Welcome to Athens

Arrival in Athens at 3.30am local time. We have been travelling since 3pm UK time the day before (Monday). We sleep in the airport until 7am. Just over one week before the Games begin, the new airport is looking very tidy and spacious. It was an early flight – arriving around 5am – so we didn’t really get to test the airport at its busiest, but all was smooth in any case. We decided to try the bus system into the city, which would drop us off near to our accommodation.

The bus actually seemed quicker than other times we have had to travel from the Airport into the city. It had been just under a year since either of us were last in Athens and, on the bus ride alone, it seemed like a different place.

We spend a lot of this day getting re-acquainted with our hosts. We are staying in area called Nea Smyrni, which is not far from the new tram route from the city centre, south towards the port, where some of the coastal sports venues are located. It is a nice neighbourhood 15min away from Athens city centre and other 15m from the coast, the Faliro Olympic complex etc.

First priority was to purchase a new SIM card for the mobile phone! Easily done, but only if you have a Greek friend or can speak a little yourself. This was not the city centre and the area has a very local, community feel to it.