August 2

On August 2, we were ecstatic to leave Egypt and fly to Athens. The Cairo airport was horrible in every way. It was smelly, everyone was smoking, there weren’t any good shops to browse in, and they had a crappy food selection. Typical. Inefficient. Bad all around.

In contrast, the Athens airport is new—they are getting ready for the Olympics in 2004. We stayed at the Esperia Palace near the Plaka. We were very near Syntagma Square. We went for dinner to this charming restaurant in the Plaka and I had a tomato and cumumber salad with bread. Yummy!

Dmitri says that when he was last in Athens it was basically a shithole, so it has upgraded a lot since then. There is Olympic 2004 gear all over so we were able to get some as souvenirs for friends and family.

On our second day in Athens we visited the Acropolis. Incredibly hot and sunny. Very crowded as well. The Parthenon is under reconstruction and we were told that it will take many years. We had a Sock Monkey episode where we were trying to take a picture of him in front of the Parthenon and were yelled at and told that we could only take pictures with people in them. What’s with that? Bigots!

The Acropolis is big, old, and impressive. We were more impressed by the ideas than the actual structures. We had souvlaki at a restaurant take away stand and it was yummy. We ate at this little square in the Plaka. I love the Plaka. It was nice to browse there, hang out, and check internet. We browsed more on August 3rd and killed some time in the Plaka before heading to Piraeus to board the Star Flyer.

The Plaka is a nice street scene. Lots of taverns and shops. And lots of shade, thankfully. Unlike the Egyptians, the Greeks are much more covert about trying to rip off tourists.
Up on the Acropolis. The thing has been under renovation since I was here during college. C’mon, people! And you think you can host an Olympics?
Getting cheap, but very tasty souvlaki in the Plaka.