Athens, Day 1: Tricked at the Pub Club
Athens Travel Blog› entry 3 of 12 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!