Arriving in Athens was invigorating. I’m not sure what it was- that it was a modern (albeit ancient) city not unlike Rome or Barcelona- or that everyone was just SUPER friendly from the get-go… .but I was REALLY excited to be there. I think I actually skipped off the plane. I was also in “travel” mode because I had to figure out how to get the four of us into Athens and find our place. This is the part of traveling I really love. Figuring out the maze of a metro, wandering down the street, keeping your head about you, relying on the kindness of strangers all is part of the experience.
We met an amazing family while waiting on the train platform. They were from Montana, but were living and working in Saudi Arabia. They were a married couple with two little girls- these girls have been EVERYWHERE and are being exposed to so many neat experiences. Their school is second to none, and they say it really is just amazing. Maybe I can switch not only jobs, but locations???? That’s a thought for another post some day.
After a 60minute + metro ride, we arrived at Acropoli Station, and emerged to a bustling, knobbly, cobble stone street lined with trees and cafes and I immediately felt at home. I got a lot of feedback on Athens in the days, weeks and months before leaving on this trip, and I have to say- I actually loved Athens’s charm. Even though we were in mostly the touristy section- it wasn’t overwhelming, or dirty. As we dragged our suitcases behind us we were stopped by no fewer than 5 restaurant “hawks” promising us the best meal in Athens. Ahhh traveling. We found our apartment, just a few blocks away and were stumped by the buzzer and how to figure out which apartment Tom and Jerri had checked into just hours earlier.
Talk about a hike! There were 5 flights of stairs that twisted up, up, up to the penthouse apartment and the tiniest elevator I’ve ever seen. It had enough room for a person and two suitcases… that’s it. No thanks. So up I went, with my trusty backpack, up 5 flights of stairs. But when we got up there, what a place! We had a beautiful three bedroom place with a huge balcony that could seat all of us, two bathrooms and the room that my mom and I stayed in looked RIGHT onto the Parthenon! How absolutely amazing!!!! We set down our things and headed out for our first Greek Dinner.
Strolling down the street, we were once again bombarded by tons of restaurants trying to get us to eat there. We chose one with a cute white awning and our table was facing out onto the bustling promenade. We had our first tastes of different beer from Greece, and I ordered Greek Salad (FETA CHEESE GET IN MY MOUTH!!!!!) and Vegetarian Moussaka. OMG. I was in heaven. It was such a fun night hanging out with my extended family in Greece. The restaurant gave us Ouzo at the end of the meal, and were SO friendly. I think I can get used to this Athens lifestyle. By the time dinner was over it was nearly midnight– time to rest up- big day of the Acropolis tomorrow!