Freaking hot

Trip Start Jul 07, 2008
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Trip End Aug 05, 2008


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Where I stayed
near Neos Kosmos, private appartment of couchsurfing.com member

Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Tuesday, July 8, 2008

POLSKI:
Zawsze chcialam zobaczyc Grecje. To bylo marzenie mojego zycia. A Balkany to moja specjalizacja na studiach i pasja. Kiedy wiec po kwietniowym wyjezdzie do Rumunii i Istambulu moj przyjaciel Marcin oznajmil: "to co Bogna, w lipcu jedziemy do Grecji, a potem na Balkany, autostopem?", nie wahalam sie ani chwili. Mielismy zebrac wieksza ekipe, ale ludziom plany sie pozmienialy i w koncu pojechalismy we dwojke.
Spotkalismy sie na dworcu w Opolu, gdzie dosiadlam sie do pociagu, ktorym jechal z Wroclawia Marcin. W Krakowie spotkalismy sie na kawe z moja przyjaciolka Ola i jej narzeczonym Bartkiem, a potem jazda na lotnisko Balice. Marcin marudzil, ze tyle sie czeka na poszczegolnych etapach (check-in, kontrola paszportow, kontrola bagazu podrecznego itp.). Wszystko to po to, zeby leciec 2h10min.
Z lotniska w Atenach odebral nas Antonio, host z www.couchsuring.com i zawiozl do siebie do domu - godzine drogi od lotniska. Poszlismy spac o 5:30, a wstalismy o 10tej, bo bylo juz zbyt goraco. U Antonia nocowala jeszcze wtedy Agnieszka - Polka z Kanady (rowniez przez couchsurfing), ktora przez rok pracowala w Korei Poludniowej, nauczajac angielskiego. Cieszyla sie, ze moze porozmawiac z nami po polsku, choc przeszlismy na angielski, gdy do pokoju wszedl Antonio.
Na zwiedzanie miasta udalismy sie po 13tej. Mieszkamy tu w pobliżu stacji Neos Kosmos, 2 przystanki metrem od Akropolu. Pojechalismy na plac Syntagma, pobladzilismy waskimi uliczkami dajacymi przynajmniej cien, po czym weszlismy na Akropol. Dawno nie bylam tak podekscytowana. Mimo, ze na Akropolu ciagle przebiegaja jakies prace remontowe, to wzgorze robi wrazenie. 3000 lat historii eeek! Po kilkugodzinnym spacerze wrocilismy do domu i ucielismy sobie drzemke. Nie jedlismy nic az do wieczora, bo w tak potwornym upale naprawde jesc sie nie chce.
Gdy sie troche ochlodzilo, poszlismy obejrzec Akropol noca (wyglada nawet lepiej niz w dzien), polazilismy uliczkami, a przed polnoca dotarlismy do dzielnicy Keramikos - imprezowej czesci miasta. Tam spotkalismy sie z Antonio, ktory wrocil z koncertu Offspring i zaprowadzil nas do 2 pubow (jeden maly, z grecka muzyka, w bocznej uliczce, drugi na dachu budynku, rockowy, z telebimem i widokiem na Akropol). Mielismy przemily wieczor konwersacji przy piwie (czerwone, o nazwie Craft - polecam). W Grecji fajne jest to, ze jak spotykasz w barze jakis znajomych, to podchodzisz i zamieniasz z nimi pare slow. A Antonio znal nawet barmanow. Poszlismy spac o 4 nad ranem.
Dopiero teraz rozumiem, dlaczego tutaj w dzien sie spi (lub wegetuje), a w nocy sie zyje. W ciagu dnia jest zdecydowanie za goraco, po ulicach chodza wtedy tylko turysci. I jesc tez sie nie chce. Nic dziwnego, ze Grecy maja problemy z nadwaga - najwiekszy posilek spozywaja pozna noca (miedzy 23:00 a 1:00), ich jedzenie jest bardzo slone - a sol zatrzymuje wode w organizmie.
Pierwszy dzien byl jednak bardzo udany.

ENGLISH:
I`ve always wanted to see Greece. It was a dream of my life. And Balkans are studies specialty and passion. Thus, when my friend Marcin, after the April trip to Romania and Istanbul, said: "So, Bogna, in July we`re gonna hitchhike around Greece and Balkans, aren`t we?", I didn`t consider for too long. We were supposed to get a group of people to come along with us, but their plans had changed and eventually there went just two of us.
We met at the railway station in Opole where I hopped on the train that Marcin was already travelling with from Wroclaw. In Krakow we met up for a coffee with my friend Ola and her fiancée Bartek, and then we went to Balice airport. Marcin was moaning about how much time you`ve got to spend on check-in, passport control and getting through the customs, in order to fly for just 2h10min.
We were picked up from the airport in Athens by Antonio, our host from www.couchsurfing.com and drove us to his house - an hour apart from the airport. We went to sleep at 5:30 and we woke up already at 10am because it was already too hot. At Antonio`s there was also staying that night Agnieszka - a Polish girl from Canada (also couchsurfing.com member), that spent a year in South Korea working as an English teacher. She was happy to speak Polish to us, although we turned to English when Antonio came into the room.
We went to do sightseeing after 1pm. We live here near Neos Kosmos stations, 2 stops by metro from Akropolis. We took an underground to Syntagma Square, wandered around in narrow streets that at least gave us some shade, and then we climbed up Akropolis. I hadn`t been so excited in a while. Although there are still some reconstruction works around the place, the hill makes an impression. 3000 years of history eeeek! After a few hours of wondering around, we got back to the house and took a nap. We wouldn`t eat anything till the evening, because you really don`t want to eat when it`s so freaking hot out there.
When the weather cooled down, we went to see Akropol by night (it looks even better than during the day), walked down the streets and before midnight we went to Keramikos - a party district of Athens. We met up with Antonio out there, that had just gotten back from the Offspring concert and he took us to a couple of pubs (one small, with a Greek music, in a narrow street, another one at the top of a roof, rock music, with a huge screen and a view at Akropolis). We had a lovely evening of conversations and drinking beer (a red one, Craft - recommend you). What I like in Greece is that when you meet friends at a pub, you come up to them and have a few words of conversation.  And Antonio knew even barmans there. We went to sleep at 4am.
Now I understand why do people sleep (or vegetate) during the day and they live at night. It`s way too hot out there during the day, and the only people walking in the streets then are tourists. And you`re not hungry then either. I`m not surprised that the Greeks have problems with overweight - they eat the biggest meal late in the night (in between 11pm and 1am) and their food is very salty - and salt holds water in your body.
The first day there was really great.
 
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