Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Arriving in Athens

Too excited to sleep!

We've been up for nearly 36 hours (or something like that -- honestly, I'm too tired to do the math properly), but.....when we arrive at our hotel at 11PM the day AFTER we left home, we see the Temple of Zeus lit up at one end of our street -- and the Acropolis at the other end -- and we decide we MUST get out & about a bit.

The weather is perfect, nice & warm, but not too hot for touring.  Streets are safe, people are friendly.  There is a lot of foot traffic for this time of night.

So we wander, we scope out some of the little side streets and check out some of the menus posted on the sidewalk.  It reminds me a LOT of Rome and Florence -- tiny little postage-stamp size restaurants that spill out into the street for seating.

This gent "catches" us reading the menu (well, actually -- he caught me taking a photo of how they spell "Zukkini" on the menu!) and convinces us that we should come back for dinner one night, he will convince the Chef to cook something especially Greek for us.  The Owner / Chef being him!  Sounds like our kind of place -- skip the menu, just bring me your "best dish"!  Or dish-es, as it were.  

The next morning dawns bright, we are severely jet-lagged, but, hey, that's to be expected when we arise at 10AM and it's really one o'clock in the morning to our poor bod's.  

I go in search of coffee -- what an experience, first thing out-of-the-gate!   There is a severe language barrier when I want "just coffee -- no breakfast".   We finally agree on a Cappuccino ('cause that's what she offers, so I figure I should just go with it).  Then she wants to know if she can charge breakfast to my room, we're right back to "just coffee -- no breakfast".   Then she informs me that there is "no bread today".  It's May 1st, it's their Labor Day, so the bakeries are all closed!  This is so foreign to my American brain I can scarcely take it in!   Surely the grocery stores have racks of bread!!  But no, evidently not.  But of course, I'm having "just coffee -- no breakfast",  so we do that loop one more time.....

Then she proceeds to tell me how there is no public transport today due to the holiday, but she forgot, so she barely got to work.  No "trams", no buses, no nothing.

Protests, however, are an expected part of the menu.  We certainly seem to have a knack for finding these kinds of events.......So the major attractions are closed (seems weird, doesn't it, to close them on a Holiday?).  We'll need to get some guidance on what's what -- where we can (safely) go, what we can see, what area's to avoid.  Or to show up to take photo's, depending.....

Already looking forward to my Greek dinner tonight, complete with a Greek guide to navigate the food groups!

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