We opted for a 19-hour layover in Athens and spent some time at the Acropolis. We arrived at night, slept downtown and walked up to the hill in the morning. The weather was hot and dry, the breeze on the hill was nice. The views of the city, the water, and the other ruins from the Parthenon were beautiful. There were a lot of tourists there, which should be no surprise, but this was new for us. Similarly, we were unaccustomed to hearing a much English around us- it was distracting because we thought it was directed at us which, of course, was almost never the case. As for other observations, we were able to take a bus and use the metro during our travels to and from the airport. They had a ticket system which was new to us- you buy a ticket, stamp it yourself with a machine onboard, and no one seems to check it. The bus from the airport was surprisingly expensive- close to $40 even with a child discount. The metro was nice- clean and fast, about the same price as the bus. We wondered whether people cheat the system because no one seemed to be watching. I was surprised at the amount of graffiti everywhere- we saw it from the airport to the downtown and everywhere in between. Funnily enough, there was also graffiti carved into marble columns at the Acropolis (see below). We also saw loose trash on and streets. There were buskers playing the accordion and also a few beggars on the subway. Greece uses the euro and is part of the EU but also has economic problems and we could see a mix of the effects. Anyway, we feel lucky to have squeezed in this random and very short visit. The airline we flew with was Greek and we were wishing we could have stayed longer and visited some of the islands and other sites of this country, but that is for another time. For now, we were headed to Romania!