Not too long after I finished skyping my cousin (shout out to you, Meghann!) everyone arrived back at the hotel we stayed at in Athens (for those of you who are curious, the link to our hotel’s website is http://www.museumhotel.gr/) and decided to go to lunch. I hadn’t unpacked a thing, but my affinity for food often domineers such logical thoughts. Clearly, enjoying my first gyro in Athens was a bit more important than anything else. Of course, it was the best gyro I’ve ever had, and it only cost two euro. From there, the group split and I headed with a couple of people to go see the Acropolis.
Because everyone had already seen it on a tour earlier that day, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to see it due to my “tardiness.” Along the way, our group decided to stop in the Hard Rock Café and have a drink and watch the world cup. I ordered a captain and coke and when the drink arrived, it’s fair to say that, going by volume, the “captain” certainly belonged before the “coke” in the drink’s name. We finished our drinks and headed out the door to meander around. After getting lost several times on the nonsensical streets of downtown Athens, a souvenir stop, and some gelato, I had found it. I was actually looking at the Acropolis.
Mind = blown.
I showed the man at the ticket counter my International Student ID and he gave me a pass for six euro (12 was normal price). There were for-hire tour guides attempting to make their pitch, but I decided to fly solo. My fascination with actually seeing some of the things that had only existed in my world in the form of a history textbook forced me to sit down and take frequent breaks in the shade… okay it might have also had a bit to do with the defeating mid-day heat of summer. Either way, I didn’t mind. With the city of Athens sprawled out below me as well as the Parthenon beside me, my surroundings offered plenty to look at.
After an hour and a half of exploration, I met back up with the group and begin to head back. On our way, we stumbled on one of those cliché European side streets paved with cobblestone. It was full of restaurants and gift shops, but we were too exhausted to look around very much. I barely had time to shower at the hotel before dinnertime rolled around. A bunch of us went out for pizza then hung out in a plaza nearby. A couple of people from our group played basketball against locals, who kept yelling in Greek. The only thing they said in English the entire time was “f*ck me!” when a play didn’t go their way. I really hope that sounds as funny to you as it actually was.
At about 7:30 local time, I decided to head back to the hotel. I had barely slept in three days. If I was going to do anything that night, I needed a nap first. I woke up to find out that two hours had gone by and I didn’t know where anyone was. My legs were still begging me to stay off of them after my six-and-a-half hour excursion earlier that day, so I just took out my contacts and went back to bed. I woke up at 1:30 AM to find that my roommate was also wide-awake. We both decided to make use of the time and busted out our computers, responded to emails, etc. Morning came, and we were headed off to Kamena Vourla. (Again, if you’re curious, the link to our hotel is http://www.mitsishotels.com/kamena-vourla_28.htm)