09.23.2009 27 °C
Last night, after uniting forces at the airport (very fun! Mom learned how and why to validate her bus ticket!) we found our way to the hostel. After forcing our excited selves to sleep last night after 3 am, we all woke up at 8am this morning. We went downstairs to see if we could get on the walking tour, and had an ok breakfast at the hostel. We did a little souvenir shopping and then headed out on our would-be 5 hour walking tour of Athens. It was really, really good though, just us and an Israeli couple, and we learned tons of stuff about Athens we not only didn’t know, but never would have found. The landmarks are relatively spread out (or so they seemed on the tour) and our guide did a great job of showing us around. We had such a funny day, especially because the three of us each got in trouble once. I went wandering into a room inside one of the sort of formal buildings of Athens looking for a washroom, and got talked to by a guard. Mom posed with a statue inside the ancient Roman Agora with her hand near the woman’s breast, and got told not to do that, with a pointed finger and all. And Kristal got kicked out of a church because her skirt was too short. TOO FUNNY seeing as how she’d asked my opinion in the hostel earlier if it would be ok. I said minus the cat-calls, she’d be fine. Oops! We did actually have a few creepers today, and I’m a little more defensive toward them now that I have backup. Anyways, besides seeing all of the major attractions of Athens (all truly remarkable to think how early they were built!), we saw olive and pomegranate trees, mom saw her first gypsies, and we saw quite a few big, stray dogs.
We had so many funny moments, and it really made me glad they were here, even though sometimes I wanted to scream either, “We’re NOT tacky American’s, despite what this looks like.” Or I simply had to explain that the ladies just got off the boat from Canada, and that the excitement would wear down eventually. Like mom taking pictures of every single old rock in Athens. By the end, even she was saying, “Oooh, what’s over there? More boulders? Okay, moving on!” FUNNIEST quote of the day though… we’re walking in our first big ruin site, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and we’re admiring the 16 still-standing giant pillars and the ornate carved details at the top of them, built around 100 CE, and mom goes (very matter-of-factly), “So, they must have used moulds for those, hey?” MOULDS. FOR THE SOLID MARBLE PILLAR TOPS MADE ALMOST 2,000 YEARS AGO. Kristal starts crying of laughter. I’m like ya, mom, and they cut the marble out of the mountains using chainsaws. No, but I’m like, “No, mom, they carved those by hand!” She’s like, “No way, why would they do that? That would take forever!” I’m like no kidding! Hence why these things took hundreds of years to make! And we’re not talking about erecting 50 foot high pillars 2,000 years ago, we’re just talking about the leaves carved into the marble. Too funny; unfortunately for mom that one’ll stick for a while.
After the tour, we got some bad directions for the way home (“3 lefts and a right!”) and ended up doing a huge loop extra to get back to the hostel, on our already tired feet. We made it better by shopping though, picking up a few souvenirs, and some olives and wine to snack on in the hostel. Later we went to dinner at the restaurant next to the hostel, and had some traditional Greek food like Greek salad, dolmades, Kristal had souvlaki and tatziki, and we drank free wine and had fruit for desert. Our waiter put bread on the table, and I told the ladies if we were to eat that, he’d charge us for it, and that’s it’s not like home and we just get free bread. Then when we got out bill we couldn’t read any of his handwriting, and there were exta charges than we had ordered, so we asked and sure enough he’d charged us 3.60 for the bread we didn’t eat! I was like ya right, buddy! Nice try! So there was a big confusion with the bill because then they ended up still charging mom’s mastercard for the bread, and we were like thanks anyways! We had sips of cheap ouzo before bed, and headed off!
Last night at 4 am, we get this rattling on our door, and I must have been having a bad dream because I think we’re getting robbed, so I get up and hold the door closed, and was asking my mom to come help me. A Spanish woman on the other side was saying that this was her room, and we were like “No, it’s not!” because I also thought I had booked us a private room. So she goes down to the front desk again, and my heart was pounding; it really freaked me out for some reason! And she comes back up, with the late-night guy (who’s fairly grumpy anyways) and he goes, “Ladies, this is NOT just your room!! You have to share it!” And I obviously would have been fine but I seriously freaked out and thought she was maybe a housekeeper trying to get in and rob us in our sleep or something, I donno but the guy was quite rude for yelling at us, and we explained that we had just woken up startled. It’s all good, just a weird story now! And we had to get up early anyways as our boat to Santorini leaves at 7:30 J