It was the summer of 2013 and time for yet another holiday! I started thinking about where to travel. Egypt, Greece and Turkey were amongst the first few destinations we had wished to visit since we moved to the UAE in 2008. We had already visited Turkey; Egypt was not politically stable at that time. Greece was the only choice.
Actually, until I moved to the UAE, I thought that Greece had stopped existing more or less after Archimedes’ ‘Eureka’ moment. I thought that Greece was history like its prodigies and like its counterparts: Macedonia, Mesopotamia, Mohenjo-daro, Machu Picchu, ancient Egypt and ancient Troy. For me, seeing is believing. And then, I got the chance to do that.
We booked an 11-nights’ package through TourGreece, a leading travel company, which I found through my own indigenous research. I requested them to prepare an itinerary that would include the capital city of Athens, the Peloponnese, Central Greece and Thessaly regions and the Saronic and the Cycladic islands. While the inland is rich in history, the islands have beautiful beaches and appealing architecture. Soon, we were ready to fly.
After a comfortable 5-hour flight aboard Etihad’s business class, we arrived at Athens International Airport and were received by a representative from TourGreece. He escorted us to the Titania hotel and made sure we were checked in smoothly. Before leaving, he handed us all the tickets, vouchers etc. that we were going to need on our trip.
That evening, we explored the areas of Syntagma Square and the Parliament on our own. They are at a walking distance from the hotel. At the Parliament, we saw the ceremonial change of guards. That was our first such experience; the second was in Moscow in 2016. That night we retired sooner because the next day we needed to be ready early to set off on the 3 nights/4 days’ tour of the Peloponnese, Central Greece and Thessaly regions.
To be continued…