Greece is the Word

Athens Travel Blog

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all i ever got to see of the acropolis
I've never felt more like a jetsetter than in these last 48 hours. Wake up in Croatia, party till the wee hours of the morning in Vienna, spend the night in Athens, then run to catch a plane to Cairo the following day. It makes me tired just writing it.

It was never meant to be so hurried. But as I said, I just plain ol' ran out of time. And because of a predetermined flight out of Athens, a measly evening in Greece was all the time I could afford.

I'm not going to pretend that I now know a lot about Greek culture or everything the city has to offer. But thanks to my couchsurfing host, Thanos, I at least made the most of the time I did have.

We started off on our grand city tour in the direction of the Acropolis.
thanos
We were about an hour too late, however, and I never got closer than the locked gates. My memory of the iconic landmark is, for the time being, nothing more than a glowing pile of rocks at the top of a large hill.

After the disappointing discovery, we wandered back down to the bustling city streets and began weaving our way about town. Past shops and vendors and feta-serving restaurants. Past the changing of the guards, with their berets and skirts and funny shoes with furry pom poms crowning the toes (which used to conceal a sharp blade for combat and, I'm assuming, total obliteration of enemy shins). I crept in close to experience the guards' utter stillness first-hand. So remarkable is their inanimation, that I'd easily forget the wax figure before me was actually capable of hearing my words or feeling my presence.
funny little greek guards
It's a hands-off zone and there's a third army sergeant present to ensure you know that. Even my pretend air poke crossed the line and I was forced to erase the picture from my camera. No matter how cute I thought it turned out.

We walked past the Olympic stadium and Hadrian's Gate, and finally on towards dinner at one of those side street caf├ęs, filled with ambience and Greeks, that only a local can lead you to. Thanos did the ordering and topped it off with a typical warm, honey drink he'd been raving about. The combination of warm and honey conjured images of a tea or some equally soothing beverage and I welcomed the order. The reality of the gasoline-filled alcoholic cough syrup made every sip a struggle, until I eventually just pushed it across the table and watched in awe at the ease and pleasure with which Thanos knocked it back.
The food, on the other hand, was as deliciously Greek as I could hope it to be, and I was saddened to know I wouldn't have the time to explore more of the country's cuisine.

A quick metro ride brought us home again. Thanos prepared himself for a new day of fighting Athenian fires and I set my alarm in anticipation of a quick trip to the Acropolis before my flight the next morning. It could have worked smoothly, and I could have added a Parthenon foot picture to my collection. It all COULD have happened, if I had remembered to change my clock one hour forward to Greek time. Woops. I suppose there's always next time. It's stood on that hill for 7 thousand years. I'm guessing it'll still be there when I come back.

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all i ever got to see of the acrop…
all i ever got to see of the acro…
thanos
thanos
funny little greek guards
funny little greek guards
Hadrians Gate
Hadrian's Gate
Athens
photo by: Johnpro