We got to the area of our Athens hostel around 11pm which was not a pleasant time, but trains and buses took awhile, along with my delayed flight.
When we got up the stairs out of the train station this young man help to point us in the right direction and was like 'you do know about this area, yes?' and we were like.'.. not really'. Apparantly it's not the best area. As we walked away in search of our hostel he was like 'trust no-one!'... so we were a little bit scared! We got to our hostel with very few problems so it was okay.
First day in Athens we literally left the hostel once, to get a meal between lunch and dinner. We just had a nice catch up on sleep day... cos we were exhausted from contiki!
18th: Did a bit of market shopping which was fun. Walked about 3/4 the way around the Acropolis and couldn't figure out how we actually got up, so we planned on doing it once our twin friends from contiki met up with us.
19th: Twins came last night so we all set of to our first taste of real, claustrophia-inducing markets. got some cool stuff but most of the time you couldn't pull out of the tunnel of moving people long enough to actually look at anything. People prodding you up the bum and downright barging into you... oooh it was horrible.
Walked over to the Acropolis and handed over our tickets, and were about one foot, literally, into the entrance when all of a sudden, a downpour like we've never seen before. And it didn't come on slowly! we were stuck under the umbrella at the entrance. and then all the water was coming down from the acropolis and paths and everything, and the drain just in front of us must have been clogged or something cos it was just overflowing like something chronic, and so we found rocks and stuff of poles to stand on becuase otherwise the flowing water would be at our ankles! Our poor shoes :(
Then we decided to make a break for it and ran (carefully) into a nearby cafe and had an early dinner. Moussaka yummy!!
20th: Today, third time lucky, we finally made it up the Acropolis!! Saw the parthenon and cool stuff like that.Beth called me and we talked for ages which was very cool and made me happy the whole day :)
Then we had gyros-pida wrap thing- and i discovered paprika is actually really hot by licking a large amount of it off a chip. By this time it was like 5pm and we walked back to our hostel, and we've never really been out this late because of the area- the streets are lined with men and we all looked similar- daggy shirt and shorts, no makeup, nothing particularly appealing, yet we got wolf whistelled (don't think that's spelt right) chatted to, yelled at, followed... one guy even followed us into a shop. It was really unpleasant. We just couldn't figure out what is was they were after. Even guy at traffic lights stopped and hung out the windows of their cars.
So we were relieved to get back to the hostel. Then we packed.
21st: Got up and had french toast and made our way to the train station. We said bye to the twins and hopped on the train to Thessaloniki, also in Greece.
When we got to Thessaloniki we couldn't figure out what time the train went to Istanbul, and there was no-one to ask because the station was on strike. So we didn't know when we would be leaving. Got to our 'Hotel Rex', the only available accommodation, costing us 23 Euro each, and it had cigarette burns in just about any piece of material in the room- sheets, blankets, curtains... it was really bad. The staff were nice though, a little too nice perhaps considering I rang the guy to ask how to work the phone with a phone card and he told me and then said 'you know, if you're not doing anything tonight, i'm at the desk all alone looking for some company...' and i just giggled and hung up. No way.
22nd Oct: Got up at 6.15am to head to the train station because there may have been a train at 7.15. But there wasn't. it was at 19.40. SIGH. so we left our bags at the station and had a really good day of wandering after we got over the initial tiredness. Is that even a word?? I certainly don't know.
We went to an Arch..logical museum and museum of Byzantine culture.
Talked to Damien on the phone which was very cool and made me happy all day! :)
Then we hung out at the station for a while and got onto the train. I'll explain the train in the next blog, gotta run :)
Lots of love, xoxoxo