We stayed in Plaka, a very popular and touristy area but hotel rate was not expensive still, maybe because there were a lot of hotels there. Our hotel was spacious and had a view of the Parthenon from the rooftop bar. It was a great choice cause it was a walking distance to almost every where we needed to go that we didn't even have to take the Metro. Every day we would walk pass shops like Zara, Bershka, Pull & Bear, Pandora, Adidas, Nike, Birkenstock, H&M, Mango, Tiger (a cute shop I first went in Amsterdam) and more so sometimes we ended up buying more than we should BUT it was still lesser than our honeymoon trip where we spent on really baseless things. Heh. Lucky the luxury brands were situated somewhere further so it was quite a walk away and we didn't have to walk past them every day (so the temptation was lesser). Our hotel was also near rows of street shops selling no-brand stuff like souvenirs, clothes and shoes so we walked a lot there and bought some stuff too. It was also near the Parthenon, but it was quite a walk so we covered that during our hop-on-hop-off bus tour.
This was our initial plan:
Day 1: Island Hop
Day 2: Day Trip
Day 3: Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour
Day 4: Walk and Shop
Day 5: Half a Day Trip + Walk and Shop
Day 6: Free and Easy
But we decided not to go to the day trips and ended up replacing both day trips with just walking and shopping. Nothing much to shop though, not like in London or Paris, or even Amsterdam. So we always ended up in the hotel early to rest, change Maliq's diaper, express milk and out again for dinner. It was really laid back. Hopefully I won't regret missing out on the day trips. :/ So far, no regrets yet haha.
We went to three islands, Hydra, Poros and Aegina during the island hop. They sold the cruise tickets every where with those exact same islands but we got our tickets from our hotel. Being in a ferry with a baby was bearable since there it was spacious and he could roam around. The staff also loved him so he was carried every where, even crying and throwing tantrums when they passed him back to us, his parents. My son sometimes forget that he's our son. -.- After the island hopping, we realised Maliq just wouldn't sit still so being in a bus for three hours plus would be too much for him and we didn't want to endure that. We did take the bus for an hour when we were in Aegina island but he fell asleep so that was easy for us to handle.
The islands were somewhere between nice and okay. I think because they were not as pretty as Santorini (of course). Hydra was the prettiest with no vehicles on the island at all (except for an ambulance). Poros was small and just okay. Aegina was nice because they had more shops and the Temple of Aphaia there (somehow related to the Parthenon).
Took train from airport to hotel which made us quite tired after lugging the heavy luggage.
Our decent hotel room, even comes with a bathtub.
Shopping street we walked past every day.
Island of Hydra.
Island of Poros.
Island of Aegina.
We decided to see the other attractions in Athens on the hop-on-hop-off bus. We didn't stop at every stop, only chose those we were interested in. We got another day for free so we did this over two days at our own sweet time.
On the bus! Cold so we moved down after this haha.
View from the Acropolis.
Arch of Hadrian.
Temple of Zeus.
Look who's number 1!
We didn't go anywhere else much. As usual, every where we went we would always go to that country's Hard Rock Cafe. They didn't have one in Santorini but we went to one in Athens which happened to be so near our hotel, yay. Hmm what else? The luxury brands didn't carry an extensive variety of things and some don't even have their own store, but have authorised sellers instead. Food wise, no halal food in the touristy area. There are a few halal restaurants quite far away though. BUT! We ate at this Indian restaurant for a few times cause their food was oh so yummy, nicer than the ones in Singapore. I was told it is partial halal, such that only the lamb is halal so we had butter lamb, lamb masala, prawn briyani, lamb tikka. Sedap okay!
Hard Rock Cafe Athens
They like to grill their fish whole with just salt and pepper and some other seasonings.
Flea market but I've been to better ones in other European cities though.
My baby bored waiting heh.
Scored a Celine Luggage in cobalt blue in Athens but not my first choice of colour to be honest. Was deciding between the micro and mini too, so hard to decide cause the price difference was not a lot. Ended up with micro against Zai's advice haha. Overall a laid back trip, probably because we skipped the day trips to the ancient ruins of some Greek history monuments and took our own sweet time to visit everything else. Next and last post for our winter holiday, will be of Dubai!