Nothing to do with the color of my hair. Two years ago we planned on going to Greece for our 50th anniversary. You know what happened (stupid COVID). So in October we flew to Chicago to pick up our friends Ted and Judy and headed to Greece, two years late.
Waiting in the International Terminal we had a surprise production from a group of Mexican children. It was a fun diversion from the anticipation of a 9 1/2 hour flight.
Greece is in the Eastern European Summer Time Zone, which is 8 hours earlier than Denver. The four of us landed blurry eyed and sleep deprived. The flight came in almost 2 hours early. This meant after a very fast 40 minute ride from the airport our AirBnB would not be ready for 5 hours. After stashing our bags at a place we were certain we would never find again, we headed out on foot to explore downtown Athens.
Walking on uneven, cracked sidewalks through narrow streets we saw all kinds of Smart Cars and small Fiats. Then all of a sudden it would be, ‘there is no way that bus will make it up that street…holy crap how did it do that?’ Motor scooters and motorcycles flew by everywhere and if they couldn’t get through traffic they did not hesitate to us the sidewalk. ‘Get the heck out of their way, they are coming through.’
A few years ago we spent time in Eastern Europe. One of the wonderful side benefits was that even though we are gluten free, we could eat absolutely everything. The Europeans do not use the same genetically modified wheat that ‘wonder bread America’ does. Out near the Main Street in Athens we saw this place. I almost tripped running in to see what I would stuff into my pie hole.
Boyhowdy, I started pointing at this and that and also needed a coffee.
I had no idea what they were called, but yikers they were fantastic.
We staggered out of The Bread Factory in a sugar stupor only to find more places we needed to come back to.
Still having hours to wait for our apartment, we found a park and just sat down to rest for a few minutes.
The name of the park was “The National Resistance Park”. It had a stone memorial, in Greek obviously, that commentated the events that took place in that location during World War II. As we sat there trying to close our eyes and rest, a large group of kids marched in led by some older kids. The entire group were in some kind of uniform. We watched as the older kids organized games and handed out candy prizes. One big kid sat at a table and arm wrestled the little boys and girls. I finally asked the wrestler what group was this. He answered, “We are the Greek Boyscouts.” I told him how much I enjoyed watching him do such a nice job with the younger kids.
Our Greek buddies, Ted and Judy, decided they had been in Greece long enough, (three hours), that they needed real Greek coffee. So off we went looking for a cup of the real stuff. It didn’t take long before we were sitting at a small cafe imbibing. It takes a while to drink real Greek coffee. You need to let it sit for a while before you sip it. If not, that hasty sip is mighty crunchy.
Fortified, energized, caffeinated we were ready for more walking. We looked online, you’re welcome $10 a day phone provider, we saw a note about the National Botanic Garden. It was quite a hike. Everywhere you look there are ruins and archeological digs, most interesting.
Wandering around the Gardens we came upon this building. We asked a security guard what it was and I swear he said something like “Zeppelin.” “Cool, let’s go.” The ceiling was spectacular. In a large room we saw people coming and going. We joined in and became a crowd member of a high end Farmers Market. And yes, I did bring home some Donkey Milk products.
Leaving the Garden, we kept hearing what sounded like parrots. We followed the sound and found a number of these large nests with…with…those can’t be parrots could they. Oh, we are not in Denver or Chicago. Greece is a Mediterranean climate and they do have parrots in that ecosystem. I wonder what adventures we will have tomorrow?
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