Saturday, August 27, 2011
This very brief post is dedicated to one of my loyal readers, Jacqueline Ward, in honour of her 25th birthday. It’s almost as late for her birthday as it is for how long ago I was actually in Athens, but what’re you gonna do? Happy birthday, Jacki!
For reasons unknown to me, Easyjet, the veritable Argos of airlines, chooses to ‘fly’ in the face of aeronautical convention and have its soon-to-be-passengers line up in a single gigantic queue, regardless of which flight they want to check in for. It persists in this nonsensical practice until it becomes evident that half its passengers won’t make their flight in time unless they open one of their three or four other perfectly functional service desks and hurry those passengers through, serving them crabbily as though it’s somehow their fault.
This was the way I departed Rome, sitting on my bag with my head in my book like a child, shuffling forward ridiculously every time the line moved, or else standing up to move it and sitting back down for a further thirty seconds, in a monstrosity of a queue that wended its way almost out the airport entirely.
Anyway, we managed to get on the plane eventually, and sat next to an Aussie chick we’d met in the line. I swear every Australian you meet in Europe is either from Perth or Melbourne. I’m fairly certain we didn’t meet anyone from anywhere else at all, which is kind of remarkable actually. This girl was a nurse from Perth, and she was one of those weird people whose age you have no chance of placing. Like a certain lecturer of mine ...
Athens was refreshingly cheap, and we spent our first evening wandering around the markets and eating delicious food. The next day we were leaving for Santorini, but we really regretted not staying longer. Greece was one of my favourite countries, definitely top three. It's amazing how the modern city is just integrated with its ancient history. You're just walking down the street and all of a sudden there'll be some ancient ruins next door to a restaurant and a giftshop.
Just some casual excavation ...
Right next to our hostel was the famed Melissinos ‘the poet’ sandalmakers, a family-owned leatherworking shop which started in the fifties and has served such famous people as the Beatles, Jackie O, and Jeremy Irons. It’s an eccentric little shop, now run by the original owner’s son. Tilly bought a pair of sandals there.
We didn’t get time to visit the Acropolis, unfortunately, but we did see the Parthenon.
Looking for it we came upon this park, and it was so strange because the moment we entered it we were like, ‘This feels like home ...’ Looking around we noticed it was full of eucalypts, but it wasn’t the sight of them that reminded us of home, it was the smell. That was weird and cool.
It was a shame to leave Athens so early, but we’d only planned to stay the night so we could get to Santorini. I’m sure there was so much more fun to be had.