Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Home to world famous historic monuments such as the Acropolis, Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities and is widely regarded as the cradle of Western civilisation. Athens also gave us the concept of democracy – in Greek, ‘demos’ means people and ‘kratia’ translates as power. Situated in the Attica region, Athens is hemmed in by a mountain range to the north and east and the Saronic Gulf in the southwest. On a recent flight there, I sat in row ‘A’ and was treated to a fabulous aerial view of Athens from the plane window.
View of Athens from a plane window
The plane approached Athens (map) from the northwest and as it cleared the cloud cover, I got a beautiful view of Chalsis, a historic town located on the island of Euboea. The Euripus Strait separates the island from the mainland.
As the plane continued southwards, the big sprawl of Athens came into view. It was early-summer and the hills looked barren. From above, the city looked like a concrete jungle intersected by grids of roads with little greenery. However, once on the ground, I got a completely different picture: there was lots of greenery to be seen. Athens is built on several hills and they could clearly be seen protruding from the urban sprawl.
We flew right past the port of Piraeus, one of southeastern Europe’s most important ports, and the city’s southern fringes and the old Hellinikon Airport before banking left for the final approach into Athens International Airport. The panoramic view of Athens was a real treat!
I was only in Athens for 24 hours to attend an event and I didn’t get to see much of the city. I did stay in a hotel at the foot of the Acropolis and had a great view of this ancient monument from my window. I also managed to squeeze into my tight schedule a stroll around the neighbourhood, with its bustling streets packed with little shops, afresco restaurants and cafés.
This was my first time in Athens so it was a shame I couldn’t stay longer and see more of this great city. Athens had one more gorgeous view in store for me as I left the following day. The plane took off in a northeasterly direction and flew over the Petalioi Gulf and the Schinias National Park with its beautiful beaches. The shimmering bright blue water and white beaches were a stunning sight! I’m definitely returning to Athens one day!