My travelling bag is set with all the essentials that I needed for my Athens trip, I am standing outside my gate waiting for my Uber, Ayubu, the driver arrives 5 minutes later. He takes my suitcase to the boot and I sit on the back left. As we are driving to JKIA am so anxious, I haven’t been on a plane for 7 hours, so I wasn’t aware of the experience but I was so excited. We reach the airport few minutes later and I head to the international departures. My phone rings, “Hi girl, have you checked in yet?” Grace asked.
At this particular time am refreshing my emails after every 10 seconds just to see a new email for my visa approval. I have never been that patient in my entire life, i might as well say that my thighs are thick but my patient…….oh boy…..pretty thin. So those were the longest 30 minutes of my whole life. But i finally got my visa after a long haul and boarded. I enjoyed the whole flight since i was admiring the cabin crew walking up and down the aisle, well you all know i want be like them when i grow up.
After a 7 hrs flight, I hear some cute guy, well I couldn’t see him but he sounded cute, he told us that we were about to land and welcomed us to Athens. I took my bag and walked through the security point and I saw a man holding a board with my name written on it. He was supposed to take me to the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where my colleagues and I were to spend the night. I got to the hotel, and then ganged up with my colleagues for ‘good food’ hunting later on as we explore what the city had to offer. By good food hunting, we were hoping to find some restaurant that serves chapati and ndengu or mandondo, well of course not owned by a Greek but a Kikuyu woman might have thought of trying her luck in Greece.
We walked down the street which had many well-known shops worldwide such as ZARA and Marks & Spencer. There was a very homely atmosphere with Christmas decorations and lights hanging over the cobbled streets, yeah it’s almost Christmas people, yet the city had a constant electric buzz. Whilst wandering down the side streets, we found a typical Greek restaurant where we indulged in some fabulous kebabs and refreshing salads, the typical delicacy of Greece. The city screams history with churches on every other corner and old family ran shops and restaurants selling homemade goods.
“Let there be light! Said Liberty, and like the sunrise from the sea, Athens arose!”
Athens is a magical city, people talk of Rome and Paris but Athens is by far the most artistic city i have seen so far, from the old marble streets to the ancient monuments all over the city, then its incredible weather, it should be definitely on top of everyone’s bucket list. It is important to the world history on a level that few other cities can claim. From its roots as one of the most important city-states of Ancient Greece, to its current incarnation as the beating heart of modern-day Greece, Athens surprises, dazzles, and charms visitors who can look past it’s occasionally gritty exterior.
With Santorin and Mykonos beaches nearby, Athens serves as the administrative city as the two islands serves as the ultimate tourist destination, as far as slaying those bikinis and sunnies on the white sandy beaches is concerned. But the saying “my dress my choice” doesn’t apply here, since most of the towns in Greece are very traditional, hence they insist on women covering their skin.
I decided to go to the Acropolis Of Athens, it is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.
Though it’s a hustle going up to the highest peak which is 512ft high, but it was worth it, it was so magical seeing the whole city from up there and encountering magnificent ancient archeology, pretty much where Paul the Apostle preached during his second missionary journey. Views from here stretch out all over the city, reaching as far as the coast and the mountains. It was truly breath-taking to be stood surrounded by thousands of years of history.
I pretty much spent most of my time roaming around this magical city, and i can tell you for sure if i had an option of not coming back home, oh yes i would stay there and eat gyros for the rest of my life, but oh well, my Chinese boss had already placed a huge work load on my desk, and she called me immediately I landed just to remind me that i need to put my mind back to the system, so I had to bring my ass back.
This cultural exchange trip was a great experience that I would recommend to everybody! Immersing yourself into another culture by learning and understanding their way of life is so valuable personally, educationally and professionally.