Wednesday, June 4

Athens, Greece

(see on map) mike: Our Athens trip was rushed to say the least. We took a 6:30 am flight back from Santorini, sped in a taxi to the hotel and put down our bags with just enough time to run out and catch a city tour bus.

Our first stop was the changing of the guards. I'm sure there is a lot of tradition, history, and pride in their outfits but I couldn't help laughing on the inside, I mean really, pom poms on the shoes? I'd rather wear the big furry hat in London.

The tour highlight is without a doubt the Parthenon at the hilltop Acropolis site. Built in the 5th century BC, it is hundreds of years older than any of the ancient sites we visited in South America and Europe. These Greeks had their act together.

Acropolis at night, taken from Plaka, the main tourist dining area.

Outside of the Acropolis and our dinner in Psirri, I had a hard time finding things to like about Athens. The city received a huge face lift before the Olympics but we still found it dirty and uninviting. One cheesy thing we like to do to lift our spirits is grab a bite at an American chain. Chili's, Friday's, Applebee's, even McDonald's seem to do the trick and offer at least decent, stomach friendly, comfort food and a chance to regroup.

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