At about 2 PM on Saturday, Lisa and I arrived in Athens. We got to the city center after a somewhat long subway ride, during which I was almost pickpocketed but my insane pickpocket perception prowess aided me in grabbing the guy’s hand as it was in my purse and throwing him across the train into a pile of rubble. No, all I did was remove his hand, glare meanly at him, and move my purse to the other side, zipping it again. If I were in New York I would have pulled out the yelling, swear words, physical violence, and made a scene, but all I can say in Greek is thank you (ah-reef-kah-stoh phonetically) and I didn’t think thank you was an appropriate word choice at that moment so I remained calm. Actually, I’ve never had anyone attempt to pickpocket me in New York or even make me feel like they might want to pickpocket me.
ANYWAYS we found our hotel off a dreamy little side street next to a church and explored the Plaka area (old town) until Hayley arrived. That night we went to a restaurant recommended to us by a person who worked for a different restaurant (Greeks are honest, I guess) and had the best. feta. cheese. ever.
I’m not a particular fan of feta. Unless we keep our contact time brief, we usually don’t get along, but in Greece I found myself eating it by the spoonful every single day. My mouth is watering. Then we tried Moussaka, which is a traditional dish of the greeks that kind of reminded me of lasagna without pasta, and to the Cloyd girl fam, reminded me of Shepherd’s Pie but with meat. Not really my thing, as it turns out.
Then the next day, we walked about 10 minutes and saw:
Gah! Can you believe it!? And since it was low season, it was free!
Usually this is the part when I would divulge some sort of academic information to prove to my parents that I’m not just running around Europe sampling different wine, beer, cheese, and pastries (which actually, sometimes feels a little like what I AM doing. Btw, had the best baklava in Greece. BEST. Am considering special ordering for my nonexistant far-off wedding and replacing wedding cake with baklava), but there is just too much about the Acropolis to even try. In ten words or less: Ancient evolving meeting place destroyed and rebuilt, for the gods. Even that tells you nothing! But read about it here and be amazed.
That afternoon we went to the New Acropolis Museum (no photos, please) which just opened last summer! It’s organized chronologically so you walk through and learn how and when the different buildings of the Acropolis were built and why, alongside some pretty awesome archeological finds, of course. It was sad to see all the plaster molds everywhere of all the important artifacts that the British Museum has, and while I was there I was definitely like “Hey! Give it back to Greece!” But what about all the people who would never have seen any of it if it wasn’t in Britain? On the same note, I’m glad the French gave back most of the art they stole from the Italians (well, the Italians went and physically got it, but this was back when that was actually plausible if you had a big enough scary guy on your side). In the end, I think the Britains will most likely never give back the artifacts they have from Greece, as it would seriously diminish the British Museum’s claim to fame, but I would be glad if they did. Anways, amazing museum. Definitely a favorite moment of the trip. Plus, since Lisa and I are EU students right now, it was free! (Are you sensing a trend?)
The NEXT day, after another great dinner and free dessert cause we’re awesome, we meant to go see the rest of the Acropolis buildings and the Ancient Agora but got sidetracked.
We also only have half a day because we had spent the morning figuring out our travel situation for our next day adventure to Paros (coming soon).
AFTER our return from said island, though, on the very last morning of our trip. Hayley and I go up super early to go see some last minute monuments before taking off.
After that we hurried over into Plaka so I could by myself some Greek silver! I read before I went that Athens is the place to buy jewelry and it really is. Pretty little spiral posts (meaning life is never ending in Greek symbology), silver for 5 euro? Intricate hoops in a geometric patter meaning the same thing for 15? And a beautiful hammered necklace pendant as well. So awesome. Then off to the airport to fly back to Italy!
Coming soon: Paros and Santorini interlude!