Tuesday, October 16th
It’s the early morning. A taxi just dropped Logan and I off at the Frankfurt Airport. We got through security, bought some tea and pastries, and took off toward Athens. It seems that more often than not, boarding a plane in Germany involves getting on a bus that takes takes you to the plane, rather than using a jet way directly from the airport. They also board for the front and the back which is more efficient than just boarding from the front.
The plane landed in the late morning. A warm breeze swept across the tarmac as we made our way to the airport. A seemingly-endless hallway from the terminal finally ended in the train station. I was glad I’d done all those lessons on Duolingo to learn the Greek alphabet, even though all I could do was sound out all the words (I had no idea what they meant). We hopped on a train (hopefully) heading toward the center city, transferred to a subway, and emerged somewhere in the center of Athens. The GPS took us through a maze of cobblestone streets and hidden staircases. Lazy cats rested in the shade of olive trees.
We turned a corner and suddenly came face to face with the towering plateau of the ancient Greek Acropolis. Stupid me somehow didn’t realize what is was and I said something like, Wow, that looks important”.
Anyway, we eventually made it to the hotel where we talked to the cleaning lady who told us that the toilet in our room was broken so they were moving us to another room. Apparently, that room was in a completely different hotel. We followed her through the streets to a more touristy section of the city and took us to a much fancier room.
Dropping our stuff off, we left to look for food. Since we were pretty hungry, we sat down at the first place we saw. I got moussaka and Logan got a Greek salad which comes with a big block of feta cheese on top.
With bellies full of food, it was time to go sight seeing.
Being a student is pretty great, because almost everywhere we went offered student discounts. Wide paths took us through ruins of various temples and amphitheaters, leading us up to the real show at the top.
There was a cool view so I thought I would do a handstand in front of it:
But then suddenly, someone whistled at me. She said to treat this like a museum. These people are apparently stationed all over these attractions, whistling at people who do things they aren’t supposed to do.
Here is a picture of the Propylon, the entrance to the Acropolis.
The Erecththeion, Temple to Greek Goddess Athena (Makes sense, in the city of Athens). On the left sides is a porch with columns shaped like young women. These are called “Caryatids” (I learned about them in architecture history).
The Parthenon!!!! Unfortunately, covered in scaffolding.
View of the Agora from the top of the Acropolis
So I sat down on a rock to do a sketch of the Parthenon. Logan came and sat beside me. “Ew! Are those teeth?!” He pointed at what was a molar (I think) with its roots fully intact, laying in the dirt. We speculated for while before deciding to ask one of the people working there if it was important. She said that two years ago the did find a full skeleton but I feel like they’d be more careful about keeping all the teeth they found. She carried them off in a paper towel.
So basically, we were involved with an archaeological dig on the Acropolis. Pretty neat!
We ate dinner at another restaurant near the hotel (well, I actually think it’s more of a guest house). In more touristy areas, it seems the waiters will stand out front of their establishment and aggressively encourage people walking by to come eat at their place, which makes it difficult to objectively choose a place. I will say that the service here seemed much quicker than in Germany. AND, we got glasses of free water! After dinner, we walked around a bit, before going to bed.
A pretty successful first day, I think!