Athens, another souvalaki thanks!

Trip Start Oct 21, 2006
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Trip End Jan 07, 2007


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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Finally our first trip to another country that wasnīt on another plane (i donīt think i could have handled it!)We had to get up really early to catch a train to Bari, because we couldnīt reserve a place on the boat and if we didnīt get on we were in trouble. After arriving in Bari and finding the ferry office we found that getting a seat wasnīt as hard as it was made out to be especially in low season. We booked our seats anyway and because we had way to much luggage we hung around in the ferry waiting room for a few hours and entertained ourselves. By 6pm when we could get on the boat we were hanging for a change of scenery, so exploring the boat was great. The boat was beautiful, it had a pool 3 bars and 3 restaurants, and because the seats were nowhere neart full we had heaps of room to lay down to sleep. We arrived in Patras, Greece, around midday the following day and bussed it to our hotel from there. We arrived in the late afternoon and after dinner and a few drinks in the rooftop bar overlooking the Acropolis, we finally had a goods nights sleep.
Today we got up reasonably early and tried to tackle the Acropolis. It is massive and you can see it from almost any place in Athens. The main attractions are; The Temple of Athena Nike which was being restored at the time, The Erechtheion, which is as often photographed as the Parthenon because of the six ladies who support the portico and are still there today, and of course the Parthenon itself. The certainly isnīt much left of it after all the wars that have destroyed it since it was built in 438BC. Most of the sculptures around the frieze and portals are actually in the British Museum but there are a few in the onsite museum, which tries to reconstruct what it would have looked like. From on top of the Acropolis you can also see the Theatre of Dionysis which would have held around 17,000 people in its time and is in pretty good shape. After all this walking we went and had a traditional dinner of souvalaki and Gyros with heaps of tztziaki dip, and way to much wine. Probably because of the wine, we decided to go out to a club/bar for more wine which then became vodka and double shots of vodka!
Great night, Bad next day! Today was hangover day and i think we slept until around midday, before wandering around aimlessly for a few hours and then heading out for dinner at the meat market, where i had my first moussaka. Not bad for a hangover surprisingly!
The next day was a lot more productive because we had booked a day trip to the Saronic Islands. We had an early start and caught the bus to Piraus and the boat from there. THe first island was Hydra which was quite pretty and from the clock tower at the top of the island you can see right over the natural harbour. Next was Poros, which we renamed "Cat Town". There are no vehicles on Poros but thousands of cats and donkeys. It was a nice place with heaps of little streets to wander through. We had lunch on the boat and met some nice people before arriving at Aegina which we spent the longest time at. It is mainly just a port town and unless you spent the extra money for a tour around you probably wouldnīt get much from it. There were some nice spots to wander around and Ral checked out all of the boats that were docked there and told me which one he wanted, and i showed him which one we could afford. (the two were very different!) We then got back on the boat and headed back to the mainland. Along the way the crew put on some entertainment, they had a band and some Greek dancing as well as some comedy acts. The most entertaining thing was watching the Japanese tourists dancing, that had me entertained for hours! Went out for dinner when we got back and had some more gyros and souvalakis, surprise surprise!
Our last day in Greece we decide to just see a few places that interested us. Ral chose the War Museum, which was huge and had uniforms photos and weapons from the 10th century to now. It was pretty interesting, and a bit grousome. WE then went to Syntagma Square and watched the guards in their stripy uniforms do their version of the changing of the guard. We then went to one more archeological site, The Temple of Olympian Zeus, which after the Acropolis, isnīt that impressive but you can get pretty close to the columns which was good. More Gyros for dinner before going home to repack!
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