Travel Athens Adventure

Location
Seattle
Name
Andrew
My wife and I are in Athens, Greece for a week for our tenth wedding anniversary. Time flies! I reckon I'll have a lot of photos to share eventually, but will post a few as I go, as downtime allows.

The flight was long from Seattle, about ten hours in the air to Amsterdam, and a connecting flight after a couple of hours of layover to Athens. I was a bit surprised by the flight path on the first leg, despite the basic knowledge that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. We traveled over northern Canada and the southern part of Greenland overnight. We were seated next to the northern facing window. That all meant that the chances were good to catch sight of something interesting:

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To the eye, the aurora looked like a brighter cloud high above where clouds would be, but I could detect the slight movement, and sure enough, a long exposure revealed the color. Of course, a moving aircraft is the worst way to try and take a long exposure, and I made a lot of attempts, of which those are probably the best. IBIS has its limits, especially since the IBIS in the GRIIIx isn't the most effective, and the EM5II wouldn't even begin to focus through the dim window.

It was a pretty happy coincidence, though. The aurora borealis is a bucket list item for sure.
 
It needs one or two nights stay to see some nice places out of the town, and more if you want to swim. In the summer it is unbearable hot though.
 
It needs one or two nights stay to see some nice places out of the town, and more if you want to swim. In the summer it is unbearable hot though.
I can already tell I will never want to visit in the summer; I grew up inland from LA, which is basically the same climate (just with different local variations). Plus (even more so) we got to experience the city with barely any other tourists, and I can't imagine enjoying the sights as much as we did with long lines and packed crowds. Plus, I don't want to interact with Greek service industry people when they're worn out. The kindness we had everywhere was magnificent.
 
Now that it's finally the weekend (and I'm battling the seemingly-inevitable long-plane-ride crud which has my head stuffed up like a Thanksgiving turkey), I have a chance to post some more photos which I've been slowly editing.

The Erechtheion:

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And the Parthenon next to it:

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the Temple of Athena Nike:

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It was nice to be able to get photos without people in them, but also worthwhile getting ones with people, for a sense of scale. these structures are far more massive than I imagined. And, far from being just tourist destinations, they have to be appreciated for their aesthetics, especially in the setting of the Acropolis Hill. Truly amazing place.
 
Stunning Meteora and surrounds, in Thessaly.

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I'm going to wind down this thread since it's such a barrage of images. I might start a "Show Greece" thread and post somewhat more selectively in there.

It really was a trip I'll be thinking of for a long time, possibly until I get a chance to go back. I feel I should round out Europe with some other important sites, Rome primarily, but Greece and Athens in particular is going to have a piece of my heart.
 
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