24th June 2012
Due to my new-found love of a glass on wine at just about any time of the day or night we had a nice cold glass of white in the bar before heading out for a quick walk. We spent most of the time catching up on each other’s news but took quite a few photos as well. We are staying pretty much in the heart of the city, quite close to Syntagma Square and the Parliament.
We saw some really sad sights this arvo, lots of abandoned and graffitied buildings as well as quite a few beggars. I’m not sure if it’s worse here than other parts of the city but it certainly feels quite depressed. There wasn’t much in the way of restaurants open so we resorted to a Pizza Hut for an early dinner with a carafe of sangria. Sarah enjoyed the sangria but it wasn’t really my cup of tea although you never know if you don’t try do you?
Don’t quite know why but it took a bit of work to find our way back to the hotel – probably talking too much and not looking where we were going. Between Sarah’s phone and our somewhat dodgy sense of direction we found our way back to familiar territory. Another lesson learned though – we should always have a map of some sort! Sarah was astounded that it was still light at nine at night, that’s us Queenslanders for you, no idea what daylight saving is like at all.
Birds eating oranges in Athens park
Unusual sights around Athens
I’ll push my trolley on the street if I want to.
Unusual sights in Athens – he caught up to the traffic with his trolley
I’ve died and gone to heaven – shop in Athens
But wait there’s more! Athens
Lollies in GIANT bags – Athens
Wow! Like kids in a lolly shop. Athens
Bags and bags of died fruit, nuts, all sorts – Athens
23rd June 2012
I said good-bye to Italy today, hopefully not for good but just for a while and started another leg of my journey, to Athens this time. I got myself to the airport, through check-in and immigration and boarded the plane without any dramas. There were just a few butterflies worrying whether I would know where to go and what to do but it was quite easy really.
Can you tell I’m in Greece?
I had originally planned to leave Rome a couple of days ago but changed my plans so had contacted the travel company and changed the day of my airport to city transfer in Athens to today. As luck would have it my daughter, Sarah, arrived at the airport about 40 minutes before me and not knowing I had changed plans she convinced the driver he was only collecting one person not two as he thought- so she took my car!!!
I must have spent 20 minutes reading and re-reading the transfer drivers signs hoping to find the one with my name, it didn’t matter how many times I looked none of them magically changed. I still had the Italian sim in my phone so couldn’t use that and couldn’t find anywhere to buy a Greek one either. I found a place to make phone calls but the travel company didn’t answer and neither did Sarah. They really were minor problems but I was wandering around the airport like a lost sheep for a while. Eventually common sense kicked in and I just caught a cab. Luckily I had the name and address of the hotel written down so could just show the driver, he didn’t have much English and my Greek is non-existent. That’s the second time now I’ve unexpectedly had to find my from an airport to hotel, something to think about in future I feel.
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover?
I was a bit worried when he pulled up, I couldn’t see the hotel sign, there were rubbish bags piled on the street corners and it all looked a bit dodgie but the cabbie kept pointing just over the road and nodding so I figured I’d better get out before he kicked me out. Anyhow the hotel was just diagonally across the road and Sarah happened to be in the foyer when I walked in so yay me again – I got from Rome to Athens!! Sometimes I think we’d be better off without mobiles, maybe we’d think things through instead of just having a knee-jerk reaction and reaching for the phone to yell for help whenever things don’t go exactly to plan. Then again, my phone does give me a sense of security so maybe I just need to think instead of hitting the panic button. Yeah, that’d probably be a better plan.