June 28th – Tuesday

I awoke at 6:30 a.m., dressed quietly and walked alone to the Acropolis.  I met two lovely people on this walk; one an older man on the street who helped me find the way.  I was already on the right path, but he accompanied me until he was sure I could see the destination.  The other was a friendly guard at the entrance to the Acropolis, who told me how to take the lift to the top of the Acropolis, rather than walk.

After seeing for myself what the walk was like, I returned to the hotel and had breakfast at the restaurant at the top.  They provide a generous buffet breakfast including eggs, sausage, breads, fresh fruits, juices, coffee, yogurt, honey and more.  I was joined by a pleasant woman from Cypress who was on her last day in Athens.  We talked about living where we do, in Cypress for her and San Francisco for me.  Our talk included the prices of real estate, the existence of very small yards, if any, and how costs have escalated in the last few decades.  It seems that we have the same issues all around the world.  I went up to our room to find April ready for breakfast.  We agreed that she would go for breakfast while I scouted around for an Internet Café and a Camera Shop to transfer my digital images to a CD.

Afterwards, we took a taxi to the National Archaeological Museum.  It was, once again, a monumental thrill to see the ancient objects I had studied so many years ago!

The wonderful statue of Poseidon holding his trident.  The Kouros statues, the portrait heads, the pottery, the gold, the mosaics.  Here is history’s trail of artifacts.  What can we learn from them?

We had a simple lunch in the museum café, and walked all the way back to Syntagma Square and our hotel.  It was much longer than the walk to the Acropolis, and much hotter, in the heat of the day.  It was very tiring.

When we got back, the room had not been made up (at 3:15 p.m.) and it was very hot inside.  I took some towels for us from the linen closet in the hallway, found the maid and asked her to leave the electricity on when we go out of the room.  She agreed to do that.  She had been pulling out the key card from the slot in our room that activates the electricity for the room.  That was one reason why we couldn’t seem to get our room cool enough.  We are finding the service here to be surly and almost non-existent.  The view from the top and the breakfasts are great!  But the rest of it is extremely poor.  I would not recommend this hotel to anyone.

After showering, April and I walked the two blocks to the Grand Bretagne Hotel, which is “the finest, most expensive hotel in Athens”, according to our original taxi driver here, Nikkos.  It was indeed “Grand”.  We had a drink at the open-air bar at the top and then decided we would like to stay at the open-air restaurant up there.  The restaurant was booked, but the maitre’d was able to fit us in if we assured him we would be finished by 9:30 p.m.  No problem!  It was only 7:30 p.m., and we eat like Americans.  Ha ha!  Our dinner was elegant.  April and I both had their cold tomato soup with lobster “coins”.  I had penne pasta with seafood that was the most beautiful and tasty I have ever had.  The pasta was chock full of fresh seafood and topped with a whole small lobster.  The tail, which had been broken off, was tender and succulent.  What a wonderful meal.  Once again, we watched the city and Acropolis lights go on as night fell.

The ancient Acropolis calls to me from across the ages.  Tomorrow, I’ll visit the site at last!

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Greece Main

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