Saturday, August 29, 2009

ATHENS, last!

Thursday, October 18th, 2007 Athens, Greece

Hard to believe we’re on our third day of our trip and we’ve just arrived in Athens! Watched the baggage carousel go round and round and no black bags with bright green straps. Missing luggage we soon found out was extremely common between Heathrow and Athens. Filed the necessary reports and then headed for the Airport Bus to the city. Arrived in Athens and found ourselves on the street at 4:30 am at the Panepistimio Metro Station. But, that didn’t open until 5 am. So we found the ubiquitous McDonald across the street and ordered coffee. Looked at the maps and decided we needed to stretch our legs so we started off towards our hotel located next to the Acropolis. Pulling suitcases and stopping for directions from street cleaners several times (our last directions were obtained from an Embassy guard who seems happy to talk with someone at that hour of the morning) we rolled into the hotel at about 6 am. The night clerk unlocked the door of the Acropolis View Hotel and let us in. We had some problems because of making changes early in the scheduling; they didn’t show the new one only the one we cancelled. But all is well; we won’t get the “view” room but will have a nice room with bath. And, most importantly breakfast at 7 am (part of the room fee) and we were able to get into our room by 8 am. We’re seriously tired by this time.

Cleaned up and went to bed but set the alarm for noon. Refreshed we headed out to walk to the Travel Agency office to complete our cruise plans and pick up tickets, etc. Several weeks before leaving the cruise plans changed from seven to four days; eliminating the Istanbul portion. But the agency had put together a flight and hotel for three nights so we’re still going to Istanbul in November. We did take the Metro for a portion of the walk.

From there we walked over to check out the Hostel that our grandson is staying in and then continued on to the Metro for our ride back to the Acropolis area. Walking up the hill we stopped at a rooftop Travina for lunch; Greek beer plus soup for Jim and a Greek Salad for me while we enjoyed the view. Back in the hotel Jim catnapped while I sorted luggage and kept busy instead of sleeping. After two hours I got him up again and this time we walked around the base of the Acropolis hill; climbed up to view the city from the hill that St. Paul preached from and then down for a stroll through the Monastiraki Bazaar. Before leaving the hotel we called the airport and learned that our missing luggage had been found and would be delivered before breakfast tomorrow.

Continued walking north through the city all the way to our bus stop from the airport. Then after stopping for some light dinner we continued walking all the way home (our hotel) …arriving after dark. We estimated that we’ve walked a minimum of ten hours since arriving early this morning. Julie (the daughter of friends back home) lives in Athens and is a travel agent; she called about 9 pm for tomorrow’s plans and then we tucked in about 10 pm for a full night’s sleep after washing our undies!

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