The End of an Era

Trip Start May 22, 2009
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Trip End Feb 16, 2010


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Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Friday, November 27, 2009

Just like the time of the Greek’s rein had to come to an end, so must our time here.  I have really enjoyed our time here and wish that we could stay a bit longer.  But c’est la vie!  Onto new things.

But before we went, we had to pay homage to some of the most amazing sites in Athens:  those found in the Acropolis.  So much to see!  And unfortunately for us, not enough time.  With a ferry to catch, we had to be on our way.  Of course, the one time on our trip that I actually bought tickets in advance is the one time I would have liked to have flexibility to stay longer.  I had been misled into believing that there was only one ferry leaving on the 27th, but in reality it leaves everyday. 

But we did the best we could - running through the Acropolis sites, dodging tourists left and right, always with one eye on the clock. 

Impressive to see and a ‘must do’ on any trip to Athens, it is exactly the opposite of what I have been describing of the other places we’ve been.   Crawling with people walking on raised wooden ‘tourist approved paths’, ‘do not touch the marble’ signs every 10 feet, mountains of scaffolding, cable barriers around the ruins, and whistle blowers everywhere you looked. 

Even so, once we got out of the Parthenon area, things quieted down.  One of our favourite finds was the temple of Hephaestus.  For those of you needing to bone up on Grade 9 Mythology, Hephaestus was the son of Zeus and Hera, but he was hideously deformed and Hera couldn’t stand the sight of him and banished him from Olympus.  He had a great affinity and talent for metallurgy and became the god of this being the only one who could forge the infamous and all important lightening bolts for Zeus to use.  Of course, Brian being a smith wanted to see this building.  And lucky for us, it’s in almost perfect condition and almost more impressive than the Parthenon because of this (and only one or two other gawkers). 

It is incredible to think that these things that were built almost 3000 years ago can still be standing in usable condition today.  Absolutely nothing that we make these days should be around even 50 years let alone longer!  But I guess when you’re building out of solid stone it makes a difference. 

I have greatly enjoyed my time here in Greece with the friendly people and layed back atmosphere.  Everyone is easygoing and never rushes anything.  We were able to absorb a little bit of this by cycling less each day and taking more rest days.  We didn’t get as far, but I think we have some more memories. 

I will always remember Greece as the place where I began to love olives, the place to buy the cheapest wine ever, anciet sites abound, and where the skies are almost endlessly blue and each day ends at the sea.  Beautiful sunrises and sunsets, days spend wandering the beach, and getting to know fellow cyclists and campground owners like never before. 

‘Andio, Greece!’  You will be missed!
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