29.05.2008 - 31.05.2008
We arrived in Athens airport late on a Thursday night and hopped straight on a metro to the city centre (yet another city with a working subway system, come on Auckland pick it up). Stopped off at the Omonia station to get to our hotel (hotel elite). Apparently we had forgot to consult the lonely planet (which is our travel bible) when we had booked accommodation, as a direct quote says ‘once a smart address, omonia is known today for is prostitutes and pickpockets’, we can confidently add druggies and tyrannies to that list as they are quite abundant at all times of the day. Hey, it was right next to the metro station and pretty cheap so can’t complain too much.
We only really had one day in Athens before heading to the islands so we got up bright and early for our continental breakfast of bacon on toast, greek translation = pre packaged sliced ‘ham’ (I think/hope it was ham) and stale bread. Then on the metro and off to the Acropolis.
Very impressive entrance to the acropolis
It was pretty much a follow the signs walk through of the archeological site, except that when you get to the upper level is an absolute crush with massive American and Asian tour groups all crowding round there tour guides.
While walking through the different sites, we were playing shade hopping as it was so incredibly hot, 30 odd degrees. And I hear you people from Texas and Australia scoffing at that but when you’ve been living in Scotland with an average max of 6 degrees for 6 months it’s a pretty big jump.
Oh Rachel what good posture you have
Quick Jamie hurry up or you’ll miss the prayer circle
Later that night we walked back down to plaka (touristy area) and got roped into a large (quite empty) restaurant by two very enthusiastic waiters. In fact the place was completely bare except for us, but there were lots of large long tables already set with food in front of a stage with a lone keyboardist playing Greek versions of all you 70’s – 90’s hits. Anyway we took a table up on the balcony and were told (even before we could order) the food is on it’s way… hmmm.17
Almost immediately after we were seated in came large groups of tourists, it was like looking down on a map of the world. It took us a while but when the trio of 60 something singers came out we clicked…tourist trap. There were groups of Americans, Chinese, Russians, Japanese, French, Indians, Greeks and our little two man NZ contingent hidden away up top away from any possible chance to get pulled up on stage.
Ahh well it was way over priced and the main was pretty below average but it was a crack up seeing the way the singers and dancers played up to the different tables of tourists. And the bottle of wine helped too.
Then next day it was straight up (at 5:30) and off to Piraeus to get on our ferry to the islands.
Goodbye big dirty city, hello nice sandy beaches