Hello from Athens. What a trek it was getting here. Our flight from Singapore to Athens had been cancelled so we had to go from Singapore to Zurich and then on to Athens. I think we were in transit for well over 30 hours. Grumpy? Hell yeah.
Anyway, made it with no dramas. Have a little hotel room with a view of The Acropolis and there's a rooftop bar with a jacuzzi in the deck also with a view of The Acropolis, which looks especially pretty at night when they light it up.
We've spent the last two days seeing things like The Acropolis, the Acropolis museum, The Temple Of Zeus, the original Olympic Stadium (perhaps my favourite old thing so far), as well as getting lost... these old cities and their bendy roads... what were the ancients thinking? I was reassured to see many other tourists standing on street corners turning their maps at various angles, waving their arms in all directions and enjoying intense discussions.
We've walked lots and learned lots. The history of The Acropolis is amazing and in the museum there was a video that in one part showed the complete history in a short time and it's really powerful and sad to see what a great building/set of buildings/monument it was treated with such contempt in relatively modern times. I kinda wish Goddess Athena would come down and smite everyone who played a roll in its destruction. But that's humans, innit; destructive bunch that we are.
The Panathinaikon Stadium was great. You get to go into the stadium, onto the track, into the seats and into the tunnel where all the athletes came onto the track, and the gladiators before them. That bit was totally cool because the tunnel is an old, old cave used for pagan rituals, in particular, the local chicks nuding up and dancing about a fire to bring their perfect partner into their lives. A very cool place indeed and very cool to have been inside.
And naturally we've been eating well. I wasn't sure what to expect from Athens and guess I didn't have high expectations. We only booked three nights because many people said that was all you need, but many people were wrong. There are day tours we could have done as well as all the other stuff to see in the city, as well as just hanging out and enjoying the place. We're staying in Plaka district which is a mixture of tacky tourism and sophistication, and we also wandered down to Psiri which is where a lot of the locals seem to go to hang out in the many eateries, and both were really pleasant experiences.
I know Greece is in the shit economically, but you wouldn't know it looking around. Well maybe looking around at some of the buildings that have fallen into a state of disrepair (not just The Acropolis), but it also feels like a vibrant, bustling city that knows how to enjoy itself. It has passed expectations and we could easily stay longer.
For now, though, we have one final night before catching a 7am fast ferry to Santorini, which means getting up at about 5am. Not that time means a hell of a lot after all those time zones and lack of sleep getting here.
Funny shit has happened, so there will be funny stories coming up. But that's all for now.
Lots of love, Grumpy & The Dreaded One.
PS, check out the first trip photos here.