Athens, Day 3: Museum, Markets and a New Friend
Athens Travel Blog› entry 5 of 12 › view all entries
Scottie and I met for breakfast, then were off on another adventure. We decided to start at the Archeological Museum and to take the subway system to get there. Scottie had never ridden a subway before, so was a little nervous. The subway was fairly new, very clean and fast! We found it very easy to get around. Scottie loved his first trip on a subway! LOL
The Museum is just off Omonia Square and as it was a beautiful day, it was a nice walk. On the way there, we saw a store for the Italian mobile telephone service, "TIM" (Telefonicos Italiano Mobilia), and I had to have my picture taken there because of the name!
The Archeological Museum is huge -- with lots of pottery, jewelry, weapons and statues. We learned a lot about Greek civilization and history and spent about two hours exploring the exhibits.
We walked back to Omonia Square and found a Greek diner for lunch. Scott grabbed a table and I went to the counter to order. Scottie wanted a chicken gyro. I went up and ready the menu -- saw there were only two choices -- gyros and gyro platters. I asked what it was and they said "meat." The difference was that the platter had french fries, tomatoes and tsatsiki in addition to the gyro. So, I ordered two. Scottie took a look at what I delivered and thought the meat was a little dark for chicken. And I said it was all there was, and that it was probably lamb. He refused to eat it. I thought it was delicious! He did eat his french fries.
We continued our walk down to the market place. It was really amazing. Stacks of fruits, vegetables, olives and spices. And there was also a huge meat market with raw meat in open air. Skinned goats, plucked chickens, pigs feet, and goat's heads, with pieces and parts everywhere. I smapped some good photos here, as I did not think people at home would believe the meat market section. Scottie only lasted about 15 seconds in the meat market part -- the sights and smells were too much for him!
We found the Flea Market at the Little Monastery ("Monastriki") and walked through. It was interesting, but I did not find anything I could not live without. Next, we walked through the Ancient Agora.
We shopped in the Plaka on our way back to our Hotel. I got some t-shirts for my sons, some "evil eye" tokens (a blue glass pendant with an eye in the middle that is supposed to ward off evil), a vase with erotic art (a replica of one I had seen at the Archeological Museum) and some playing cards.
We decided to walk back to the Hotel instead of taking a shuttle so we could see the Temple of Zeus and Hadrian's Gate. It turns out those areas were closed at 2:00 today, and it was now 5:00. We were able to get some nice pictures through the gates though.
I had called an Athens friend of a friend (back in Austin) the night before to see if he wanted to join us at dinner tonight. His name is Stelios, and he agreed to meet us when he got off work. Scottie and I got back to the hotel around 7, showered and changed clothes and met Stelios in the bar. He's a very nice guy and speaks excellent English. He teaches French to students at a private school in Athens. He and my friend Alex (who is also Greek, but teaches at the University of Texas in Austin now) met while both were studying French in Paris.
We left the restaurant around midnight and Stelios took a taxi home (he had to teach again the next morning), but he wanted to get together again the next night for dinner with us. Scottie and I found another dance club and stayed out until 3:30 chatting and dancing with some of the locals. It was a very fun night.