Trip Start Apr 18, 2012
Trip End Sep 12, 2012

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Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Friday, April 20, 2012

April 20, 2012

My first day in Athens began early, at 8am. Following a hearty breakfast of delicious feta, fresh fruit and milk, and toast, I accompanied Thia Aspasia on some errands to explore Neo Heraklion (the Athens neighborhood in which she lives). Our first stop was the bank. Since crime, theft, and riots are prominent, they have very secure entrances and exists. In order to enter the bank, you must ring a bell, once the door unlocks, you step into a chamber where you are viewed through a security camera. Once you are cleared, the second door opens and you are allowed into the bank. This process can only be completed one person at a time and the same process is used when you exit the bank as well. It is very different from American banks, however, I have been told it is quite effective in preventing crime. Our second stop was the Vodaphone store, where I procured a phone and phone card. The gentleman helping me was very patient in showing me how to enter the time on the phone after I failed in doing so twice! 

Our third stop was the fresh fish market. An outdoor agora, there were many vendors selling fresh fruit, bread, meat and fish. When we reached the section with the fish, all the vendors were yelling for customers and the fish (whole and straight from the sea) were displayed on large tables of ice. After choosing three medium sized fish, the vendor beheaded and gutted the fish in front of us and then flung the entrails into a large bucket! We then went to the bakery, where many fresh pastries-ice creams and cakes and tarts-were laid out in splendid fashion. We chose diplas, kataifi and a small pastry to take home for dessert. At our last stop, I bought my ferry ticket to Heraklion at the travel agency. I will travel to Crete on Sunday. 

Upon returning home, we prepared the fish, some salad and potatoes for dinner, which we ate relatively early at 2:15pm. Aspasia and I then traveled to the port of Pireas, a 45 minute trip by metro, to see some of her family off on their trip to the island of Chios. The metro is not too different from those in the U.S., except for that most stations are above ground and incredibly clean. Pireas is very big, therefore we took the bus from Gate E6 to E3. Multiple ferries lined the dock. These boats are huge and carry both cars and passengers through the Aegean Sea to every island of Greece. The boat which we visited contained overnight cabins for passengers as well as general seating and lounges. It was quite luxurious looking and carried two decks of cars, making it about 5 or 6 stories high. Upon returning to Neo Heraklion, I located a lovely and quiet cafe with free wi-fi in order to write this post while sipping on a cool frappe. 

Who knows what tomorrow brings, but the prospect is certainly exciting!  
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Uncle Denny on

Glad to here you made it safe and sound. Take care and be safe. I'll check back on this blog for updates. Our love uncle Denny and Marie

Chincoteague Bev on


Chincoteague Bev on

Lydia, sometimes my fingers hit the wrong keys!. You certainly are a beautiful woman!
Do the insurance companies replace windshields when the oranges fall onto the vehicles? Looking forward to going along with you on your trip..... Bev

Mr. Arch on

So glad we can follow you on your adventure. Be careful and have fun.

Coach George (Dark Horse Fencing Club) on


I'll be reading your adventures with great interest. Also, until your safe return, I'm praying daily Psalm 91 for you.

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