Escaping to Glyfada & even more sunsetting

Since my third day in Athens was also going to be my last I planned to visit the rest of the main tourist sights. This included walking up to the parliament building guarded by some serious soldiers and then running for the shade in the park beside it two minutes later. With sweat dripping from every pore I wandered from shade to shade until I came to the other side of the park with the old Panathinaikou stadium and back to the site of Olympieion.
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What remained of both were impressive, but was getting unbearably warm again and the numbers of tourists kept growing and growing (I’m not sure when I developed such an aversion to crowds but it gets worse at times like this) so I stepped onto a tram and took a boring ride out to the coast (40 minutes). From the moment you reach the coast there are beaches at pretty much every tram stop and you can pick and choose which one to get off on. I contined to the end, near Glyfada a small unmemorable suburbian town with all the vital shops and an amazing bakery (Le Goût boulangerie). I picked up some pitta (stuffed filo, usually with spinach and feta) and went back to a random beach along the way. It wasn’t the nicest either, but better than Piraeus and the cold water was worth it.

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A few hours of snoozing later I hopped back onto the tram into the city, changed in the hostel and got the metro to a place where I could walk to take a funicular tram up to lycabetus. To get to the tram from the metro it’s a really steep walk uphill for a definite stretch and the tram costs around 7€ return. Get the one way ticket because its much nicer to walk down. At the top of the hill they have a small chapel and a restaurant with spectacular views over the city. I arrived as the sun was casting its rosy glow over the sprawl of the city and left two minutes later.

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This is obviously a popular spot and the view over the city is wonderful, but when your view is blocked by tens of other people and your moving space is limited to tens of centimeters it’s time to move on (as you might be able to tell from my unamused face above). Looking over the edge I spied someone walking down the hill just a few metres below and decided to make a break for it, cutting down past the restaurant and taking a path that brought me down around to pretty much the exact spot people were jostling for space for except 15 metres lower, with breathing space and another perfect bench to watch the world go by.

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The general area was shared with maybe 5 other people who had the same idea but each of us had found another bench to sit on to watch the rest of the sun setting and the big full moon rising over the city. The walk back down was pleasant, I made it back to the metro for an early night to prepare for my next adventure to Galaxidi the following morning, waking early to walk through the emptyish streets of Athens at 6 o’clock in the morning. Which may be the best time to visit the city of Athens afterall.

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