Sunday July 26th,
Saturday night Morgan and I caught our flight from Toulouse, France to Athens, Greece. The plane was slightly delayed by about a half hour but the rest of trip was smooth sailing. When we arrived in Athens we landed at the far end of the strip, unloaded ourselves with our carry-on luggage and then everyone was bused to the airport. This was the first time I’ve ever left a plane and not went straight into the airport, it was an interesting way of doing things. After Morgan and I retreived our luggage we found a taxi and were on our way to the Poseidon Hotel, about 40 minutes from the airport. Since we got in late we unpacked a little, planned out our Sunday travels, and hit the hay.
Sunday morning we woke up pretty early to start the day off with traveling to the Monatiraki Flea Market, I heard it was best to hit it up Sunday for great deals and better quality. And we certainly weren’t dissappointed, there were streets upon streets of the market place selling everything from the tacky travel trinkets to the authentic Greek souvenirs, luckily I think Morgan and I had a good eye for the good stuff. I walked away with authentic hand-made Greek sandals, a couple souenvirs for my friends back home, an adorable gold plated opal ring, and a croquet knit top. (Sorry mom, the top is a little scandalist, but I couldn’t resist). The best part was that I got a deal on just about everything, I saw the prices and in most cases after talking with the store owners for a bit they either through in something for free or cut down the price which was really neat. At one jewelry store we ran into an older man who told us he just went by “Papa” and to tell the clerk that “Papa said 40% off.” He was the sweetest man complimenting Morgan and I and just trying to get to know us. At the end Morgan walked out with two bracelets practically for the price of one. Papa even gave us each a kiss on the cheek as we left the store, and wished us a happy day of shopping. He wasn’t the only person who was exceptionally nice to us either. Every Greek person we talked to or asked directions from was exceptionally nice. Greece is the first country where I’ve felt this welcomed and cared for.
After our steal at the market we came back to the hotel to change and walk across the 6 lane high way to the “beach”. No worries there was a cross walk so we made it safe and sound. But as far as the beach goes; you could call it a pile of rocks with some water for a better description. I’m really not exaggerating either, the locals even say there isn’t a beach to be found on Athens. But it worked just fine for catching a few rays, Morgan and I even got some up close and personal entertainment. Just before I was getting ready to head back to the hotel these two Asian women break out in a fist fight right on the beach. At one point of of them was literally hitting the other in the head with a rock. I’ve never seen a fight in person before and it was the craziest thing in the world. Luckily a Greek woman ran up and pulled them apart yelling in Greek the entire time. Too bad the only words I’m thoroughly familiar with are “Zeta Tau Alpha”, so I was pretty lost with what was going on.
Back at the hotel we got ready and headed back out to the trams to find our way to the Acropolis. I was as giddy as a fat kid on his birthday right before cake time. I love history and the ancient sites have always been a dream of mine to see. I even watched a short video the night before about the secrets of the Parthenon. One secret being that the geometric looking figure doesn’t have a single straight line on it. Every pillar and stone is slightly curved for the structure to withhold all of the pressure. The sites on the Acropolis are all undergoing a massive restoration, especially the Parthenon which is endanger of collapsing. But besides the metal bars and new plastered caps on the cracked pillars, the Parthenon was everything I had hoped for. It’s symbolism of strength and beauty were ever so present when looking through the pillars as the setting sun snaked it’s way through the structure. It truly was a work of art.
This is the very reason why I found my art piece for Greece today. When walking down the hill from the Acropolis towards Plaka Morgan and I stopped at a couple street artists painting views of the Parthenon and other sites on the Acropolis. I fell in love with a gorgeous painting of the Parthenon with the sun setting in the background, just as it had that evening. It was gorgeous, homey, and truly embodied the Greece I was coming to love. Even though it was my first day in Greece, it seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up such a great painting. So I now have a new piece to add to my collection.
After we made our way through Plaka we ventured over to Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Morgan and I both bought passes for just 6 euros to get into every archeological site in Athens making exploring this fun city a lot more enjoyable without the extra expenses. It was fun seeing this ancient ruin that was once set on fire in an attempt to destroy it, although you can’t see that part of it today. It is still a gorgeously architectured monument. I even through up a Usan Bolt lightening bolt for good ole Zeus, the god of the Olympians and the sky. While we were walking around Plaka a lady stopped Morgan to ask her where she got her top from, it was a croqueted one from the market here in Greece. We ended up talking to this lady and her friend for probably about 20 minutes just about the states and the different connections we had; like her sister used to be a professor at Purdue. It was so fun just to sit and talk with her even if it was just for a short moment, the people here in Greece truly are the sweetest people I’ve ever met.
Morgan and I then ventured through Plaka to find a place to eat dinner. We got stopped by a man who told us if we ate at his resturant he would give us 10% off our meals, and since we are two broke college girls we couldn’t turn down another chance to save some money. And it turned out to be a great end to our first day in Greece.
Preview & Updates:
Morgan and I have tow more days left in Athens, Greece and with most of our sies accomplished in the first day we are going to relax and see everything else at a nice easy pace which will be nice. Then we will be flying out Wednesday morning to Geneva, Switzerland for another three days before we part ways and I head off to Austria solo. It’s already been such an exciting time traveling and I can’t wait to see what else the world has in store for us.