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Day 4 - Entering the big city


Location: Athens

We have moved on to the big city.

We drove our little rental car along the gorgeous coast road for about two and a half hours, including a pit stop at Agia Marina for an iced coffee on the beach. The water has such interesting colours, and the colors change every bay. In one of those bays, David finally found where he had left his mega-yacht. He was much relieved.

The crazy Athens traffic began sooner than we expected, with the fearless, helmet-less motorbikers causing the most gasps of shock and sadness for their imminent demise. We got lost once, quite far into town and in solid, lane-less gridlock, but since Athena has discovered the similarities between the Greek and Russian alphabets, she was a great navigational asset.

We found our adorable, marble-staired pedestrian street right under the Acropolis and met our Airbnb host, Dionysia. (How apropos is her name given that her home is less than 300 metres from the Theatre of Dionysus?) She is a charming, highly educated, childless Greek in her mid to late fifties, with a cute labyrinth of a house built in the 19th century (see photos on the link above). It has seven doors that lead outside and seven sets of stairs (some only two or three steps, but two of them 12 steps, one of those outside and the other one inside), with art on every wall and piles of books in every room.

We decompressed for awhile and then headed out for a walk down the Dionyssio Areopagitou, the pedestrian walk that loops the Acropolis. We found ourselves at the Areopagus around sunset … and that seems to be the time to be there. We stayed amoungst all the young lovers long enough for the sun to sink and the kids to get uncomfortable.

On the Apostolou Pavlou, near the Agora, we snagged a fantastic outdoor table with a stunning view of the Parthenon. We were seated in time to see the lights to come on, but the real beauty was watching the huge full moon rise up out of the temple.

Our waiter was very sweet. He implied that business down by about two thirds compared to five years ago. We tried to leave around 11, and asked for the bill, but instead, he brought out two huge ouzo and an enormous waffle covered in four scoops of ice cream smothered in chocolate sauce and icing sugar.

We waddled back to our lovely apartment pretty late but happy to have arrived and be welcomed in Athena’s great city, the start of all things ‘western.’