Monday, December 04, 2006

Sat, Nov 25 - Athens

On Friday night around midnight Tony and I arrived in Piraeus (the ferry port outside Athens). We took the metro to meet Tony’s cousin Antonios (they are only a few months apart). We stayed at his apartment for the two nights we were there.

In the morning Tony and I left to go to the American Institute (I think that’s what it’s called). He had to write an English proficiency exam. While he was doing that, I walked around and explored the area (between Kolonaki and Exarchia) and stopped in a big bookstore and window shopped. In about an hour or so, he finished and we met up again.

There are a bunch of stray dogs in Athens and they all look similar; I guess it’s because they are all muts. They are all plump though, so they must get fed by someone. They lay on the sidewalks or hang around in packs in the parks and squares.

The weather was perfect! The sun was out and it was even too warm to wear my jacket. We walked through the markets in Monastiraki - one of my favorite areas of Athens: full of cute shops, cafes, and some windy pedestrian only alleys. One annoying thing is all of the people trying to get you to come into their stores. They’ll stand outside the entrance and tell you to come in as you walk by.

We met up with Antonios and his girlfriend Mema for a bite to eat. We went to Savvas which is famous for its souvlakis. It’s so hard to get a table (we wanted one outside). So we stood in front and watch for who was finishing. As soon as we saw a couple paying the bill, we put our coats on the chairs and got ready to sit even before they were gone. It was a prime location. The restaurant is in a busy alley so there were a ton of people walking by. One bad thing about sitting at a café or restaurant in a busy area, like Monastiraki, are the people who’ll stop at your table and try to sell you stuff. You also get the people who play music for money. There are so many of them, you just have to ignore them.

After we stuffed ourselves, we went for a walk up to the Acropolis. We didn’t go right in, just up the mountain for the view. We went to a café in Thissio after the walk for some coffee. Later on, we rented a movie and bought some pizza ingredients and headed home.

When we got back to the apartment, they started making the pizza and wouldn’t let us help or clean up after – good ol’ Greek hospitality. We ate the pizza, watched the movie, and went to bed. Mema went home for the night so we said bye to her.


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