June 30, 2005. Athens, Greece. We have arrived! After roughly 18 Chicago hours, and 24 hours in Greek time, we made it to the our hostel in the heart of the Stygma district of Athens. Contrary to what you might read about the city in older guide books, Athens is beautiful. From nearly every point in the city, you can see the Acropolis and the Parthenon (most people confuse the two: the Acropolis is actually the rock and fortified wall that the Parthenon temple sits on). Even though we didn’t get in until about 10 PM last night, we still managed to eat and find our way to a bar. Today we took a walking tour of pretty much every big site: the Temple to Zues, the ancient Agora (which isn’t too impressive), the Parthenon (which most definitely is impressive), the tomb of the unknown soldier from the Turkey/Greece war (one of them anyway), the changing of the guard at the tomb (yes, it involved guys with wierd uniforms with puffy balls on their feet), the botanic guardians, and the ancient theater at the Acropolis (where Yanni among others have played, a fact which was extremely exciting to Jason). Those puffy balls Greek soldiers wear on their feet were actually once used to conceal knifes. I guess they would literaaly try to kick the asses of invaders. Anyway, the Parthenon is awesome; it is this huge complex where basically for the last 2500 years, the athenians put every column and statue they could find (and which then everyone else tried to steal). there are like 3 different temples up there, a museaum, two theaters (two ancient ones, one of which is still used), many caves (which were where the first people in Athens ever lived), and a number of sidewalk vendors that sell water, Greek flag refridgarator magnets, and pronographic playing cards amonbg otherthings. You can see the whole city and the ocean from on top.
We are taking a ferry to Santorini tonight for the weekend. That just sounds cool, doesn’t it? Last weekend I took my Mom’s car to Park Ridge. Santorini is supposedly the most beautiful place in Greece. Whitewashed houses, windmills, blue-roofed churchs: here we come! Anyway, it is hot as it can possibly be here, but the souvlaki on pita is great and Ouzo does the trick.
Talk to you soon. We’ll put up some pictures (we took about a thousand). See ya’ll in Santorini!
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Athens, Attica, Greece