Sunday in Athens.
Today is the day, it seems when all Athenians take to the street to shop, walk, chat, gossip or sit in a café and drink coffee. Everyone is out doing something. We sleep in a little after our late night and wander up to Omonia Square to ride the Metro to the bottom of the Acropolis and the uphill walk to the Parthenon and the other remains of the ancient site overlooking the city.
Entering from the West
The Acropolis is something we all learn about in school and it is truly impressive to be actually on the site. We climb the hill and navigate on our own. Poor directional signage down below leads up the long way but we eventually reach the ticket office and climb the last 100 meters and enter from the west, by way of the Propylaea. We move around the site with the thousand other tourists and spend most of our viewing time around the Parthenon. The Acropolis has a wonderful on-site museum with many of the artifacts from the site itself on display. There is also an incredible 360° view of Athens from up here.
Monastiraki for Lunch
We stroll back down the hill past Sunday café coffee sippers and end up in the Monastiraki area for lunch in the incredibly busy Sunday flea market. Cheap and cheerful Greek food, a bottle of water and the passing hustle and bustle is what is on the menu. Sore feet mean we opt for the subway home and after the requisite naps, we meet Derek for dinner in Kolonaki. We all feel like pizza tonight and spend a couple of hours talking and eating the “Kolanaki Special” before ending up back at our hotel and sleep, sleep, sleep.
Thank you Derek and Michael for taking some time to show us around Athens. We hope that we can repay the generous favour some day.
Moving On: 5 Months to the Day
Our last day in Athens and only one more day in Frankfurt before continuing west and home. It is almost 5 months to the day when we left Toronto, flying towards the sunset. It seems strange that we have already circumnavigated the globe and are still heading west only to fly east in two weeks to continue our journey. The first half of this incredible journey has been wonderful, humbling, eye-opening, and in many ways encouraging and hopeful. The most difficult part both physically and emotionally is completed. We have seen friends and family in California and New Zealand; met wonderful new friends and experienced future potential in Australia; shopped in Singapore; received gentle and proud welcomes in Bali; savoured the always present “land of smiles” that is Thailand; India, Oh India!; and finally to Greece and Turkey, where modern life sometimes clashes with the ancient.
I can’t say that we are somehow better people or that we have changed in some monumental way by the luxurious and somewhat romantic ability to travel for longer than a typical vacation, but we have seen and experienced some unique and very interesting things that perhaps we will never see again.