Athina at last!

Trip Start Jul 26, 2005
Trip End Nov 01, 2005

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

"Athens is fantastic!" - i just thought i'd put that as an opening statement.

First up we arrived here in this tiny little propeller plane. Smallest plane i've ever been in. It vibrated alot more throughout the hull due to propellers instead of turbines. We arrived in Athens at night time, and it was amazing looking down at the city at the thousands of lights scattered everywhere up to the coast as we descended.

As soon as we stepped out of the airport into the night I couldnt help but smile at the beautiful weather at midnight. It was very warm still, not too humid and great to be alive! We got our instructions out and caught a bus to the coastline which is where our cheap hotel accomodation is. The ride here was good, we saw heaps of marina's along the way, and our hotel was on the very beach front boulevard! We have our own personal balcony - OH YEAH!!! i can see my self on that with my feet up at night relaxing to a stubby of Greek's famous Mythos :o) (Stubby is an Aussie term for bottle of beer).

We crashed that night as we didnt get there till about 1am - lucky they have 24 hour reception haha! The next morning we missed breakfast because i forgot to change my my watch to the new time zone we're in. We got ready and caught a bus into the city centre and watched the changing of the guards. I gotta say their uniforms are VERY wierd. They have huge pom poms on their shoe's (you gotta see the picture). From this we had lunch in the main padestrian road of athens (city centre). It was quite packed, but the city really apeals to me. I mean, it has absolutely beautiful weather, the city's clean, beautiful structured buildings, sensational atmosphere. However i gotta say the traffic is honestly absolutely crazy here. The drivers are mad - but that just adds to the funk of it all. We settled at this place a street east of the main padestrian road. I ordered a souvlaki. I gotta say it was the most delicious meal ever! 4 sticks of tender meat, the best and most tasteful grilled tomato's i've ever layed my taste buds on, salad and delicious pitter bread and a Mythos to top it off nicely. Best meal of the trip so far (on par with the Serbian pizza - but complete different category ofcourse). From walking around this area, looking down the streets facing east you could see the Acropolis up on this huge platau. We couldnt resist, we decided to go up and see it straight away - i was quite excited about seing it... First we walked through these busy markets (hands firmly on my pockets) we saw some wierd and interesting things. I passed several shops with so many girls shoes in them, all 4 walls (supprising not the ceiling) was linned in as many shoes you could fit possible on them. I'd say easily over a thousand shoes in each of the shops... Blown away! - I had to try and distract dan to keep her away from this evil shop as it'd swoller her for good, haha! Lots of T-shirts and bangles and rugs all throughout here in the markets. I bought these 7 Euro fake oakley's, seeming though i lost my real ones back home after having a run on the beach. I honestly could not tell the difference between them and the real ones. Well im set now, lets head to the Acropolis! We hiked up along this huge slowly crescending road gradually up to the platau which held the ruins, the day was hot, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and my back was soaked from sweat due to me having my daypack with me. We finally got there... We passed through some ruin's which were amazing in itself, but this way a gateway to the main Pantheon. It was so beautiful and even better in real life. Once again, here's something in which i've known about all my life and here i am standing infront of it - undescribeable feeling. I had been looking forward to this moment. The whole structure is alot bigger than i thought with the huge sandy yellow beams and slabs reflecting from the sun and to find out it was not built in a perfect rectangle, but with slight curve's and different height pole's to give an illusion its rectangle is really fascinating. I took so many photo's of this thing at every angle you can imagine. Then just stared at it, trying to imagine it 600 years B.C. when it was in its original form. A hard thing to do. Pealing my eyes from its glory, to my left was the Temple of Nike where 4 of the ladie statues are fake with the real ones in temperature controlled rooms - but ya cant tell. We wondered around the platau for a while, and had to laugh at the dogs and cats just wondering all over the old ruin's as its their sunbed for the afternoon. The whole place is quite ancient and mystical. Really great feeling being here. We looked through the museum, but its nothing that i hadn't really seen already so we headed back out around to the amphitheatre which is still actually in use at times as it was in good condition still. After going back out the gates we i met some Aussies from Sydney resting on some spare benches like myself. Had a good yarn to them as the bloke had just finished working in the greek islands for 5 months - where we were goin after athens. So got some good pointers from him and helped make a decision of what islands to head to. We all ended up laughing our heads off at these stray dogs trying to bite the cars as they cruised past. They especially had an interest in this police car that went buy - interesting, haha.

We're now beyond starving and thirsty, as we've sweated off all our fluids so we headed back through the markets to have a look at all the T-shirts and girl shoes again before buying a Yuros (so tender and scrumptios again), so had to get a 2nd - oh yeah! I gotta say, every corner you turn around there's another cat - its seriously the city of cats, they're everywhere... Walking around the city for a bit after with no other intention than to just get lost and see more of the place we found that constantly we came across old ruins scattered everywhere througout the place - just amazing. This city is soaked through and through with culture with so much history to follow. The people are very interesting, romantic and rich with culture here. Definatly looking forward to the days to come here.
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