April 18, 2009

Athens, Day 23: Spring Break

So, I haven’t been updating as often as I said (I know I did every day at Megiddo), but lots of things have become rather routine and seemingly not worth writing about. Also, I’m quite busy and have to go across the street behind the sketchy dumpsters to get internet.

This week seemed very short. On Monday we attempted to go to the National Museum but couldn’t because of special Easter hours, so we did Tuesday’s trip to the Pnyx instead. Wednesday we went to the temple and town of Nemesis, which was an amazing site. They had reconstructed the town up to about waist level, so it was easier for everyone to visualize things, especially the domestic part (where Paige and I played kitchen around a broken herm [statue with only a head and genitalia]). It was also on a hill with a beautiful view of the sea. Next we went to the Battle of Marathon site and burial, including the Tumulus of the Plateians and the Tumulus of the Athenians. Inside the former were actual skeletons, which were exciting to look at. One had incredibly good teeth and, as I deduced, did not die from head trauma. Afterwards we went to the beach, where we sat inside the restaurant because it was windy and cold.

tombThursday we turned in our final papers and had the final class of session 1. Afterwards I went to the Piraeus beach with Sarah B and Alli. It took about 40 minutes on the tram, and although it was rocky and there were people annoyingly selling things, it was nice and sunny and we saw a cute puppy (turned out to be an 11-week-old pure-bred, show-quality Rottweiler). That night we had a dinner party where I invented a new Stacy’s Chicken and then went out to a hookah bar where we met up with my new French friends and some British people who were working there. Friday I hardly left the building except to go online; I spent a while on the “tanning bed” – our dirt-less garden that’s the perfect size for two people to lay out. (Unfortunately we have to climb through the window and step on my bed to get there, and it’s a bit treacherous if you get close to the edge, and people below get confused when they see legs hanging over the edge.) That evening we had a finish-all-food-dinner party with mostly different people than usual, as the Italian Party (including Anna) had already left.

This morning I woke up at 5.30 and proceeded to finish packing. I made tea, got dressed, and then at 5.40 (earlier than I had asked), the taxi called. I drank half the tea, picked up everything, and ran. I waited outside, talked in my minimal Greek to the driver until everyone got there (I had told them 6). We arrived in Piraeus at 6:20, so we could probably have left later. It was 15*C out, so we decided to sit outside. Turns out this was a BAD IDEA. As soon as we left port it got windy and it became VERY COLD. Other than that (and being tired), I’d say ferries are the way to travel. It was so relaxing and calm. (And for some strange reason, they played a tinkly “Fur Elise” whenever the vehicle hatch opened or closed.) We arrived here at 1 and met some Canadians who were going to the same hostel. It’s quite cute – Cycladic style, kitchenette included, family-owned. There are hardly any tourists here, and everything feels so cute and safe (although somewhat confusing, as all the buildings look the same, with the white walls and blue doors). With nothing else to do, we went to the beach and had lunch. I promptly fell asleep while everyone else went in the water (John even brought his snorkel). At 5 we decided to go buy groceries in case things aren’t open tomorrow, and afterwards went for an early dinner at a cheap taverna. There we finally got to try raki (Greek fire-water!), which I would say is sort of like gin, but better-tasting. Then I ran back for my conference call about Peru, and that’s all. Hopefully there will be something open by tomorrow night so we won’t have to consist on yogurt and fruit for three meals…

feetGyros eaten: 3

Currency: 1.30 dollars/euro

Weather: 60s and sunny (got a bit of a tan today)

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