Athens shopping

Trip Start Dec 27, 2012
Trip End Mar 26, 2013

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Flag of Greece  , Peloponnese,
Thursday, March 14, 2013

Today was our day to get the last of our souvenirs and presents (except for on the cruise but not sure what the islands will offer) and our free day exploring Athens. Tomorrow we have a city tour though and that includes entry into a lot of historic sights after the conclusion of the tour so it is pointless for us to do too much sightseeing today as we would be unnecessarily paying to see stuff. As we didn't have an early morning pick up/breakfast interruption we were able to have a leisurely breakfast and we had time for Skype calls home before we started our wandering.

We set off and the first area we were headed to was the Plaka region which is like the old windy area of town and today there is a market area here and lots of souvenir shops. It wasn't very far from our hotel and I found the region really easily but we wandered around the little streets for quite awhile before we found the main shopping area, just because we didn't know what specific street we were looking for. We both went slightly crazy with the shopping actually, I think because we are nearly at the end plus Greece is all pretty and coastal so the have lots of beautiful souvenirs. We spent quite awhile here and we went into basically all the tourist shops! Then we decided to sit and chill for awhile before going to the more mainstream shops (just for a look plus I broke my belt and needed a new one - fatty) and a lovely tabby cat joined me for our rest. He head butted and pawed me and then went to sleep.

After this we walked into the main area of town and I got my belt. The big central square area called Syntagma square is really nice, it all open and lots of places to sit plus the parliament building is straight behind it. We went into a few shops and just looked around as we didn't really need anything. It was weird though we saw heaps of cops and doe were like their crowd control type gear with the shin guards and the big plastic shields. Also the area in front of parliament was fenced off. We expected a protest or something and so we left pretty early but we honestly didn't see anything. Someone told me later there was a march type thing but it dint get violent at all apparently. Also as we were walking out of the main mall I got stopped by a tv crew and had to answer random questions on poets day and sleeping day. I think it was the channel with the fan type thing as a logo but I'm sure ill never find my potential moment of fame!

We then went to parliament to watch the changing of the guard. The area is usually more open but today there was a fence along the front but we still had a great view. I find the outfits kind of a weird contrast: they are big tough men, wearing dresses and pompom shoes carrying automatic weapons. It got weirder and funnier as the changing started though. They do these big high kick things so they look like birds or maybe insects, they really should just march because I was getting the giggles! It was rather hilarious and I don't think it was meant to be.

On the way home we stopped to get photos with Hadrian's Arch and the Temple of Zeus as these sights are basically in the middle of town and they are fairly straight forward in that you don't need to explore them as such. We then had a fairly quiet evening in the room as we have a few big days coming up. I had a packet soup left so I could eat that and save some money and we just watched tv and played games and stuff until bedtime.
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