6/10/08

05.17.08: The Plaka & Acropolis

A novelty of traveling during the low season, we woke to the sweet sound of a weed whacker. The hotel gardener was fastidiously ridding the veranda of an overgrown yet barren tree. We dressed, had breakfast (a cat or two nearby for company) and journeyed through the Plaka shopping for sandals and cotton shirts as recommended by Angela’s friend, Helene. Following Nikodimou one block west to Adrianou then over to the Acropolis walkway; it’s fair to say you cannot walk too far in Athens without stumbling upon a ruin of some sort.

The uphill trek shortened by residential staircases was hot, and it’s not even midday. We make it to the entrance to find the site overrun by American and Japanese tourists. Cursing ourselves for having no water, and climbing the dusty roads in flip-flops, we are rendered speechless by the temples and ruins of civilization before us like markers on a three-dimensional time map. The Acropolis is magnificent…golden in the morning sun the view of Athens picturesque. It’s amazing that we have come this far …

We make it back to the hotel with time to spare, Spiros loads us into a cab and we are off to Piraeus port to board the great orange boat.

The big orange and gray boat ought to have been painted yellow as in a yellow lemon but I’m getting ahead of myself...check-in at the port terminal was relatively easy as was boarding the boat. Bags in tow we waited nearly an hour for an elevator, I decided to go ahead with some of the bags (of course the lift arrived soon after I began the four flight ascent to Cabin 7120). An omen perhaps but the real shocker came when a buffet dinner was served to nearly 400 people and they ran out of food (of course Kristin and I were in the queue)—on the first day! Thank goodness we packed Kashi granola bars and a bag of almonds, we would have starved.
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