Arf, arf! Let’s get our furry paws and wet noses to Athens, Greece! One of the oldest cities in the world, Athens is filled with ancient history, dynamic culture, and rich heritage. Widely known as the birthplace of democracy and Western Civilization, Athens and its greatness and influence can still be felt today. After thousands of years, Athen is still an international city and the economic center of Greece. Many may argue that Athens is not the most dog-friendly city, but I loved my time there as I conquered the glorious city with an upright tail – one mark at a time. Perk up your ears now and find out how a yorkie travels to Athens, Greece and takes over!
How I set my FOUR PAWS in Athens:
After spending several months in the majestic Dubrovnik, Croatia, I hopped on a quick (<2 hours) flight to Athens in the morning. As a small (yet sturdy) dog, I’m blessed with the perfect physique (and weight) for in-cabin flights. After perking up my ears to some crazy takeoff noise, I immediately knocked out in a soft carrier (and even slept on my back with all four paws in the air). If you are flying from any city within Europe, you can expect to pay anywhere from 50-75 euros one-way for the dog cabin fee (depending on the airline). From the States, international dog cabin fees are typically $250 one-way, but again, depending on the airline.
How I conquered the Athens HEAT:
Dog travel in Athens can be tricky during the brutal summer heat. Luckily, I arrived in mid-May and stayed until mid-June. June is the month when the city starts to heat up (although the temperature is still “bearable” according to the locals). It gets hotter and hotter as the summer continues with August being the warmest month hitting TRIPLE digits in Fahrenheit. At 80s-90s degrees Fahrenheit, I’m already panting after walking two or three blocks. Hence, I prepared for the city heat by getting a quick fur trim a week before my flight. Upon arrival, I changed up my walking schedule – shortly after sunrise (before it heats up) and then later after sunset (when it cools down). My humans had bottled water and water bowl ready at all times – in case I need a water break during the walks. If you want to pack light, you can get your paws on these super cool collapsible bowls. Anyhow, hydration is KEY for both dogs and humans for survival! I was also adept at finding shady areas to break from the heat. During the scorching hot afternoon, I was happily snoring indoors with the A/C on blast.
What I LICKED my chops to:
YIPPEE, I wolfed down way too much mouth-watering food and filled up my yorkie belly! Since Greek food is one of my favorite cuisines in the world, I wagged my upright tail and licked my chops to foodie heaven. Although gyro and souvlaki are ubiquitous and paw-lickin’ good, I was super excited by their luscious vegetarian dishes. As you may already know, I love my veggies! Yet all the Greek veggie items were literally irresistible to my yorkie stomach! Gemista (stuffed tomatoes and/or peppers with potatoes), vegetarian moussaka (layered eggplant or potato-based dish with béchamel sauce), dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), Horiatiki (Greek salad), fava beans purée, and imam (baked aubergines) – Mmm mmm, keep in mind that this is NOT a comprehensive list! Dog travel in Athens can be convenient as most restaurants have outdoor seating.
Where I MARKED:
My Sherlock wet nose detected a myriad of ruins throughout the city dating back thousands of years. I bark again, THOUSANDS of years! ARRRF, bark about ancient history! My fearless paws marched close enough to the Acropolis where I could stretch out my anaconda neck for a long and thorough investigative sniff. Sadly, I couldn’t go all the way in since “dogs are NOT allowed.” GRRRR. However, no matter where I set my alpha paws, I made sure I left my mark somehow – from my favorite cobblestone neighborhood Plaka to the grand Panathenaic Stadium. I was particularly intrigued by the greatness of National Garden, intricate museum grounds, bustling pedestrian squares and streets, and vibrant ethnic enclaves (especially the Middle Eastern and Pakistani neighborhoods where my wet nose detected some of the best food ever).
Who I SNIFFED out:
I spent A LOT of time hanging out with (and studying) the human locals. After perking up my ears and smelling quite a few of them (and of course, their dogs), I can bark out loudly that Greek locals are nice folks! Most of them are dog-lovin’ or at least accepting of me and my furry pals. I even met the sweetest barista who insisted on feeding me fresh cold water on a hot day. Dog travel in Athens is approved by ME!
As a blessed rescue dog myself, I offered stray dogs some water and food whenever I could. They are such beautiful souls and simply want love and food like every other dog in this world. They are generally not aggressive – they just go about their own business of finding shade, water, and food.
I also said hello to the Greek cats (and tried to stay out of their way)!
*Get my comfortable choke-free harness HERE!
How I got AROUND:
Private transfer from the Athens International Airport to the city
Athens Metro (underground public transportation)
LOTS of walking (and marking)
Where I RESTED my paws:
I dreamt of gyro in pita and gemista in my very own comfy one-bedroom apartment equipped with a full kitchen, located just north of the Acropolis. When I felt like it, I’d allow my humans on my bed. Otherwise, they were couch-surfing in my cutesy bachelor pad.
Hope you enjoyed following my wet nose escapade to Athens!
Markin’ it up,
Roger Wellington a.k.a. The Doob
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