Eastern Europe Days 19-20. The End
September 19, 2023
During dinner on the last night of our cruise, it suddenly occurred to me that the perfect way to see Athens, and end our trip, would be a segway tour! We booked it with Athens City Segway Tours, 69 Euro per person for a 2 hour tour.
Google maps told us that the walk was about 20 minutes from our hotel to the segway shop, so after breakfast we headed out.
I’ve done segway tours in so many cities, that one of the hardest parts is usually waiting while all the newbies get the hang of them, sometimes taking as long as a half hour. But we were in luck – it was just the two of us on the tour with our guide! We stepped on, showed her that we were comfortable, and we set off at just around 11am!
We went first up near the Odeon, and when the guide realized we had already been up there the day before, we moved on. We went next to the Mars Hill – at one time it was the site of the legal courts of Athens. This was the “rock” that we saw people climbing up yesterday while we were up on the Acropolis.
Then we went to Pnyx Hill – at the top of this hill is the National Observatory. Just past that is
the former location where the citizens of Athens voted on laws in their Direct Democracy, when they met 10 times a year. Citizens had to not only be born in Athens, but both their parents had to be born in Athens. They also had to be rich and male.
From there we came down through the Thission neighborhood – nice wide pedestrian streets, shops, restaurants – very nice. We next stopped by the Agora, the former market area. On the hill on the right is the Temple of Hephaistos, which is the only temple to still have 40% of its original roof.
Then to Hadrian’s Library, and the Roman Agora market, which Hadrian built right next to the Greek Agora market.
Our final stop was the Monastiraki Square – home of the 2nd oldest Mosque in existence (no longer a house of faith). Lots of market stalls, so our guide gave us 10 minutes to walk around and explore. We grabbed a fruit smoothie and walked around a few minutes.
Then we retraced our tracks, and back to the segway shop. Overall, it was a good tour – we saw so much more than we could have seen on foot!
We went to the Greek Tavern across the street, more for the chance to sit after 2 hours on our feet! We ordered a salad for two with shrimp – tasty!
Then we walked back to our hotel, stopping on the way at a bank ATM so I could get Euros for my stock of client gifts. We also stopped at a little “bakery” shop and got some treats.
Back at our hotel, we had some drinks and snacks, and then we called Air France again. I had received an email with an offer to upgrade to Business class for $600 per person, but the email link didn’t work. And we still hadn’t been able to pay for the lounge at the Paris Airport. But they couldn’t help us on the phone and said to ask when we got to the airport. We then started to get ready to go to sleep - with a 2:45am wake up call, we thought it wisest to get to bed very early.
September 20, 2023
Alarm went off at 2:45am, and we were downstairs at 3:15am to get in our cab (which the front desk had scheduled for us yesterday). No traffic at this hour, so just a half hour ride to the airport. We went right to the counter and asked about a possible upgrade to Business class. It took a half hour, but...... we got it! 599 Euros per person! The seats wouldn’t be together, but it includes the access to the AF Lounges at CDG, and she took our two carry-ons with no additional cost. What a wonderful way to end our special celebration trip!!
Our flight from Athens to Paris was 3+ hours and flew over the Alps where there is still a lot of snow in September!
And then we got to CDG. We arrived in 2F, and we departed from 2E M gate. We looked online, and the 2F lounge was relatively new – two stories, lots of glass. So, we went there first, and spent a couple hours.Very nice selection of breakfast foods – scrambled eggs, pancakes, yogurts, fresh fruits and juices, bacon, cold meats and cheeses, lots of breads and pastries. They also had a big selection of whiskeys, which Vic said guys would really appreciate.
We headed to our gate just as they started boarding, and right into our Business class seats. So nice!! And they managed to find us seats next to each other – 10 E/F, center section bulkhead. Right after we were seated, we were offered juice or water, given warm washcloths, and a cloth bag each with an eye mask, toothbrush, socks, lotion, and cleansing gel.
The meal was lunch – bread, salad and carotte puree with orange and ewe’s cheese and pine nuts, appetizer plate with smoked salmon fillet, cream of pea, lemon and basil soup, and the entrée – choice of beef chuck and reduction, chicken fillet, shrimp, and conchiglie pasta. I had theshrimp and Vic had the beef.Very good! Then desserts – choice of chocolate fondant, lemon desserts, macaron, ice cream or sherbet.
I had purchased the streaming wifi for our long flights – $32 each. Business class includes the slower speed, but the price was the same.
After the meal Vic took advantage of the fully reclining seat and took a nap. I watched movies and TV while working on this journal and other work, using the complimentary noise cancelling headphones.
Final Thoughts On Our Trip
So when I think back on this trip, what will be my “instant images”?
· The castle in Sinai
· The amazing service on the Avalon ship
· The hike to the Veliko Tarnovo in the rain
· Iron Gates Gorge
· The fortress in Golubac at night
· The view from the hillside in Ilok
· Ljubljana and the drive through the Alpine countryside in Slovenia
· Plitvice National Park and all the waterfalls
· Split Croatia
· The view from the skyway in Kotor
· The Parthenon at night
· Segways past the ancient Greek ruins
· Business class!
Thank you for reading and following our great Adventure! Continue to follow this page if you want to see more trips like this one.
If you have any travel needs feel free to visit our website by clicking the button below.