Athens, Day One: Subway and The Acropolis

My laptop died on the train, and I didn’t think to write down the address of the hotel.

The cab driver reluctantly dropped me off in the middle of downtown with my bags. I knew the hostel was between the Acropolis and the National Archaeological museum. So that gave me about 15 square kilometers, I guessed. All I needed was a power plug to get the information off my mac. I happened upon a Subway sandwich shop and realized I had not eaten for about 22 hours. There on the wall was a plug.

I finished the sub in near record time and asked the Sandwich artist if he knew Sofokleous street.

Hostel Zeus?” he confirmed.

“yeah!”

“Second light,” he pointed up the street. “Take a left.”

Not a moment after checking in did I head straight to the Acropolis.

The downtown of Athens seemed shutdown, but it was a Sunday. As I approached the hill, I realized where all the people were: packed into massive street side cafes sipping iced coffee and people watching. Senagalese looking men sold knock off designer handbags and street performers performed the most random performances. Guys in basball caps hawked pirated DVDs and rip-off sunglasses.

I decided to leave quickly.

I didn’t know how to get the the Parthenon, but I knew it was up the hill. So I started walking. It was late in the day when I arrived and the sun was hanging low in the sky.

It’s not to say I wasn’t impressed. But I was somewhat underwhelmed. Maybe it was seeing the Pyramids in January or that it was covered in scaffolding, or that I was tired from 19 hours hours on a train. Still, I was glad I did it, shortened the life list by one.

I arrived back at the hostel and realized that I was not staying with two chicks, but a family. A mom nad her Australian daughter and son. Nice people, very chatty, just not what I expected when I arrived at the frickin youth hostel.

I popped up to the rooftop bar at the hostel, sense a theme, and talked to the bartender until a large fellow and his incredibly beautiful girlfriend walked in. The big black guy asks me where I’m from.

“That’s a tough question,” I throw back. “I was born in America. PA. Yourself?”

“I like that you said, ‘tough question.’ See, I was born in Kenya.”

I start laughing. Hard. “No way. I live right off Ngong Road near Karen.”

BBG started laughing as well. We find out we each lived in Sweden, were into martial arts, compared scars. We told stories about our run-ins with the police, and how polite canadians are since he and his girlfriend currently live in Victoria. They turned in early since they were headed off to Santorini.

I went out and got a late dinner of grilled beef, taziki a bottle of wine, and passed out promptly on return to my little bunk bed.

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