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It’s all Greek to Me

I just love all the signage, even if I can’t read any of it.

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Sunday, October 16, 2022

I am going to mix it up today and try to get the actual day’s events posted 😱🤣🤯🤪 Let’s see how this goes.

Today was my first solo day and I am happy to say it was fabulous. 34,000 steps and some 15.2 miles were covered…and I felt like I smoked a pack of cigarettes while doing it (damn those clouds of smoke everywhere you go).

The morning did start off a bit slow though. For this I need to backup to last night and my room debacle. With our treacherous ferry arriving late, we had to dump our bags and go straight to the restaurant for our farewell dinner. Pascale had grabbed the stack of room keys while we were dragging our luggage into the lobby. She handed them out during dinner and once back at the hotel we went up to our rooms where the luggage would be waiting.

Since I didn’t have an early morning airport transfer, I just waited and let others get their things handed to her and go up first. As I’m waiting, Ashley and Caroline came back down missing a bag (which was found in someone else’s room). Eek!! So I go up to my fourth floor room, open the door, see my suitcase…then slowly start to register that there is another bag there laying open and maybe some used towels on the floor and I’m like WTH??? I grabbed my bag and hightailed it back down to the lobby.

I explain to Pascale, she translates to the desk, much discussion ensues, and finally I have keys to a different room on the third floor. Luckily that room was unoccupied and I got a decent night of sleep (thank you Pat for the nighttime cold medicine).

So this morning Pascale needed to figure out if I was staying in the same room for the next 3 nights or moving to a different room or the partner hotel across the square (ie the bigger, nicer version we all thought we were ending our trip at). It was decided I’d be staying in this hotel, but moving to a courtyard room so none of that busy street noise I had been dealing with. But there was nothing open at the time for me to move my luggage to and allll the confusion. Pascale was gonna possibly move it for me, but I just wasn’t cool leaving for the day not knowing where my bags would be and if I had a room or what exactly was going on. More rapid fire Greek, and the nice desk lady was able to tell me what room I’d be in and let me store the luggage while I was out. Whew!! And all that before 10:15.

Finally I could set off toward Syntagma Square and Parliament, where the changing of the guard takes place. Sunday at 11:00 is some extra special ceremony, and I needed to walk my fastest to get there in time (and hope I didn’t get lost along the way 🤣). Success on all accounts so I got to see the little military band lead the march. And well this is no regular marching as they swing and lift their Pom Pom feeted legs extra high. It was quite the fascinating show they put on and I’m glad I got to see it.


From there I headed around Parliament to walk through the National Gardens. I was hoping for a garden garden, but this seemed more like a Central Park green space sorta thing. I didn’t want to get lost wandering down all the paths, so I stuck toward the edges and didn’t see much of interest. Pascale had mentioned I should go see the first Olympic Stadium since I’d be over there. Olympics junkie here so I was all for that…but somehow I was unable to locate it 🤷🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️ And from the looks of things, I was right close to it when I went into the Temple of Olympian Zeus and saw Hadrian’s Arch. Ugh! Maybe another day.


From there I headed toward Monastiraki and all the shops and flea market in that neighborhood. It is quite the maze of cafes, bars, shops, restaurants, hotels, and ruins that pop up out of nowhere. The only way to tackle something like that is with some street food! First up the koulouri, bread ring covered in sesame seeds. These are sold warm out of little carts for half a euro. When I saw the police guy grab one, I knew I was at the right cart. Then I spotted gelato, so naturally I couldn’t pass that up. A cone of Kinder Bueno - basically a creamy chocolate hazelnut - was my flavor of choice. Now I’m ready to soak up the sights and sounds and smells of the neighborhood.


After a bit I needed to make my way to the hotel. Everything went smoothly there, and I was back out in search of a dinner adventure. Since there aren’t too many cute little cafes near the hotel, I was on my way back to Monastiraki (now you see why so many steps - not good at managing my locations 🤪). But I hit the jackpot when I grabbed a table right on the main square at a place called the Greco’s Project. I was in Greek heaven with my fried crunchy mini zucchini with aioli and then a chicken gyro. I even got a mini sweet at the end, which I believe was a Greek honey cake. Whatever it was, it was tasty!


Back into the shopping maze I decided to go, and this time came out with a few purchases. Already around 7, I opted to start my trek back to the hotel. And wouldn’t ya know, the bakery right by the hotel had some gelato in the window as well. I think I’ve earned a nice, refreshing scoop of mango to end my night.


Tomorrow is a half day trip, so there “shouldn’t be” as much walking involved. But with me, ya just never know.

Posted by JackiesJourneys 20:13 Archived in Greece Tagged greece athens syntagma monastiraki

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