Athens Travel Blog› entry 28 of 90 › view all entries
Hmm. what is there that needs to be said. Its hot, stinking hot .. and its only late may. But its a fantastic city, at least in the center. The rest seems to have been laid out by hoardes of squatters who have decided to build things wherever they thought would be a good idea to just build. But what is there, is fairly fantastic. I have to say that I am not so impressed by the city, obviously, but its famous landmarks are.. well, beyond words. Its so odd to be walking through 3,000 years of history.. the acropolis, the parthenon, the olympic stadium (although that is fairly new by comparison, only being 100+) .. the parliment building (which is also new), just an interesting mix of history, contemporary and the very old. Its like walking into a history book and well, getting majorly sunburnt in the process (although I am not very sunburnt just yet.. but that is probably to come).
So the walking tour was fairly comprehensive for being, well, not sanctioned. It appears that running tours of any kind in athens is a fairly well controlled process (mostly to make sure that foreign interlopers don't poach tourist dollars from locals). We wandered around shopping streets, saw old churches, learned a bit of history, etc. Afterwords, I wandered down the major sites, the acropolis, the parthenon and another temple to athena (goddess of athens) and down to the old agora (marketplace, with the best preserved temple in all of greece), etc. I am not sure I could properly describe the feeling one gets when you wander around some of the things you have read as a school kid.. I fear I may run out of adjectives. In any light, I did a lot of wandering around before heading off to a siesta in the middle of the afternoon, since it is rather hot here. Seriously. Hot.
So while having a good week plus of unseasonably cold weather, and rain under the belt, it was a welcome change, although with the heat comes a requisite nap since wandering around (5+ hours) seems to take a lot out of you, esp. when you're wearing some darker colors and it just beats down on you. After that, I wandered up and down the street markets before meeting up with the group for some nice food. I had a greek meatball dish in a marinara sauce, very nice indeed. Had a few glasses of wine and we wandered back to the hotel post 10pm.
Like spain, the people here do siesta and eat very late.. which is kind of mucking up my daily schedule although honestly, you do not want to do a heck of a lot during the middle of the day, it really does bake you slowly.. and well, I can now understand why people in this area wanted to conquer other places.. I mean, any place but here in the middle of the summer.
[general]: So, alexander, what do you think about conquering the germans?
[alexander]: Is it cold there during the summer?
[general]: well, it is colder.
[alexander]: Booyah, let's do it.