from the outside with levels of displays! We stayed for less than one hour and left since we wanted to visit Plaka.

The entrance of the museum, the chandelier is very pretty!

The walk to Plaka wasn’t as far as I thought, only took us 15-20 minutes! We arrived, it was filled with souvenir shops ranging from Ancient Greece clothing, jewelries, ceramic and bronze figurines, olives, all you can name and can’t name!

There were ancient ruins right next to Plaka!

I could see the Acropolis!!!

It was great weather, not too hot, blue sky, and white clouds. Please maintain that way for tomorrow when I visit the Acropolis!

There were tourist trains stopping there as well:

At the end of the shopping street, there were many restaurants around that area as well as street vendors selling fruits!

Euros 1.99 per kg for cherries, it was cheaper than our supermarket back home! I bought one kg which is around 2.2 lbs of cherries 🙂

We visited more souvenir stores, actually not much interested us as the souvenirs we already bought in Mykonos and Santorini.

This store is filled with beads and materials for do-it-yourself jewelries and accessories!!!

Walking toward back to the hotel direction, we turned right to check out the street parallel to Plaka and this street is filled with antique and second hand shops!

More unique architecture here and there!

Even if you don’t like to shop, you can still take a lot of interesting photos in Plaka!

We walked back to Syntagma Square and had dinner at Dosirak, a Korean restaurant. After two weeks of no Asian food, we started to miss it LOL! There were three Asian restaurants all in the same block of Apollonos intersecting Nikis Street, right behind Syntagma Square.

We ordered the Korean glass noodles: Jap Chae, it was better than expected considered we are in Athens, Greece!

I ordered the spicy beef soup, it was spicy which I like!

The spicy octopus was the best of the dishes we ordered! Fresh Mediterranean octopus with spicy Korean sauce, definitely delicious!

The only disappointing dish was the marinated beef (Bulgogi), it was dry and tasteless 😦

The dinner did however fulfilled our cravings for Asian food! Total was 40 euros included tips! Overall, we were satisfied 🙂 We walked back to the hotel and saw police all over the place! Yep, it was one of those protest days! Protesters sat on one section of street in front of the bank…I assume they are protesting against the bank? Then, one side of the street filled with police overseeing the protesters. We just quickly walked by to get back to the hotel! When we were in the lobby accessing to the web at night, we heard noises from the outside. Hubby went to the front entrance to take a peek and he said they are protesting in the square, very loud, but sounded like singing LOL! It was peaceful demonstration! We went back to our room to enjoy our cherries, it was a bit sour though! We finally slept early to get plenty of rest for tomorrow’s full day of sightseeing!

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