Geia (Hello) from Athens, Greece

imageThe ride to the airport was uneventful and we got there in plenty of time. The security was very sensitive and most of us had to take off our shoes. I was pulled aside for a more thorough pat down. You know I love it when people enjoy their jobs, and this rather strong looking lady was taking pride in hers. She was down my arms, down my sides, legs, and feet. Now she did ask if it was alright and I said sure. I was still sounding the alarm but they let me through. The ladies grabbed a coffee and I ran some errands in the terminal before our flight. It was another blue sky day and our flight was a smooth 1.5 hours in length with a tail wind. We arrived a few minutes early.

The Athens airport is extremely efficient and modern. We had no problem collecting our bags and exiting. Travelling between European Union countries is so easy. No need to go through passport control, just exit the terminal. Our transfer driver was waiting for us with his sign. He never cracked a smile the entire trip which made me smirk. We didn’t know he was probably trying to figure out how the heck he was going to get 4 ladies and their luggage into his little sedan. Really, you didn’t think to send a van, we are women!! The driver seemed so flustered, and Jennifer ended up loading the bags into the trunk, but poor Jo-Ann had to carry her suitcase on her lap in the backseat. I was on the hump and Yordie was in the rear passenger seat. Jennifer sat in front. The driver announced it was a 40 minute drive, 35 degrees C and we were trying not to touch each other in case we never came unstuck. It was very warm. There was a/c but we were still getting accustomed.

We had received a message from our travel agent while in Italy that due to overbooking, Transat Vacations moved us to a different hotel, the Divani Caravel. We had booked at the Divani Acropolis which is close to Old Town. We booked two extra nights at the Acropolis so we could be close to the Old Town. Imagine 4 hot, sweaty, hungry, hormonal women being told they didn’t have a room! It wasn’t pretty. It would have been nice if their sister hotel had informed Caravel that we were coming. There was no reservation and the hotel was fully booked due to a convention. It took almost two hours to get this resolved including a call back to our travel agent who worked hard to get to the bottom of this. Thanks Rose and Jennifer! We were frustrated and disappointed, but as you say when you get lemons, you make lemonade.

We left the man to find a resolution and headed to a restaurant around the corner for a bite to eat. We started with water to hydrate, moved to Greek beer and Jo-Ann had some lovely house red wine. We ordered 2 Greek Salads and 4 Moussakas. They brought us olives and bread with oil while we waited. Take a look at that Greek salad. It was a work of art and tasted so incredibly fresh. We were so hungry that we devoured it with no problem. We had been eating so much pasta in Italy where they didn’t serve vegetables fresh like this. It was soooo good. Jo-Ann our health freak was in her heaven. Then the moussaka came out. It was at least 4″ x 6″ and at least 3″ high. The freshness and lightness of the bechamel sauce complimented the layers of aubergine, potatoes, ground beef, tomatoes, and onions. It is like a Greek shepherd’s pie. We were so stuffed we ended up taking 1/2 of it home in takeaway containers.

After checking in to our rooms which were fine, it was time to explore the Plaka. A short cab ride from the hotel took us to a twinkle lit section that was full of excitement. Mostly touristy with restaurants, bars and vendors. Jennifer says there is a wonderful market for us to explore. It’s closed now, and likely will be closed on Sunday. We walked around for a while, it’s pretty warm this evening and we hear it will be 37 degrees tomorrow.

We tried a Greek beer called Fix and it was pretty good. I’m trying beers in all ports for Sproutie. She would be proud. LOL

We retired early so we could get an early start tomorrow.

Talk soon.

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