Athens 2005

Athens Travel Blog

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    Don't get me wrong, I have dreamed of going to Athens since I was a little boy, but the reality of its current state and the image in my head were quite different. Athens has the history that I love: the Acropolis, Zeus' Temple, the Ancient Agora, Panathianiko Stadium (where the first Olympics were held), and more, but when I went, it appeared that the Olympics left the city in a state of flux. I went in 2005 after the Olympics, so obviously a stop would be the stadium used for the games, but when I went, the entire place was closed and my friends and I were stopped by the military trying to get into an area where we could get a better view. We actually walked about 4 miles around the perimeter and never got in.

    Then there were the dogs. I heard that the people of Athens rid the city of the strays during the Olympics, but they were back when I went. Not that they got in our way, except one that I called Athena, but they just seemed to linger. My friend Jay fed her a donut and she followed us for 30 minutes. As did a few others. At one point, on a walk up to the Acropolis, four dogs bit and scratched each other the entire way as they went in step with us up the back streets of Athens.
    It seems I'm complaining, but I'm really not. I loved Athens and all its quirks. It's part of travel. You get the real feel of a place once you're really there. So the story goes on. I had not realized that shorts were an unacceptable piece of apparel when I arrived. I found out very quickly when we sat at an outdoor restaurant with the view of the Acropolis. Everyone around was wearing black shirts and jeans. I was wearing my shorts and feeling very awkward. Since that was all I had, I continued to wear them. The next day, we went on the subway and I was sweating wearing shorts and a t-shirt. A gentleman standing next to me was wearing long pants and a sweater under a parka. It seemed sorta backwards.
    This may all seem very glum, but I would recommend Athens to anyone. You can't beat the history, the location, the people. I had some great food and good company.

O, and you can't flush toilet paper in most places...that was awkward!
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photo by: Johnpro