GREECE!!! Where do I even begin!? Alyssa & I had the most amazing adventures in Greece this past weekend, first in Athens and then in Xylókastro (don't even ask me how to say the name of the village...)
Our journey to Greece started early, early, early in the morning last Friday, the 8th of November. I woke up at 2:15a.m. and was walking to Alyssa's apartment (after searching the streets for a cab) by 2:50a.m. Despite the hour, we were so excited to begin our trip!! Our flight left from Paris Orly airport at 6:30a.m. and by that time, we (exhausted) giggle boxes.
What is Athens like? Well, let's start at the airport where Alyssa & I spent more than enough time trying to find our way out into the streets and onto the metro... The word for Yes? Okay, you wouldn't be able to read it if I typed it in Greek anyway so I'll just sound it out: Yes = "Nei" or "Nay" ... you get the idea. Also, Greeks have a funny way of shaking their head in the "NO" direction when you ask them for something, as if to say with their heads "what? what do you want?" So, picture two eager American students looking for simple directions and hearing "Nei" with the head-nod-expression for "No" --- very hysterical/confusing. Anyway, back to ATHENS:
When we finally made it to the metro stop, en route to our hostel, I saw something that Alyssa had told me about and I'd been really pumped to see:
These incredible artifacts were found during the construction of the Athens metro and they kept them (duh, obviously) to put on display in the halls of the metro. Very, very cool. Click here to read more about the excavations.. otherwise I'd just be copying word-for-word the history of the metro, from Wikipedia.
After checking into our very nice hostel apartment (through AthensBackpackers.com):
all of this to ourselves for only 37euros a piece!)
...we had beautiful, fresh lunch at the foot of the Acropolis:
Next, we climbed to the top of the Acropolis. I took this aerial shot while I was up there. Not really. photo credit:
Standing at the bottom, looking up:
Acropolis is huge. I mean you walk up to the base of it and think you can see everything and then you walk through part of it and realize how much more there is to see and walk around. I had to add the aerial shot to show the lay out of all the ruins, other wise it begins to look like the same thing. If you were to only see my pictures without the aerial shot, you wouldn't be able to tell difference in between structures... because I'm a bad photographer.
Oh, hi there..
Partial view of Athens from Acropolis:
Yes, that was a lot of columns but believe it or not those were all different structures. Mostly. We wanted to know more about the Acropolis, and with good reason. The Acropolis was constructed in 650B.C.!! In juxtaposition with the very, very, very, very... very old structures behind us, we saw this at the bottom of the Acropolis:
The new Acropolis Museum
(definitely check out the link for more photos of this beautiful place!!)
for facts & history, click here.
Very unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside the museum. The museum was constructed to hold the pieces of the Acropolis that have been destroyed or, quite literally, blown apart. Click here to learn about the times that the Acropolis was invaded & deconstructed. The museum is VERY well done, very modern (finished in 2007), very simple yet informative. The galleries include: the Archaic Gallery, the the Parthenon Gallery, the Propylaia, Athena Nike and the Erechtheion.
Thankfully for me and Alyssa, the museum boasts a wonderful cafe/restaurant. Since we had been awake since 2 and 3a.m., we found FRAPPES quite necessary!
View from Cafe:
We moseyed back into the museum, zippy with fresh frappes running through our veins, linked arm and arm and decided to provide commentary for an entire floor of statues. Very. Hilarious. If I might say so myself.
Hostel-living, from what I've gathered from my own experience + details of others' time in hostels + hostel websites, are a place to crash after a long night of drinking. Apparently that's what college students (predominantly American, I'm assuming) do in foreign cities. During our check-in to the hostel, we were assured that there is plenty of partying to be had at the hostel's bar. That's not really mine or Alyssa style although we did oblige to a game of bingo (outside corners only) at the hostel where we were staying. After all, it was "ladies one glass of free champagne" night. Unfortunately it wasn't the champagne that led me to scream a preemptive, "BINGO!!!" -- honestly, I just get way too competitive with these sorts of things. I was never a good sport with board games (my family can attest to this.)
Punishment for yelling *false* BINGO?
But look how close we were!!