Athens (Or: It's All Greek to Me)

Trip Start Mar 08, 2008
Trip End Sep 06, 2008

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yesterday, we caught a flight from Bari to Athens where we would plan our next step for the Greek Islands.  We stayed at a nice hotel that was connected to a travel agency, so they could help us book a ferry for tomorrow to Santorini.  Today, we mostly just wandered around the city.  We figured we'd hit the big sites and museums when we returned from Santorini, but we just wanted to relax today. 

We both really like Greek food at home but the Greek food in Greece is waaay better.  The grape leaves were the best we'd ever tasted and the feta was just amazing.  I learned that real Greek salads don't have lettuce.  We went to the supermarket today so we could buy some stuff for tonight and the morning, but navigating the aisles was an adventure in itself.  We figured hummous would be flowing from every aisle, but after 30 minutes, we had to leave defeated.  One major problem is that everything is labeled with Greek characters, which we have no idea how to read.  Probably the only time I will admit that perhaps a sorrority girl could learn something important...Greek letters.   (Apologies to any sorrority girls reading this blog). 

Athens is a lot cleaner and navigable then we'd expected.  Thankfully, the street signs are in both Greek and Roman characters, so we've been able to find our way around ok.  There are lots of beautiful squares, statutes, and buildings throughout the city.  It's very different from when I visited it in 1989, but that's not surprising considering it's been almost 2 decades and the city did so much development for the 2004 Olympics. 

Another interesting things about Athens is that there are enormous dogs everything.  I think they cross breed regular dogs with wolves and bear out here because these animals are behemoths.  And they just lay down in the middle of the plazas and sleep in the sun.  They seem totally innocent, but I haven't gotten close enough to really check. 

Tomorrow we're off to the Islands where we'll relax on the beach for a couple of days before returning to Athens.


Fastforward to April 3 and we're returning to Athens from Santorini.  Hopefully, we can get a new flight to Bangkok because we weren't supposed to leave until the 19th but we'd like to go there immediately. Europe has been just a little too cold and the Euro has been just a little too strong. 

So we spend the day at the Acropolis, Parliament, and the other big sights in Athens.  It's quite a remarkable city with all its history and ancient architecture, yet also the very modern subway system and promenades.  But after another day here, our travel agent is able to change our tickets and we'll be off to Bangkok shortly!
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