Wednesday, June 06, 2007

LIVE Blogging: Athens!

You know what I like in a hotel? Internet access. I love that in a hotel.

So. Everything went as you would hope and expect on the flights. We all got some sleep on the overnight; the seats were less comfortable than I had expected, but Dad's pre-trip gift of inflatable neck pillows was put to extremely good use!

Our six hour layover in Frankfurt just flew - our bags were checked straight through and immigration was a quick and simple affair. We checked in for our next flight, then decided to leave the building so we could feel like we'd actually been in Frankfurt, not just the airport. A couple minutes of walking around outside, and we found a tour bus sitting there. Spoke to the driver and it turned out there was just enough time for a 2-hour city tour. Yay!

Our connecting flight actually left about an hour late. More sleeping on the plane, and we got in to Athens maybe 45 minutes late. Didn't have to go through customs or immigration; apparently once you enter the European Union, traveling between member states is more like crossing state lines than international ones.

We took a taxi, which turned out to be about twice as expensive as we thought, but oh well. The hotel had our reservation and as soon as he had run the credit card, the nice man at the desk asked us what we had planned for tomorrow. He pulled out a local map and showed us how to get to the metro, then an Athens map and showed us where to go when we got there.

We got yogurt & granola at a local grocery store, had some dinner & went to bed. We all got about 9 hours of sleep, got up at 8:00, had some more yogurt & stuff, and headed out.

The metro is clean, fast and cheap, and there's a sign for the Acropolis as soon as you step out of the station. We were told there were lots of stairs to get up there - it's the home of the gods on top of a mountain afer all - but it really wasn't that bad. You go up a little, stop and take pictures of the view, go up a little more, discover an even more amazing get the idea.

After the Acropolis we wound our way down, discovering several other sites that our Acropolis tickets also got us into. Then we visited the twisty little cobblestone streets of the tourist district, had Greek salads for dinner, bought a bunch of souvenirs and were just about ready to get back on the metro when we heard some performers in the street.

Turned out to be a group of young men & women practicing capoeira, which is a Brazilian dance/martial art that has been taught as a special activity at Robin's school. I don't think it was actually her group that was learning it, but she and all her friends are familiar with the music, the instruments, and the motions, so we stayed a while and took a lot of pictures.

As we were finally leaving, it turned out that we were late enough to see what we never thought we would: the Acropolis at night. So we walked down the street and waited for all the ruins to be lit up for the night. The pictures weren't coming out very well - even Lisa's camera has its limits - but that's what postcards are for.

Got our ferry home, walked into the hotel and asked about Internet access, and there you have it.

Tomorrow we leave for Kea, which we now know is pronounced "KAY-ah" for some beach & island time.

Glad to see the preblogging is working out - wouldn't want to leave anybody stranded with nothing to read! Lisa has taken about 350 pictures so far, but we haven't stopped off to get them put on a CD yet, so that will have to wait.


Charlotte June 06, 2007 9:07 PM  

Glad to hear you are having a fabulous time. I love Greece but have never been to Athens. Enjoy the islands!

Scott June 07, 2007 4:39 AM  

Having fun yet? I bet you guys are!!!!!

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