Athens, Day 1: Tricked at the Pub Club

Athens Travel Blog

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The Syntagna (Greek Parliament)

I arrived in Athens about 1:30pm local time.  Clearing customs was a breeze, my bag made it just fine, and I caught a taxi to my hotel, the InterContinental Athens.  The fare wasn't bad -- 22 Euros.  Sure, the subway would have been cheaper, but it was quite a walk to the hotel from the nearest stop, so I elected to take a cab. 

The InterContinenal is a 5 Star hotel that has a great view of the Acropolis.  It's not in the center of things, but not so far away that it makes it inconvenient.  I had a great room -- king sized bed, a nice living room area and a big bathroom.  Best of all, its on the same floor as my friends, Scottie and Paul.

Posing with the Guard
  They have a huge suite since Paul is working the convention.  It even has a patio with an amazing view of the Acropolis.

Paul was working, so Scottie and I decided to venture out and see some of Athens.  Scott had been there a couple of days, but had been helping Paul set up for the convention and had not seen much yet, so he was anxious to get out.  We caught a hotel shuttle down to the Greek Parliament building, the Syntagma.   It is straight down Syngfou Street (Constitution St.), across from the big hotel, Gran Bretagne.  I got some nice pics there of the Parliament building, its guards and all the pigeons flocking the area. 

Next stop was the Plaka District.  I understand that the Plaka is one of the older, tonier, more desirable areas of Athens.

Pigeon Man!
  It sits right at the base of the Acropolis.  We walked around the Roman Agora (marketplace) and the Ancient Greek Agora and spent a lof of time looking for the "Bath House of the Winds" which somehow we did not find.  We walked up the hill to the Acropolis, but it was closed by the time we got up there, so did not gain entry.  The Acropolis is incredibly beautiful all lit up at night.  Lighting absolutely makes the marble glow! 

Back in the Plaka, we found a nice bar called Aleko's and stopped in for a drink around 9pm.  It was empty and the bartender told us that no one comes out until 11:30 or midnight.  We had a gin and tonic, and then the bartender bought us another one.   He gave us some good tips about things to explore.

Ancient Agora

We were walking back toward the Syntagna and looking for a restaurant when a short stocky guy stopped us and started chatting.  He asked where we were from, and I told him Texas.  He told us he loved Texas and really started talking then.  He told us about working in oilfields in Texas and Saudi Arabia -- and then invited us to have a drink in his bar around the corner.  He lead us back down the street to a hole in the wall bar, tucked away from the main drag.  It was called the "Pub Club" and was no bigger than a small bedroom.  There was a small bar with 4 stools and two booths.  There was a woman seated at each booth and a woman bartender -- but no one else.  Our "host" invited us to have an Ouzo -- introduced us to the bartender, magically named "Dallas" -- and he promptly disappeared!  Dallas told us how much she loved Texans -- and then invited the ladies in the booths to come over and poured them a drink.

Roman Agora
  One of the ladies was an older, taller, unattractive woman who took a shine to Scottie (he's 6ft 5in tall).  The other woman was a bit younger, blonde, prettier, but certainly no beauty queen.  She sat down by me.  I am pretty gregarious by nature and chatted with my new friend a bit.  Scottie, on the other hand, immediately tensed up and stopped talking.  The woman next to Scottie asked him how tall he was, and put her hands together, then stretched them out both vertically and horizontally in a not so oblique reference to other parts of his anatomy!  Scottie did not understand at first, so she did the horizontal movement again -- he thought she meant shoe size -- so he responded "fourteen".  She nearly choked!  LOL!!  The ladies then wanted another drink from Dallas, and I said that Scottie and I had to go, we were late for dinner.
The Acropolis by day
  Dallas then presented me with a bill for 60 Euros!  I flipped out -- told them they were nothing but a freaking scam -- we had not agreed to buying the "ladies" a drink -- left them 10 Euros and took off.  I was pissed at myself for not calling a halt to the nonsense earlier, but we ended up laughing about it later -- plus we got a good story out of it!

We ended up having dinner at a taverna called "Vitro" around 11:30.  We had traditional Greek salads, tsatsiki and a bowl of olives to start, the souvlaki and mousaka for our mains.  We also had a nice Greek merlot.  Dessert was creme brulee.  All very good. 

We found a dance club on the square (the name of which I never learned) and stayed out until 2:30 drinking and dancing with some of the locals.  It was a crazy intoduction to Athens!

sylviandavid says:
The Pub Club probably gets away with that scam over and over.... Luckily you were with a second person so you escaped.... good job. sylvia
Posted on: Jun 14, 2009
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The Syntagna (Greek Parliament)
The Syntagna (Greek Parliament)
Posing with the Guard
Posing with the Guard
Pigeon Man!
Pigeon Man!
Ancient Agora
Ancient Agora
Roman Agora
Roman Agora
The Acropolis by day
The Acropolis by day
Guard at Greek Parliament Building
Guard at Greek Parliament Building
Scottie at the Syntagna
Scottie at the Syntagna
View over Athens
View over Athens
Pigeons at the Syntagna
Pigeons at the Syntagna
Ruins near the Agora
Ruins near the Agora
Scottie on the trail to the Acropo…
Scottie on the trail to the Acrop…
Athens Hotels & Accommodations review
Intercontinental Hotel Athens
The Intercontinental Hotel in Athens is rated 5 Stars, and I would agree. It is not centrally located, so you will have to rely taxis or shuttle serv… read entire review
Athens
photo by: Johnpro