THE COAST OF GREECE.....
There is crystal clear deep blue water with pebbly beaches and loads of private coves to swim in. Jeanne, Missy and I took a bus up the coast to Sounion, where the temple of Posiden stands.
One thing is for certain, God is not small. It is an impossible thing not to realize standing on rocky cliffs hundreds of feet above the Aegean Sea looking out over miles of mountains and sea framing a magnificent sunset.
a) They dress extremely well, always have nice clothes on and look very, very nice.
2) They are very, very friendly, LOVE women and aren't afraid to let you know it.
3) We found out that Greek men have a lot of trouble accepting the word No. Once presented with it our conversations frequently went something like this:
"Probleem? Probleem? Oh yu have probleem? I have no probleem, yu have problem? I have no probleem. We meet here at 10 tommorow, why yu have probleem?
4) If you're not careful you may find yourself agreeing to marry them and go bungie-jumping off the Eiffel Tower for your honeymoon.
....is like none other. It is fresh and flavorful and unique. I couldn't get enough of it.
Greek salads, and Gyro's and Slovakis, calimari, it was all delicious.
Our wonderful host Phyllis took us out to lunch one day and we stuffed ourselves on salad and fried cheese, tzaziki, and calimari. I tried to eat as much Greek food as I possibly could while I was there. One thing is for certain, I will never get a Gyro from Dave's ever again, there is just no comparison, they shouldn't even call it a Gyro.
I even tried Orzo, which seems to be an acquired taste.
For their fruit and vegetable shopping the Greeks have Laikis.
They are open air markets held on certain days of the week with what seems like miles of fruits and vegetables for sale. A little bit like a farmers market/flea market but a lot larger.
Everything was fresh and beautiful and many things you would think should be refrigerated, like eggs and fish, were not.
Some of the foods were the same as in the US, but some things, like weird little pears, were very different.
.....is hot, dry, busy and full of marble, both ancient and modern.
Ruins are everywhere, even in the metro station. Its a surprisingly safe city as well. Jeanne and her friend Phyllis were wonderful hosts and Phyllis's apartment was beautiful with an amazing view.
Phyllis's cat Epidavros provided loads of entertainment. He used to be a street cat which she found at the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, an ancient theatre. There are hundreds of stray animals wandering Athens. Apparently the Athenians don't fix their animals and abandon them to the streets when they go on vacation.
While it was blistering hot when we went, they views from the theatre are incredible. The most amazing thing is the accoustics are so perfect that they still use the theatre for live shows since there is no need for sounds systems.
....were everywhere. Unlike the US where there might be a couple civil war battlefields here and there, in Athens ancient ruins are like Mcdonalds, they're on every corner.
Seeing ancient Greek history right in front of my eyes after studying it over and over in school was surreal.
Its one thing to read about something or see something on television but when you get to see it for yourself; I would imagine its like being blind and experiencing color for the first time .
In high school Humanities class I had to build a scale model of the Parthenon (thanks Mrs. Graham). I think I used paper mache, lets just say there is no comparison to the real thing.
....stays up late. We hung out at Moussiki, Sigtagma Square, and just hopped on the metro home (except when we found out it closed before midnight!). People eat, sit, drink, make-out and people watch. Its beautiful weather at night too, cool and breezy.
The last night I was there we stayed up until my flight left at 4am and tried to find some dance clubs. The Greeks aren't much for dance parties but we got the party started.
One night we went to see The Hangover in an outdoor theatre (english with Greek subtitles). It was crazy watching an America movie in another country. It was interesting to see what people laughed at and what they didn't. Its interesting to think about how people in other countries view us as Americans if all they know of us is the movies we produce.
It was the most amazing setting to watch a movie in, the sun was setting and Athens was in the background. It can't get much better than that.