I was thrilled to visit the illustrious city that is home to some of the only buildings I remember from my History of Architecture class…as well as world-famous olive oil and baklava. Highlights from my trip…
Warmest Welcome: When we arrived at our first Greek cafe, hungry and sleepy from our 26-hour trip, a well-trained parrot gave me a resounding cat-call whistle. I liked him immediately.
Best Recreation: Running. Dan and I set off for a 30 minute jog and wound up on a 60 minute trek. The city gardens alone surprised us with everything from modern art to graveyards to a petting zoo. When we finally found the way out we stumbled upon the grandiose 2004 Olympic stadium. The monument to a tradition that began in Athens itself was even more inspiring than the Rocky steps I used to run during my college days in Philadelphia.
Best Food: “Souvaki Beer Snack.” Given the English name, we suspected that this one´s for tourists but hey, a pile of various mystery meats and cheeses is always irresistable.
Best Sites: To state the obvious…Athens has an established old town. I thoroughly enjoyed donning a white dress and pretending to be a Greek goddess atop the Acropolis.
Nighttime Activity: Smoking hookah and drinking Raki.
After all this activity, Dan and I took a nap in the shade, guarded by two of Athens´numerous stray dogs. Waking up in the shade of 40-foot tall palm trees beside a similarly relaxed travel companion; reading my book and dipping into our 1 euro, 5 kg bag of olives from the local market; and playing with a pair of gorgeous, friendly German shepherds, I could not have felt more relaxed and content. My dreams, which are generally lucid and overactive, had been calm. I felt that traveling, as I had hoped, is slowly bringing me back to myself and a clear state of mind.
Maybe soon I´ll have a revelation about what to do with the rest of my life.