Its all Greek to me

Trip Start Feb 10, 2006
Trip End Mar 07, 2006

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Greece is the Word

We loaded onto a bus this morning. It is a nasty day. It is raining and cold. We really have had great weather the entire time that we were in Istanbul. We will be flying to Athens from Istanbul on Olympic Airlines. The bus dropped us off at the front of the airport. When we got there we had to immediately put both our checked and our carry on luggage through the x-ray machines. 

Our checked luggage held us up. We would never bring a pocket knife in our carry on but Cory always packs a multi tool in his checked luggage. It has a screwdriver, knife, file, bottle opener and many other tools that come in handy for broken suitcases or other simple fixes. It only took a few moments but our resident trouble maker seethed, "What idiot brings a knife to the airport." I agree you never put one in your carry on but most airports scan your checked luggage after you check in and a multi tool is usually not a problem. Not that it was a problem today. They took one look at it and put it back in the bag and sent us through. It only took maybe 5 minutes. The Roaming Gnome held up the girls bag. The security people ran it through 3 times just to show someone else the little Gnome in the bag. They thought it was hilarious.

So after making it through the security, our angry tourist went flying across the airport as if she knew where we were supposed to go. I don't know if she was looking for people to follow or was in such a rage she wasn't rational. Heather followed her.  I just stood with my mouth agape. Everyone else stayed with us. There was an information booth and we walked over and asked where the Olympic check ins were. They were right where we were, where we had been dropped off. It was just too early to check in for our flight yet.

We had lots of time, so Cory and I went to the bathroom, Jeremiah went to buy stamps and Paulie stood with our luggage. When Christina and Heather finished their little marathon around the huge airport terminal, Christina came up and asked Paulie where we were. When he told her she blew up. At the top of her lungs in the Istanbul Airport she screeched, "You got to be f#$%ing kidding me, f#$%ing kidding me!" Poor sweet Paulie just stood there with his eyes wide. She did apologize later saying that she might be PMSing.

By the time that we all got back to Paulie and our luggage,  Olympic had finally opened their gate and we got checked in to go to Athens. 

We were met in Athens by the Representative for Friendly Planet. We started practicing our Greek, "Yassis, Me lene Laura." On the way from the airport to the hotel she told us all about Athens and the areas that we were going through. It was time to get orientated again.

We arrived at the Athens Imperial. It is a beautiful hotel. we Checked in and headed to our rooms to settle in.

We still had half a day so we took the very short walk from the Hotel to Syntagma Square.  We timed it well and got to see the changing of the guard. It was a fantastic introduction to Athens.

Syntagma Square

We decided to stop and have a bite to eat. We found a local restaurant and as we ate, we talked about what we would like to do for the rest of the day. Before the trip I had been honest with everyone going with us. Cory and I take one of these trips every year. It is one of the few luxuries that we do for ourselves. Each trip we go on people usually want to go with us. I am upfront and honest and tell them that we will have a plan of what we want to see. They don't have to go everywhere with us but they have to be willing to separate if they want to see something different. 

So we are talking at dinner and Christina is saying that she has to go to the Hard rock Cafe. That seems do able. We can fit it in as we see the area around the Platka. We head in the direction of Mitropolis the northern edge of the Platka. There is a beautiful Church that sits in this square and beside it a beautiful ancient church.  It is on the list of sites that Cory and I want to see in Athens, and on the way to the Hard rock Cafe. Like in the Istanbul Airport Christina is flying at top speed by this wonderful icon. The boys all caught up in her tail wind just keep on going. Cory is half a block away when he realized that I was no longer with the group. When he turned and saw me he came back and we continued on seeing the real Greece.

We walked through the Platka and enjoyed the beginnings of Carnival. There were kids in costume, confetti, noise makers. As we walked along we saw ancient ruins and wandered the cobbled streets. We had a lovely evening and continued site seeing until late this evening. We talked to Jeremiah and Paulie and they said they never found the Hard Rock and that they ended up just going back to the hotel and not seeing anything else in Athens tonight. They were disappointed that they hadn't come with Cory and I. They knew that we were okay since I was a seasoned traveler and were not worried about us. Paulie has made a vow that he is going to follow us like a puppy from now on. 

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Where I stayed
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Jason on

I love greece

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