Macklen's Euro Trip
Today I got up at 9, showered, dressed, and asked the front for a big map of Athens. I talked to a Brazilian girl last night that got one from them...and it was great with ALL the little streets, etc...so when I went walking I wouldn't get lost when I walked to a certain part of town or something. The guy at front gave me this small map on a card (2"x2") and said "this is the only map to Athens you need....here is our hostel (he points)...and here is the Acropolis (he points again). This is all you need to know. Here you go." He wouldn't give me a bigger map - said they didn't ever have any. Liar! I made it on my own though. Did a walking tour to the Acropolis and the surrounding ruins. They were beautiful! Halfway through, down the hill I stopped at a cute patio cafe where I had a huge lunch to make up for my lack of breakfast (which I pretty much HAVE to have to function - but a banana was all I could find that was nutritious on the streets...since it's sunday all the markets are closed). So at this cafe I had a bit of salmon (more like a slab - it was so huge)...grilled..with rice, potatoes, tomatoes, and a glass of chilled red wine. it was perfect. because I got to people watch, and the adorable 60 year old waitor kept bowing and smiling...he smiled at all of his tables...and moved so swiftly. what a place! I got lost a little while on the way back to my hostel...after I saw the Olympic stadium - which was amazing after it's renovations for the 2004 Olympic games. So I was lost and then had to take the metro back to the hostel...I really had no idea where i was because the frigging little map did no good! Thanks front desk dude! No, it's really no big deal....I could have used my Garmin GPS mapping device...but I don't like using it on the streets because it's an expensive thing and I don't want to be targeted to be robbed, especially since I'm alone. The Acropolis was beautiful! It's on a glorious hill with a great view of the entire city, mountains, and ocean! I had no idea this place was going to be so magnificient...really! It was perfect today - a bit hot, but sunny! I saw the all the ruins, Olympic Stadium, etc. What a place! The city has just plopped itself around these ruins. It's really funny to see an ancient ruin right in the middle of the stinky, noisy, construction-zone-covered city. What a place this is! Well, I'm off to have another gyro...talk to you later! Lov eyou all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (EDITED LATER:) Yup, i had a gyro - but this time took it to the nearby park where it seems all the families and old men come out to walk, sit, play chess, and play futbol in the sidewalks. It seems to be the "thing" for old men to meander the streets, sidewalks, and parks with their hands clasped behind their backs...walking slowly and thinking of many things I'm sure. They are so cute. I've also seen multiple huddles of them around chess boards playing quietly until one player does a bad move and the whole group yells at them...it's pretty entertaining. For my dinner I sat on a park bench by myself until an older woman came up, said something in Greek to me and I motioned for her to sit down...assuming she was asking if the seat was taken. She continued to talk to me in Greek until I tried to tell her I didn't speak Greek. Haha...she kept talking in Greek...asking me questions I think...then she talked about Washington for some reason...maybe she made a trip there. But this was in all in greek again...until she said California. Then I thought she was asking where I was from, so I said Kansas - but she didn't seem to follow. It was an interesting exchange nonetheless. And she was adorable in her dark green skirt and matching blazer. Her dark brown eyes told more of her wisdom, love, and ideas that we could ever enchange in words. This was my favorite moment of today. -mackie.