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Trip Start Feb 21, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, April 16, 2007

After hearing about the sunken ferry a couple weeks ago, I was very glad that I'd become indecisive while in Crete, and changed my boat ticket.  Initially I was going to spend 25 hrs. on one of those creaky old boats up to Thessaloniki and then catch the bus to Istanbul at oh, I don't know, 2 am???  Yeah, NO thanks.  Instead I opted for an overnight from Santorini back to Athens.  That made me even MORE glad that I was only spending like 8 hrs on the boat, b/c this was definitely your not up to par ferry that had a bed that shook unless someone was sleeping on it (fortunately there was), and mine had a broken railing (great so now I get to fall out of bed), and oh yeah did I mention that this exact boat apparently hit some rocks or other about 4 days ago but: 'they checked it in Athens and said it would be fine'.  That's the darn Greeks for you : No Problem!  tra la laaaaaaa.  what a joke.  So I nearly kissed the ground when we finally arrived at the port in Piraes, the nearby port town to Athens.
I will say this, Athens wasn't so bad this time around.  I saw real people out, doing normal things like getting their morning coffee and heading off to some important job.  Whereas people like me spent the early hrs confusing a bank for a post office (well the logo looks simliar, what can I say??)  My morning in Athens went something like this: get breakfast, walk in the vicinity of Syntagma Square to ask for bus info to Istanbul at the tourist office only to find out it moved a good mile away, across from the National Gardens.  Fortunately before I went there, I checked out the OSE, the national railway company, who supposedly arranges buses to Turkey.  And the guy there told me the exact station the buses I needed were leaving from, although he wasn't happy about it.  And you know what?  That's the best info I got all day!!!  I finally found the new location for the tourist info (thanks out of date LP) and she was like, no you're crazy, we only have info on tourist things!  right.  this CLEARLY has nothing to do with info for tourists.  So then I headed back to Larsis train station and to the nearby Pelopponese bus station (pay attention people if you are ever crazy enough to decide to do this!) where I was finally able to buy a bus ticket, dumped my bag in an allegedly fool-proof locker, messed around on the internet, and THEN got to be a tourist for t-minus 4 1/2 hrs.

So I headed back to the National Archeology Museuem which only a week before had closed early so I missed out.  I tell you what for the 7 euros it cost to get in, it was totally worth it.  They had tons of info and artefacts of the Mycenaean peoples, and had some info as well that correlated to the Minoans of Crete, so that was cool.  They had gold plated funerary masks, tons of jewelry and small pots and sacrificial statuettes of animals as well as deity ones, all found in ancient tombs.  Too bad Aislinn was too sleepy to care.  I ended up having to stop and take a nap sittign up on a bench in the corner for a good 20min. before continuing amid the LOUD crowds of obnoxious Italian (Ragazzi!!! EY! Ragazzi! shhhhhhhhh!!) and French (Je t'ai deja dis: NON FLASH!!!) tour groups.  yeah that's fun alright.  And they say Americans are the loud ones.  Whatever man.

The museum is vast and extensive though, you could easily spend an entire day there going thoroughly through it.  I didn't even make it past the ground floor, and only breezed through the Greek sculptural area (ok apparently I'm still a bit jaded from all the Roman sculptures I saw), where I discovered this classic, classic bronzed statue that I'm sure you'd recognize if you saw.... it's like this Greek dude with a curly beard throwing probably a spear or something to his left, R. arm bent and left extended to his side, and get this, for all its famousness, the title is something like this: 'Poseidon or possibly Triton. We don't really know.'  reaalllll famous.  Well, I figured, check that off the list of classic Greek things to see....now I can leave!  And so I parted with the educational experience for one last cultural: my last stop at Savas for some killer sausage pita wrap, tzatziki and all before heading for the bus. YUM.  Now I get to sit on my butt for the next 20 hrs.  Excellent.
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