torrie's travels

WHERE WILL I GO NEXT?

It’s All Greek to Me! November 23, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Torrie Schneider @ 12:38 pm
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Nothing too exciting today. I got up and flew to Athens. This time I got to leave the airport! I found the metro ok, but was disappointed to see it only comes to the airport every 30 minutes and I had just missed one. I had a slight “altercation” on the metro. It got quite crowded the closer into the city we got. I was taking up two seats with my bags and my backpack was on me. So I have to sit sideways. One lady decided she was going to tap me on the shoulder (I was reading) and start talking to me in Greek. Sorry, lady, no comprende. She started making hand gestures and I could tell it was about my seat. I think she was trying to tell me to move. Ain’t happenin’. So I moved my other bag and said, if you can fit there you can sit there. She wedged herself in and started pushing me. I didn’t budge. She moved as soon as another seat opened.

I couldn’t decide which way to start off, because the first street sign I tried to read was only in Greek. I was about to get real frustrated, but I decided to ask at the hop on-hop off kiosk where the first street on my direction list was. She pointed me toward it and from then I saw that street signs were also in English. Or our alphabet, anyway. Unfortunately, the map I looked at last night didn’t show that one of the roads I needed to turn onto had a different name right there. So I kept walking and walking and I knew I had overshot it, but didn’t know how I could’ve done that. I saw an older man standing on the step of a business who could tell I was lost and he asked me did I have a question? So I asked him about the road I was looking for and he asked the name of my hotel and gave me “easier” directions from where I was and a free map. He owned some kind of tourism business so he also told me to come back tomorrow for coffee. I think that’s what he said. He said he offers it to everyone who comes to his country. He was super sweet.

I found the hotel and checked in, no problem. Then I needed food and Starbucks. Seeing as though it was 1:30pm and I hadn’t eaten anything all day, I decided to go with easy and I did McDonald’s near the metro station. Now that I knew where I was, I knew how to get back there in a much quicker and more efficient manner! While eating, I read my Greece travel app and read about some famous shopping areas in Athens. Lo and behold, I was on one of the main streets. It rain parallel to the street my hotel was on, only two blocks away. And in the direction of Starbucks.

So I walked down Ermou Street, which is supposedly one of the top 5 most expensive streets in Europe and in the top 10 in the world. Unfortunately it’s Sunday, so nothing was open. Almost nothing. The Christmas store was open. So I went in. Hey, I’m in Europe. They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here, so I think I get a pass. But I didn’t find anything. I am definitely going to hit up that street again when it’s open! Especially Hondos Center, a Greek department store!

Then I found Starbucks and ordered my Chai. With 8 pumps. The girl laughed and said, “spicy!” YES! She understands!   Even people back home don’t get that.  And she asked my name, which I thought was kind of in vain. With my name? In Greece? Good luck. She wrote something on the cup and when I got it from the barista, he pronounced my name correctly. I saw the cup, and my name was written in Greek! Awesome! I totally wanted to keep the cup, but I doubted it would travel well.

Then I returned to my hotel to plan out my time here. I was thinking with three whole days in Athens, I could afford a day trip to Delphi. I have gone back and forth on this for months. But when thinking about it the other day, I decided I would do it. After researching more tonight, I’m not. One ticket to the Acropolis (which I can see when I come and go from my hotel…looks awesome lit up at night!) is good for like 6 entrances. And it’s good for 4 days. Which means I don’t need to do the Acropolis Museum and entire Acropolis in one day. With the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Panathenaic Stadium, and the National Archaeological Museum in one day. Let’s spread things out a bit and be a little more laid back. Besides, there are a few other things I’d like to check out in Athens. Plus, I wasn’t keen on taking some random bus to the bus station to buy my tickets at least a day in advance, take the random bus back to my metro station and then do it all again (very early) the next day. So I get to sleep a little more and be a little more relaxed. Which is always a good thing!

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