The Champagne Backpacker: Michael's Round the World Trip 2005-2007-- The Adventure of a Lifetime travel blog





Thursday, July 28. Drive to Athens, Greece. We caught a hydrofoil back to Ermioni and our car. From Ermioni, it was a three hour drive to Athens. I made reservations at the Student and Traveller's Hostel in the Plaka area of Athens. I had stayed here a few years back on my last trip to Athens. We had a quad, sharing the room with two Aussies. Plaka sits right beneath the Acropolis (high city), considered the most important ancient monument in the Western world and the symbol of Athens. The Pentelic marble Parthenon, the largest Doric temple built in Greece, crowns the Acropolis and can be seen from almost anywhere within the city. As our time in Athens was limited, Jeff and I hiked up the hill and did a walkabout within the Acropolis. It is an attraction not to be missed on a visit to Greece.

I text messaged Maria ("Myrto"), a Greek friend of Aspa and Ben's, and made arrangements to meet for dinner that night. I met Aspa and Ben aboard the Willy T's, a pirate party ship in the British Virgin Islands, on my sail in the US Virgin Islands this past February. Aspa is Greek and married to Ben, an American. Aspa and Myrto met at Columbia University's graduate architecture program. Currently living in Athens, Myrto is—surprise—an architect. We met outside the Monastiraki metro station and walked to a restaurant with a view of the Acropolis. As the restaurant was full, we put our name on the waiting list and went for a stroll. There were heaps of people lining the large sidewalks for dinner and drinks. It was almost 11 pm before we sat down for dinner. Greeks eat late dinners. An early dinner would be 9 pm, with a typical dinner beginning at 10 or 11 pm. We enjoyed our best meal in Greece—a plethora of fabulous tapas that I cannot begin to describe.

Friday, July 29. I missed the Greek National Archaeological Museum on my last visit to Athens. I wasn't about to on this visit. One of the great museums in the world, the National Archaeological Museum houses the most important finds from archaeological sites around Greece including Mycenaean antiquities, Minoan frescos, and Cycladic figurines. I spent a couple hours wandering the museum before leaving Jeff to explore on his own and returning our rental car to Athens airport. The rental car return time coincided with Karen's arrival in Athens from New York. Karen is a forensic accountant and was one of the seven sailors on our Greek sail in the Cyclades. Karen, Jeff, and I all sailed together back in February 2004 with the Manhattan Sailing Club's Caribbean Regatta aboard Southern Comfort captained by Zander. Karen found me almost immediately after I walked into the international arrival area. We hopped on the new metro line and were in central Athens with 45 minutes.

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