Day 11 - Thur Apr 14 to Athens
Our cheerful host, Dmitri, dropped us off at the terminal and we caught another ferry to Athens for the 5 hour crossing. We paid our €1.20 again to upgrade our seats - but this time asked for them on the top floor. Thankfully, fewer of the school groups made their way upstairs and the crossing was far more peaceful than last time. We learned from another traveler that the Greece schools take kids on a 5-day excursion each year right before Easter - so that explains all the school groups we keep running into.
Once in Athens we checked back into the Tempi Hotel where we stayed the first night in Athens before visiting the islands. This time we have two twin beds with a post in the middle, so no hope of putting them together...
Jen and I are starting to feel a little... homesick? Or sort of like we are camping. Our clothes are always sort of dirty, despite the handwashing, and we always feel sticky. We miss the comforts of home. And we're tired of eating Greek food or pizza for every meal. So today we broke down and ordered up some McDonald's (of which we have found 2 in Athens).
Day 12 - Friday Apr 15 Athens
Today we visited the Acropolis and Ancient Agora. We woke up sort of late and made it to the Acropolis at 11am, when it was already jammed with kids & tourists. I thought it was early enough in the season not to worry and man was I wrong! So Jen & I retreated to... you guessed it, a Starbucks. There are only 3 American chains we recognize here, the 3rd being Pizza Hut (though it was the nicest Pizza Hut I've ever seen, sort of a fancy sit-down version).
Back to the Acropolis at 2, it had thinned out some so we had a look-see. You can see the Acropolis at a distance 24/7 in Athens, but when you get up close you really understand the size. The columns of the Parthenon are giant. There is a lot of detailed work too. The locals are (understandably) really fired up about England stealing so much of it in the 1800s. There are a number of different buildings in the Acropolis, none as famous as the Parthenon, but it took a couple of hours to soak it all in. We also met a kid (20?) from Brisbane (Aus) who was on a 6-month trek in Europe by himself, and had done 4 months in the US last year.
(Jen's rant) I'm looking forward to flying to Rome tomorrow afternoon. I think I've had enough of Greece. I suspected the hardest part of this trip for me would be finding food that I like - and I was correct. I know Kim would be disappointed in me, but I just can't seem to find anything redeeming about Greek cuisine besides fries. Even salad is not really salad - your two choices are cucumber, tomato, and onion topped with feta or shredded cabbage topped with carrots. Anyone heard of lettuce? Sigh. Aside from the food, there is also the issue of constantly trying to avoid the scooters who seem to think scaring the crap out of tourists is good clean fun. They even drive on the sidewalks and other pedestrian areas. Then there is the issue of our wonderful bathroom that is sort of "all in one". The shower, sink, and toilet are all in one little 3"x4" room so when you take a shower everything gets wet. Then, when you want to use the toilet two hours later, you have to take off your pants because if they get on the ground they will get wet. Oh, and you can't put the TP down the toilet because it will clog up (this is a nationwide Greece thing), so you have to throw it in a little tiny garbage can by the toilet. Today is the first day that I miss my house, my kitchen, my bathroom... but that being said, I truly loved Santorini and will definitely go back there.