29 September 2008

Athens, Greece


The parthenon-a temple dedicated to the protector of the city Athene / Athena.

Yasus from Athens, the home of the acropolis built in the time of Pericles rule. Our arrival in Athens was great. We had left the cold of the Uk and Ireland and arrived in the hot Sweaty capital of the home of democracy and early thinking.

There are so many different parts that need to be described about Greece. There is the great warm weather with blue/smoggy skys, the crazy beautiful people who struggle to speak at anything below a scream, the history, the beaches, the goats, stray cats and dogs, donkeys etc.

My first memory of Athens was at the airport where we were looking for the underground to the City and i sore my first sunburnt voluptuous tourist that represents holiday makers in greece so well. She looked stunning in her skimpy blue bikini and i am sure she had a wonderful personality.

We made our way to Syntagma in Athens where were staying. The underground was great and got us within about 100m of our Hotel. We were stunned to emerge into a world of car chasing stray dogs who are all quite friendly and well fed.

We spent the next 4 days sweating like trojans waiting for Achilles to finish off Hector. There were sweat patches on me where i didn’t think i was even able to sweat. thus we found out something greece does very well that the rest of europe struggles with. Cold cold drinks are easily available and generally cheap. There are even little men of a dark colouring that sell you bottle of water from there bags of ice that they carry around and for a good price too. We visited the acropolis and the temples and the ancient agora etc, lots of broken columns and stones that are all quite impressive. The number of tourists was not too bad as it was late in season so we were not trampled too badly.

We spent lots of time walking in the plaka area looking at the identical wares of all the little store sellers. there are actually a lot of nice things to buy especially pottery and jewelry, but hard to carry around on a 6 week holiday.

The Athenians have closed the main rd that surrounds half the acropolis hill and have created a fantastic promenade that loops up around the hill past ancient grottoes, olive groves and pines. The promenade is the place to be at night where all the locals walk and smoke and smoke a bit more then rest at the cafes and tavernas and have another smoke before their lungs clear too much. We sat on the walls with the 2500 year old ruins behind us, the air scented with pine and watched all the little slapper local girls walk by, their hair teased and fluffed into amazing 80’s bon jovi rock hair styles that are apparently all the fashion. If you have straight short hair in Athens - you suck. The girls are followed by the childish boy groups who laugh and punch eachother desperately dreaming of rubbing their fingers through that fluffed up crazy hair.

We indulged in dolmades and tzatziki and pita and wine, beer, gyros (kebabs) and many other greek favourites. We did discover though that the mass tourism of greece/athens has turned the athenians into dirty stinking rotten dishonest conniving pricks. We found that if you were not careful they brought you bread that you didn’t want and could be quite expensive, dips, water all of which you would have to pay. The best place for being conned was a little taverna in the plaka that was run by a annoying, fidgety man that tried to push tourists into his establishment. He was really pissed when they didn’t respond to his pushiness. He also announced often that ’Inside - Paradise’. Unfortunately inside and out were not paradise - shitville. From then on we tried very hard to spot the rip off but we still got done a few times, just too nice and trusting from our wonderful home where people just couldn’t comprehend being so dishonest to their main source of income.

We really enjoyed Athens, the ruins, the hot chicks wearing only a bit, the food, the wine, the ouzo, the promenade and weather - 38 degrees the first day we were there.

I would highly recommend it, but beware any establishment that goes out of their way to secure your custom - they are almost certainly gonna get ya.


Part of what is left of Hadrians library, a roman building by the same guy that commissioned the big wall in the north of England. Said to be one of the greatest libraries of the ancient world


Some other old broken thing


The Odeon of Herodes Atticus - a large amphitheater on the side of the hill that has performances still. we wanted to go to one but there were no seats while we were there.


The parthenon again


A view of the temple of Hephaestus from the acropolis. It is the best surviving example of greek architecture in the agora.


The Erechthium - well preserved lady statues that are actually fake. The real ones are in the museum and look the same - not bad for 2000 years.


The rock at night from the promenade.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! So much to see - so much to do. You sound as though you have had a marvellous time. Pity about the rip-offs, just part of the adventure I guess. xxx