It's all Greek to me!

Trip Start Jun 06, 2009
Trip End Aug 31, 2009

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Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Monday, July 20, 2009

Well after 2 days in Venice, I decided to take a ferry to Greece.  They have a bunch of ferries that leave from a bunch of different cities in Italy and arrive in a bunch of different cities in Greece.  So I paid for the bare minimum which was the deck accommodation.  The deck consists of sleeping anywhere you can find a spot.  And let me tell you, these people were sure prepared for it.  They had hammocks, inflatable mattresses, and all kinds of things to sleep on.  They were under stairs, under lifeboats, on random couches, on airplane like seats, and under the stars.  So where did I sleep?  I fought for space on some cold hard steel deck.  At first I had a space right next to the trash cans, but later moved after a tip from some French girls.  Because this was my first time on something like this, I proceeded to find a space and hold my ground for a few hours at first.  Why?  Because there weren't any lockers for your stuff.  So I had to put all my valuables into my backpack and my big backpack was just for my clothes and what not.  So every time I would leave I asked the girls next to me to watch my pack.  After about 5 hours of sitting and reading and watching the people, I was tired and ready for sleep.  So I spread out my International Herald Tribune newspaper and was about ready to hit the hay.  Thankfully the girls next to me told me to head in a certain direction to find some empty seats.  So I did and didn't find the empty seats but I did find some empty floor which was carpeted.  At least it was warmer than cold steel.  So I tied my bags up together, spread the newspaper on top of my bags to make for a warning system if it was touched, and stuffed my passport, money, and credit cards into my pants for safe-keeping for the night.  Then I found the least smelliest shirt and used it for a pillow.  I didn't have any covers though.  And I was right next to the outside door which all the drunkards were running in and out of.  Surprisingly I actually managed to get 8 hours of sleep but had to endure waking up every hour or so and dreaming of people stealing my bags.  I woke up feeling kind of good though!  Then I gave up on guarding my pack and milled around the ship all day.  Mostly walking, eating, and reading the book Oliver Twist.  I think I got in a good 8 hours or reading so I got something accomplished.  The 2nd night I found a new place to sleep which was more secluded and better so I thought.  The dam floor shook like no other.  I thought I was on one of those vibrating sex beds you pump quarters into to make it shake.  I couldn't sleep for anything.  It didn't help that I ate a big helping of some ice cream called "Chocolate Orgy" about an hour before bed.  Dam it was good but I sure paid for it.  I ended up walking around the ship looking for a better spot and decided to move one room over.  I only managed to get about 4 hours of sleep with 3 good wake-up calls in.  So I was dam tired when I woke up. 

After landing at 5am, I hopped onto a bus to Athens and made the 3-hour journey which was kind of quick considering that I went almost all the way across the country. 

Ramble part...

I arrived to Athens kind of tired but then not really. Because what's there to be tired about.  I've been tired so much in my life just like everyone else and I am on vacation.  So as they say in the military, I sucked it up and moved on.  So I threw my pack into the hostel and headed out for the day.  I think I have a habit of heading into a new place and going straight to the biggest attraction the city can offer.  Maybe because it is the biggest attraction, and also because if something happens and I can't see it, then I still have a few more days to go back.  So I headed for the Acropolis which is the area that houses the Parthenon.  I walked up to the brand new Acropolis museum and discovered that is was closed.  Apparently along with Paris, museums are closed on Mondays.  Common sense would suggest during the high summer months these places would stay open.  But I guess common sense doesn't prevail in this case but oh well.  At least all the ruins were open for exploring.  So I followed all the people and found an entrance gate to enter into.  Surprisingly the fee wasn't too much.  I only paid 6 Euros for entrance to 6 different sites.  But that was with a student ID too.  So I made my way up the blistering no shade hill and came across some pretty cool ruins, and old theaters.  There were even a bunch of excavations going on on the hill too.  I saw some guy digging in the dirt and what not which is pretty cool.  Unfortunately he didn't look anything like Indiana Jones though.  After sweating my ass off in the crazy heat in my extremely dark clothes and black hat, I had reached the summit.  Seeing the Parthenon was really neat but some reason if didn't really hit me how cool it was until I went to the museum and learned about it the day after.  So I got up there and snapped my obligatory pictures.  I think seeing the building when it was completed must of been really an awesome sight to see.  It was so big but really had nothing left but part of the frame and only a fraction of the columns.  There also was the Temple of Athena Nike which was quite a bit smaller but had some decently preserved carvings of Athena. 

Next I wandered down the hill and proceeded to use up my other paid for tickets with other ruin sites of various Greek stuff.  Like old government buildings and other villages.  That's when I had my awesome kebab lunch with french fries.  Dam it was good!  Then I went to the Temple of Olympian Zeus which was just a bunch of big columns. 

Then I started to make my way home through the wandering maze of the city.  Stopped off for some pretty good Greek food which was chicken, rice, and veggies in a wine sauce.  Of course on the way home I got extremely lost because the map was extremely hard to read and it seemingly didn't have the roads that I was on.  But I made it home after asking numerous people.  Then I met my Portuguese roommate and we hung out downstairs and met an older Egyptian doctor.  We ended up drinking beer and talking for a few hours.  I must say, the doctor was pretty dam worldly!  He spoke almost 5 languages and sure knew a lot about everything pertaining to what we were talking about.  Which consisted mainly of traveling, and world events.  I so wish I could speak even 3 languages, or 2 for that matter.  But we had a good time together.  The Portuguese guy spoke 4 languages too.  I'm glad I know English otherwise I would be SOL. 

Today was lazy day which consisted of trying to mail some stuff back home but since the power went out on the whole street, there was a massive line in the post office and I didn't want to wait.  So I made my way to the National Museum which consisted mainly of statues.  Then I went to the Acropolis museum which only cost 1 Euro which is a bargain I think.  I learned a lot about the Parthenon thanks to a 15-minute video that was of course in English.  Apparently the Parthenon was super advanced for its time because of how mathematically symmetrical it was.  And it had a ton of marble statues all around the top and on the inside.  Complete with some really big statues of a bunch of gods on the east and west sides of the building.  And I guess the Greeks are pissed that 200 years ago a Brit named Lord Elgin stole a few of the best preserved statues and are now in England at a museum.  And the Greeks sure make mention of that fact in the video and on a few other explanations around the museum.  Long story short, they built the museum because the Brits excuse was that they couldn't give the statues back because they didn't have a proper place to put them in Athens.  Now the the Greeks do and the fight will begin now for the statues!

Tomorrow I head to climb Mt Olympus. 

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cwald on

Cool Souvenier!
Loving all the pictures, sounds like the Ferry was an interesting way to Travel. I'm not so sure about all the 'self portraits' you've taken along the way ;-)

Love Chandra

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