Feb 21, 2007
. Followed by - get this - the Archbishop of Athens! At least that's what we figured. He had his own body guards and everything. So we followed the processional to what seemed to be this dude's living house building thing with crazy flags and all, more prayers and music and all the while the bells going. We got tired of the sun, so eventually moved on. We found this nice park by Syntagma Square, called just simply the National Park. Took a lovely stroll around it along with all sorts of families etc celebrating Easter. Eventually we sat down on a nice sap-leaking bench, and realized only too late that we'd trashed our current outfits. Sap doesn't really do much but stay there once it's there. Cool.
The following day the Canadians headed off to Santorini in the morning, so emboldened by our stroll the day before, decided to head away from the tourist area to the Archeology Museum. The problem was most everything else was closed on Mondays in general, so this was it. But of course it closed about a half hr before I arrived. So I decided to check out the park just beyond it. And took a stroll just off the main drag for no more than 5 ft. when I encountered the most pervertedly creepy sexually repressed immigrant Indian guy I have ever seen. He literally walked towards me, and sat down on the nearest bench to watch me walk by. Okay, I figured, you stay there, I'm gonna go back to people. But he thought this was fun and continued to follow me around the park. So now my walk is pretty much shot, and I asked a food vendor if police patrolled the park, and his translating son said, well they drive around now and then. You can wait here if you want. So I did, the creepy guy passed again looking for me, and I made a run for it outta the park faster than you can say marathon. yeesh. So inspired by the Canadians, I've decided to scrap mainland Greece this trip (except for Thessaloniki) and head to Crete!
Easter here was really cool. Me and the Canadians wandered around and happened upon apparently one of the largest churches in Athens, with a big square and all these 18 yr old military kids leaning on their guns (uh, is that a good idea?) and military band waiting nearby. According to the hostel owner, Easter eve at midnight, there is 'fire in the sky' after the last church services. But don't you go to mass on Sunday? "no! sunday, we eat lamb!" And Monday? "Ah, Monday holiday. siesta." And presumably more lamb. So we were surprised to see any services at all on Sunday. Nonetheless this one seemed special. So we waited around in the square, got crawled all over by ants (well mostly one of the Canadians, but still), and finally we decided to head on.... when we realized that the military people were all paying attention now and the military band was ready to go. Next thing we know the bells are clamoring, and these guys in long robes with long beards to match start processionaling out of the church