Athens

15th-18th of August

Day Thirty-Eight to Forty-One

We left for the airport at 11am as that was the time to check out, the owners of the apartment arranged a car for us which made it nice and easy. We didn’t check in till 1:30 but we are getting good at hanging around terminals and killing time before transportation. I fell asleep as I always do when I have to wait for something.
Soon we were able to check in with our “speedy boarding” on easy jet (again cannot tell you enough how worth the money this is!) Few people were giving us evils for not queuing up but thats really their fault haha and then we were brought through the gate first to line up for the bus to take us to the plane.
When the bus came us “speedy boarders” were brought on first and ushered into a section of the bus that was taped off so no one but us could get in hahaha …. this speedy boarding stuff really does make you look like a bit of asshole to be honest haha but again worth the money. We drove on, seeing somebodies bag dropped on the tarmac (now thats professional!)
Then we had to wait in the heat of the bus watching the unload of the bags from the last flight. When they finally let us out they wouldn’t open the doors for the normal non-speedy passengers, as you can imagine people were yelling haha awkward … I’m talking like 10 euro difference in payment and your treated very differently haha. The whole thing was very badly organised and then we missed our slot to take off. So we were delayed two hours!
Soon we arrived in Athens, sunset and it is beautiful, even at the airport its very pretty! Pastel coloured skies and I have a nice feeling about this place! We went to our apartment by the metro. It’s basic but just what we need; washing machine, tv, bed that will pretty much do it!
We went for our first Greek meal of greek salad, grilled haloumi cheese and Rhys had a very authentic … hamburger haha! Great food though, Rhys got pooped on by a pigeon 3 times before we left which made my night, but I’m not sure he thought it was as funny hahaha
The rest of our stay was lovely! The food is amazing! I know it sounds terrible but I wasn’t expecting much of the food in Greece, thats maybe why I have been so impressed here and so disappointed at some of the other countries we have been to, I need to stop thinking I know what to expect in food over here because I don’t, its very different to home.
We have eaten in a few places near our apartment with great success. Even cheaper cafes seemed to hit the mark with great flavours.
After we decided we should eat somewhere a little fancier so we have also had some more expensive meals like GB rooftop bar. The view from here was spectacular! Panorama of all of Athens.
The food was even better! Their scallop dish was so vibrant in colour and in flavour! Huge scallop fan here! and I was very impressed. The whole meal was good, even down to the oil and balsamic holder! Rhys is now a huge lover of balsamic vinegar, Kirsten and Krystle you would be proud!
During our stay we saw the acropolis and it’s museum, we walked the streets and learned the history. We boutique shopped, too much and ate too much! We walked for hours with too much to see that we didn’t want to stop! We found amazing strips of restaurant that seemed to never end, all beautifully decorated. We watched soccer in almost every restaurant, lucky Rhys. We checked out the main parts of the city and got to see all the main attractions. A pretty successful Athens adventure I would have to say!
Athens is beautiful! There is so much pride in their city and country here! I don’t know whether the riots changed something? but the attitude of the people here seems very united and very happy, from my perspective anyway. I have heard from others that they didn’t feel very safe here but I had a very different experience.
The best part of Athens, you need not ask, but it has to be the stray dogs. In Europe you see so many dogs, everywhere but they always have those pesky owners with them that won’t let you pat them, the dogs that is. In Athens I was confused because the first 3 dogs we saw, no owners, collars on, very clean and I was confused, were these dogs lost? After seeing about 6 I decided some research needed to be done and I found a huge amount on this website
You will get most of the information here about them, but seeing it is very cool! The people in Athens have really embraced the dogs and they care for them as if they are pets. Even fancy hotels don’t mind if a couple dogs sit outside their doors in the shade and keep the doorman company. Mcdonalds wont hold a grudge if a dog is hot and wants to sleep on the stairs inside by the air con and people lie in the park in the shade and pat these friendly animals, give them water and feed them too.
The ones with collars are monitored, neutered and are easily known as friendly dogs. There has been many stories of people taking them home to keep and even people who visit from overseas taking them home with them and yes they pass all the health checks before they leave the country and they don’t have rabies as many might think.
There is some sad facts about these dogs, many have been poisoned and a lot don’t survive the colder months, but there are shelters who dedicate their time to care for them, and there are more positive stories than sad ones here.
Rhys and I decided we should feed as many as we could find, we bought an extra cheeseburger at Mcdonalds and used half of my chicken burger, I scraped the ketchup, pickles and onions off and broke everything into little bits. We called it “operation chicken” not sure why haha we headed down the main strip in town and it wasn’t long till we found a few. I placed a bit of chicken by the nose of three dogs, some of them woke looked at me like I was an idiot and then went back to sleep.
Ummm … didn’t think it would go this way hahaha asleep or not as soon as Baxter smells food he eats ahaha these dogs didn’t care for it. We didn’t mind though, it was hot, and you must let sleeping dogs lie. Now they can smell the food and have sweet dreams of chicken and there is a snack when they wake! We left the rest of the contents of the food in the park by a tree for the dogs to find later. I now know these dogs must be pretty well fed already though.
While in Athens we spent too much of our time at the metro mall, which is a completely illegally built and operated shopping centre and its amazing! haha 4 levels of clothing outlets, all great brands, including Rhys’ new favourite place in the world “Pull&Bear” and a rooftop garden level that has one of the best views I have seen on the trip! Full panoramic view of Athens and as the sunsets and the music is playing up there with the 10 or so restaurants and bars full of people laughing and drinking, its a pretty cool place to be … and its in a mall? wow! We watched Harry Potter in English here too which was fantastic!
We went to get a bite to eat in the busy strip near the acropolis then headed back for an early one because it was our last night and we have an early start tomorrow, 5am wakeup to get to the port to get to Mykonos.
Or so I thought … I managed to drag Rhys out of bed get ready, left our keys in the apartment to check out, caught a cab to the port and met the busabout group and settled in. I was pretty excited about getting to Mykonos, we met our guide and she started handing out out itineraries, after when we didn’t get one I asked if she had one for us to discover we weren’t on her list!
Worst case scenarios were floating through my head and I started to worry. What if they had missed us and we don’t get a ferry transfer and it stuffs up all of my accommodation arrangements. *breath* I bring out my paperwork, check the date and I am immediately embarrassed. We are a day early, we weren’t even meant to leave the apartment till tomorrow. URGHH haha so we caught the metro back and had to wake our apartment representative to get back into the apartment and he didn’t seem very pleased about it on the phone, but oh well! They brag 24 hour service so we are going to use it … hahaha
We slept for a few hours and then when we realised we had an extra day we wondered how could we best spend our time. It was unanimous … Metro mall!
HAHA! In the beautiful city of Athens and we are hanging at the mall! We bought some more clothes and caught another movie. Only problem was one of the cinema staff remembered us from the day before, asked us if we had seen any of Athens and told us how beautiful it is, gave us a book on athens tourism haha he was having a laugh but it was very funny that we were told by a 15 year old that the mall isn’t the best place to be hanging out hahaha
We had a bite to eat in the upstairs garden and soon we went home to get some more sleep for our second early morning in a row… URGHH
Next we are onto Mykonos! Can’t wait! Maybe we will find another mall there? haha just kidding!
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