Easy day in Athens

Trip Start Jul 30, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, November 2, 2006

Thursday Nov 2nd
We were up fairly early to plan our days in Athens. We chatted with Sarah, a girl in the next bed and got a lot of useful info. We followed up with her at breakfast which was consisted of white or wheat breads, two flavors of jelly, a huge tub of Nutella, hard boiled eggs, tea and Greek coffee Nescafe style. We were anxious to plan our trips to the Greek Isands. We had read about the destinations, seen pictures, saw a few of the amazing postcards of the awesome beaches. But there was one problem. The weather was pretty chilly and the forecast was calling for heavy winds. Wind is the Achilles heal of the ferry system. We had heard the story that morning of three girls that went to Santorini only to find rain. They said they sat in their hotel for three days and waited for the ferry to start running again. Another option was to go to Istanbul. Asking around, we heard it was 18 hours each way. That is a long ride for 2 days in Turkey. We decided to make the beast of Athens and wait out the weather. We headed out for a quick stroll around, stopped for lunch in a little Greek diner (Kabab sandwich and a Feta sandwich and a drink for 6.70 Euro) and returned to the hostel for the 1:00 PM walking tour. The tour was led by a 22 year old guy named Nick. Go figure. Turns out he was actually from Boston. Moved to Greece four years ago with his father and recently started his own tour company - Athens Adventures. He took us on a three hour walking tour explaining the history, the monuments, giving us helpful tips and answering any questions. We stopped for what else, but a Gyro sandwich for lunch. I could not believe they were only 1.70 Euro each! They were great. We walked through the old Plaka section with its narrow streets and shops lining the street. This led to the oldest flea market in the world. We circled around the Roman Agora and up an ancient road that lead to the Acropolis. We stopped off a hug hill of marble next to the acropolis. It looked like any other rock, but on top the rough edges were rounded smooth from all the foot traffic over the thousands of years. We stood in the exact spot that St. Paul had preached to the citizens of Athens and had a phenomenal panoramic view of most of the city.
After the tour we headed back to the hostel where we were informed that we were being moved to the 'studios'. A building a few blocks away that was renovated just a few weeks before. They told us we were lucky, but did not believe them until we walked in. This place was brand new. Each unit had a kitchen, living room, two balconies, its own bath and bedroom with six beds. We figured we could really cook something good w/a kitchen of our own so we headed out on a considerable hike to the store. Along the way we stopped off and invited our new friend Sarah to dinner. It took a while to reach the store, decide what we wanted and to head back.
Near the studio we ran into Sarah, Jen and another old roommate, Jeff. They obviously had a few drinks in them and needed some food. We told them to give us twenty minutes and meet us back at our place. As we turned to walk away we heard a loud horn. Looking back we saw Sarah standing about a foot away from a bus that had crossed her path. It was a close one. Back at the studio we found two new roommates; Janeen and Carolyn. These were two ladies that took a year to travel the world. They were ten months into it and had been to many places we were planning to visit. We bounced question after question off of them as I prepared dinner for all of us. Soon Sarah and Jeff arrived and we started with the local delicacy of stuffed grape leaves. These were excellent and three people asked me were I found these. They were all surprised to hear they were from a can that I found at the grocery strore. All I did was dump them out and arrange them on the plate. The main course was breaded fish and the rest of the pasta from the night before using some wine and black olives and some parmesan in the sauce. There were no complaints, but I thought the malatavi olives made it a little bitter. For dessert we had cheesecake cover in strawberries and some local Greek wine that Carolyn bought from Il Vitro (a little shop near the apt). We all chatted for some time and Sarah offered to clean up.
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