Monday, June 8, 2009

Greece Firsts and Half Truths

Well believe it or not Erica and I were able to get a decent night’s sleep on considering it was our first time ever to sleep on the floor of a hostel hallway. Since we still hadn’t planned the slightest bit of the remainder of our trip as of this morning we got to that as sons as we got our first shower since the morning before our 32 hour ferry (yikes). We knew that all we really wanted to do in Athens was see the the Acropolis and the rest of what’s left of ancient Greece, so with that in mind we knew we wanted to take a ferry out of Athens tonight (which is where I am now, on another ferry). Right now, after another far too exciting journey to get to our departure point (I’ll explain in a bit), we are on our way to Santorini, one the southernmost Greek islands (I think?). So that’s what we know for now, but back to today…

After figuring out what we’re doing for the next few days we headed for the Acropolis. When we arrived we entered by the Theater of Dionysis, the famous theater where the Greek comedies and tragedies of ancient Greece were performed. From there we made our way to the Acropolis, through the Temple of Athena Nike and found ourselves in front of the great Parthenon. We’re not quite a week removed from being in Rome where many of the great Roman ruins are still located, and now to see ancient Greece that is centuries older than Rome is really unbelievable. The only thing that is somewhat unfortunate, and has been true about many of places we’ve seen in Europe, is that renovation work is constantly being done on a lot of the major sites…including the Parthenon. Oh well, we could still see the entire building and got some pretty good pictures too. After the Acropolis we were getting pretty hungry (it’s quite a hike up to the top) so we headed back to the area where our hostel is located because we saw a lot of restaurants in the area; specifically we were looking for gyros. We found a great take-away restaurant where you could get a gyro for only 1.80…and let me tell you, they were fantastic; hardy, heavy, greasy, and great. Most of the food we’ve had so far has been a little lighter, so to speak. Ya know that feeling when your stomach feels really heavy, but in a good way? That’s how we felt after our gyros, which were accompanied by some really fantastic golden, buttery fries. Once we came to after our temporary food coma we went to the Temple of Zeus and then the grounds where the first Olympic Games were held, which has since been renovated and turned into a modern stadium.

After taking in what we could of ancient Athens we headed back to the hostel to get ready to head out by 5 pm in order to catch our 7 pm ferry to Santorini, thinking that was giving ourselves plenty of time. Well we caught the bus shortly after 5 heading to the port and arrived at the port at about 5:45, sort of, I’ll explain. The guy at the hostel said that the bus will “take you right there,” apparently he has a different definition of “right there” than I do. We’re finding out more and more that much of the information we get is only half-true, I’ll explain. Once we got off the bus we still had to walk about 5 blocks to the port, and once we got there we found out even worse news…we were on the opposite side of the port…we needed to be at gate 1, we were at gate 9. I don’t want to get into the whole logistics of a port, but they’re huge, and despite this fact we figured we still had enough time to walk. So we walked, and walked, and walked…30 min later we’re to gate 5 or 6. Finally we were coming up on what appeared to be the last boat in the port so we figured it was gate 1…only to find out we were only at gate 2 and that we had to go out and around to get to gate 1. Lets just say this was bad, it’s 6:45, we can’t even see where we need to go…so we run as fast as we can, stop the first taxi we see, hop in, pay 5 euros, and arrive just in time. I know this explanation was long and drawn out and probably not that exciting, but ya…we gotta stop doing this too ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. Part of that post may need to be added to your "Things I've Learned" when asking times or directions, perhaps a second opinion would be good. Or just add 30 minutes to whatever "easy" connection they promise you. Well....these sprints to catch transportation should keep your memories alive. :-) Glad you made it and here's hoping hour next bed is more comfortable than your last. For sure, in 4 nights' time you'll be sleeping in a lovely bed....