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Hello and welcome to my first trip-report of Greece :) The title might be a bit misleading, since it doesn't cover the whole country (that would be too epic) but only Athens and the Island of Crete. But I have a feeling that I will return there some day and cover another part of Greece and so on.

So I spent my summer holidays in Greece, doing a 2 weeks-long tour of Crete and Athens. It was a very wise choice, as Greece proved to be a positive surprise, and I left with the distinct feeling of money well spent. It was all planed ahead by myself, with some help from Evil78 (thanks :cheers: ). Everything worked well, the stories about Greeks being lazy, unreliable and in love with tax evasion being dismissed one by one. Seriously, people lamenting about Greece being in the EU should shut up. Especially if they are from Romania.

The trip involved a flight from Bucharest to Athens, a boat ride from Piraeus to Heraklion, in Crete, a grand tour of the island by car, a flight back from Heraklion to Athens and finally a flight back to Bucharest.

This is the trip through Crete (about 850 km travelled):



And the plan looks more or less like this:

1. Athens
2. Sailing to Crete
3. Heraklion & Knossos
4. Agios Nikolaos
5. Ierapetra
6. Zaros
7. Agia Galini & Agios Pavlos
8. Rethymno
9. Hania
10. Samaria National Park
11. Elafonisi
12. Balos

Also, since I travelled by car on Crete, there are many pictures of roads and landscapes between the points above. I'll start posting more comments and pictures tomorrow. As always, your feedback is appreciated :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
1. Athens

Before going to Athens, I've only heard stories about it being some kind of horror city, very dirty, unsafe, violent, with high crime rate and so on. The kind of place you just want to avoid. Yet the first overnight stay was in Athens, and although I don't see myself living there (mostly because of the impossible heat), it's certainly not that bad. It's true that, due to the short time, I saw mostly the tourist places (I think Sygrou-Fix is not one of them, though), but still, I didn't felt insecure at all.

It was certainly a lot cleaner than I was expecting it to be, especially for a city that huge, the people seemed civilized and the old parts quite well kept. My first contact with it was the metro system, which looks impeccable, it's the cleanest I've ever seen. If you also add the financial situation of Greece in the picture, I think the result is quite good.

I mentioned the heat: it was by far the worst I've ever experienced. Before this, I thought Iowa in the US was ridiculously hot, but I was wrong. Athens was simply unbearable. Crete was OK even at mid-day, but Athens was an oven.

Some pictures now:

The Parliament


 
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