Last Day in Greece - you don't know a city until you go shopping there!

*** Please read about the debt crisis of Greece and consider spending more money there. I decided to emphasize my shopping experience in this post to hopefully stimulate its tourism income which contributes to about 15% of the GDP of Greece. ***

View of the Acropolis from my breakfast table at Hotel Grande Bretagne before flying back to San Francisco

I don't even know why I am still blogging about this trip 6 months afterwards. Instead of sharing the moments with readers, this is more like a documentation for myself. Regardless, my Greece travel journal is finally coming to an end!

The last day of this vacation was spent back in Athens. We checked in at the famous Hotel Grande Bretagne and immediately went shopping for souvenirs for friends and family. This was necessary because I barely bought anything at all in the past whole week.

Everywhere in central Athens, you can find little souvenirs on the streets

After some careful observation, I chose one store and decided to buy most of the food related gifts from there. (Price Bargaining Tip #1: buying a lot from one store is always good for volume discount.)

I brought a huge basket of items to the counter and didn't even bother finding a translator, I said to the owner, "10% cheaper?". (Tip #2: show no fear and only confidence. Tip #3: make a low enough offer, without embarrassing the seller, and to show that you are knowledgeable and reasonable.)

After he said no way too many times, I told him, "all of these are for other people, not for me." then I took one box of candy and pointed to myself, said "can you give this to me?" with a big smile on my face. He finally said yes. (Tip #4: when all failed, just tell them to do you a favor and be sincere.)

I wasn't this lucky when I tried to buy a little Greek dress for my lovely niece... Long story short, I didn't have enough time to do my "price comparison research" and did not have thick enough skin to walk away from pushy and fake people. (Tip #5: understanding the market environment is more important and more powerful than any negotiation skills. Tip #6: you are the one paying. If you don't like the sellers, you don't need to give them business. Period. )

After my super efficient shopping exercise, we walked to the Acropolis to enjoy this incredible historic site. We climbed to the top and saw the sun set into the edge of the city as Athens went to sleep.

Entrance guard dog

Parthenon's guard cat

Looking down at the Acropolis Museum that I visited in Day 2 journal

At a square by the train station, looking up at the Acropolis in its evening light.

Some of the souvenirs I bought:

Greek Ouzo wine for guys - nice packaging
Colorful tile magnet for every one's fridge - I am keeping one for myself
Cute tiny jar of Greek honey - sweet...
Postcards! lots of beautiful postcards!
Bookmarks from the Acropolis Museum for book lovers
Silver jewelry - I got a pair of earrings for myself

My last picture in this amazing country, in front of the hotel and the Parliament building, waiting for the car to the airport.

So long Athens~

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