Greece is the word...

Trip Start Jun 20, 2003
Trip End Mar 01, 2004

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Flag of Greece  ,
Sunday, October 5, 2003

... and I think the word is frustrating. We were unsure about whether to skip Greece in the first place. It would expensive to get there and hop through any of islands via flight (since there was no way we would try any of the 15 hour ferry rides with Susan's immediate and severe motion sickness), but what would a trip around the world be if you didn't see the Acropolis? So we ignored the guidebooks which told us Athens is just a sprawling mess, brought out our credit cards and booked two night and a day in Athens. Just enough time to hit the National Archealogical Museusm and the Acropolis. So after a 12 hour flight from Rome (or, shall we say, delay waiting for a plane), we finally arrived in Athens. Nothing like pretty Rome or beautiful Paris, and a lot of smog. But hey, we're just here to see two sites and we'll be on our way.

The next morning, we wake up ready to hit Athens. After getting ready and eating breakfast, we notice a tiny sign in out hotel saying that the National Archealogical Musesum is apparently closed until 2004, in preparation for the 2004 Olympics. Okay, fine, whatever. We're flexible. And, hey, the Acropolis is just around the corner. We then walk around the corner, to find out that the Acropolis has closed due to a strike. Arrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! The best part, though, was watching the striking workers, who actually showed up for work, but simply milled around behind their iron gates and played cards. All the other tourists were pissed too, and I cheered when I saw some kids with a video camera sneak in over one of the fences and make it half way up to the site. But then the milling workers stopped their card games, blew their whistles, and "escorted" the kids out.

So we flew to Rhodes the next morning. Rhodes is a Greek island right off the coast of Turkey, and will conjure up any child's fantasy of knights and castles. The walled city of Rhodes is enormous, and the best preserved medieval stronghold in all of Europe (which is really saying something). Incredibly impressive with a real moat (not filled with water anymore, but which contains a great park - its that big.). You can actually see how difficult it would be to breach these walls, and can imagine a knight coming around the corner. We spent our few days just wandering around the walled town, with a nice day at the beach thrown in to relax. We're now done with Europe, and after a quick hour ferry ride, we will arrive in Turkey!
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