FROM THE HEAT!
Temperatures range today from highs of 37 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius, but mainly linger at 33. Yesterday, as the day was (relatively) cool, we travelled ancient agora and the beautiful remains, making a plan ( yet again) to go to THE ACROPOLIS. Tomorrow, we say, when we have better shoes. the pair of sandals I wear cost my 3 euro at a vendor and from all the walking we have done, all I can imagine is sitting in a room with air conditioning and curling up with a good book. We vow, tomorrow we will FINALLY go to the Acropolis.
To explain this "finally" I shall tell you how our days have been spent since arrival in Athens on the tenth of August, as is now the 19th. But first I too explain that today, for reasons concerning the ungodly heat of this godlike place, we did not ( though we wore running shoes) make it to the magically elusive Acropolis. ( see photo)
Arrival and More
So on the tenth of August, we arrived to Athens from Darling, lovely ( and cool!) Warsaw, Poland. If you've been reading, you know we stayed there 3 nights and on the 4th day, boarded a plane to come to Athens and the Athenian heat.
On our first night in Athens ( August tenth) we arrived by the Agean sea at a lovely, hill -top restaurant to celebrate (with her whole family) my best friend's 20th Birthday! As the sun set, the restaurant serving Italian and french amazing sea food cuisine was relatively empty. I've learned to judge a restaurant by it's busyness. If one is deserted, and one such as this, it may not mean good things. Nonetheless, we order calamari and Asparagus soups and Greek salads for starters. Then we move onto the main course ( I order seafood pasta with a single Prawn and Mussel on the side, basked in a mouthwatering Lobster sauce)
For a seafood freak as myself, it was the most amazing meal. Then as ten pm hits, the restaurant is filled with tourists and locals alike, ready for a night of fine dining. We travel home, too content to look out the window and see the dark sights of Athens before us, for we will explore tomorrow, after an amazing night's sleep. Following the cake, how could it not be?
August Eleventh: Monastiraki, the Athens Flea Market and some European Shopping
We arrive to visit Hadrian's Library ( free for students of the EU!) and old pillars and columns of the place that once was. We get our first taste of remains, as well as some sculptures and pots found from the early centuries of civilization. It's captivating and magnificent and I breathe in history, making me almost want to start learning history and all those dreaded dates again, or at least pick up The Iliad. Then we walk through the narrow streets of the Athens flew market, where some things are always the same wherever you go. Discount souvenirs ( or so they say) and hats, greek dresses, sandals, more souvenirs and all you could ever want peeks out at every corner, with greek and asian men trying to barter us down to pay their price, which we as travelers know, is ridiculous.
I buy a box of figs from a street vendor and my mouth waters at the thought of eating them. After the flea market, we're too thirsty and tired to think, so we find a trusty Starbucks and sit down to enjoy a coffee and croissant. The Starbucks prices make me shocked out of my skin- as I'm still converting and after washing my beloved Figs, I indulge in a few. Bites from heaven, for sure. Then, ready to navigate the system like natives, we hop onto the Metro and then the bus that will take us home. A sensational first day.
Now I can explain the need, nay the want to visit the darling unachievable sight of all time- the Acropolis, that watches us, atop it's magnificent hill top. After the first day, we vow, we will see Acropolis and plan to on the Twelfth. Then, the sunlight and the heat thwarts our plans, so we merely visit the New Acropolis Museum, at the base of the hill. Then passes more days with promises of visiting the ever elusive Acropolis. Then day by day passes and still, no mountain climbing, no racing up the hill to see the Parthenon. But then we hear a warning of a heat wave ("It will get up to the 40s" and thank the gods ( the Greek ones of course) that it only reaches 39" Then we hear another warning "in the early morning, you barely see a thing, since all the big tours go then" so we are thwarted yet again.
And here I sit on the nineteenth of August and the Acropolis escaped us yet again. Had we worn better shoes yesterday, the not-really-hot day would have allowed us to climb up and see the beautiful ( I'm assuming) and ancient Acropolis.
But alas, as I've said all week.
"Let's save it for another day" it is after all, one hell of a hike.
It reminds me of the Shrine of the Báb in Haifa, Israel. ( To which I travelled in 2008)
The terraces leading up Mount Carmel would definitely rival hiking up the Acropolis, or even the steps up the the endless castles in Germany. However, it must be noted that these 19 terraces would never ( by me in any sanity) be attempted in this Athenian HEAT!