As I mentioned in my last post I was apprehensive about venturing to Athens by myself. I had been told horror story after horror story of people getting robbed, harassed and that generally the city was just a thriving mass of people waiting to attack me the moment I stepped off the boat. This couldn’t have been further from the truth. I didn’t feel unsafe at any time during my stay in Athens and I wish I could have stayed longer, I really enjoyed my time in the Greek capital and after visiting it I want to see more of mainland Greece.
I stayed in what might have been the most amazing hostel I have ever stayed in, City Circus Hostel It was clean, the mattresses were soft, the air conditioner was phenomenal the staff were extremely helpful and the shower was actually attached to the wall. I didn’t have to hold it above my head to wash my hair. Best shower in weeks also they make a mean Crete salad highly recommend it. The crowing feature (other than the showers) is the view of the Parthenon from the roof top balcony.
Upon arriving at City Circus I was befriended by a lovely Australian girl Floss who immediately invited me to watch the sun set over Athens. She had been given a tip from the guys at the hostel. The walk wasn’t to long but man it was hot there, it seemed at least 10 degrees warmer than on the Islands. It was almost like being back in Turkey. We shared a beer at this look out over Athens and watched the sunlight fade over the Acropolis, oh I love Athens. Afterwards we shared a meat platter, I had not eaten that much meat in a long time and it was so cheap again under the looming figure that is the Acropolis and other various ancient ruins. I love, love, love how Athens is just built around the ruins how they are preserving them but continuing to build a city around them. Fantastic. Being a Saturday night we thought we would sample the night life but seems we were to early or in the wrong spot who knows but we did find this great little bar called Boo. It’s on the same street as the hostel and the bartender gave us free shots drink and food as we were the only ones in there. If your in Athens visit this place it’s quirky, the musics good and the drinks are delicious.
I tried to get an early start the next day so that I could visit the Acropolis Museum prior to ascending the cliff to the Acropolis. My early start didn’t happen but being a Sunday I think not many people were around and also apparently one of the hottest days of summer this year, it was freakin hot. The museum is fantastic and really does give you a good understanding of what is going on up at the Acropolis the video on the 3rd floor is worth your €5 entry fee as it explains all the details of the building and the architecture, extremely handy as there is not much information up at the actual Acropolis. Unless like me you’re a thrifty traveler and download the free Rick Steve’s audio guide on your phone and then Bam, instant knowledge. I just sat up at the Acropolis staring at Parthenon for as long as I could handle in the heat it was amazing (yep there I go using that word again, maybe I should get a thesaurus) I find those ancient sites awe inspiring. I just can’t get my head around how they built them so long ago and how they have with stood the test of time and then the respect have for the people painstakingly restoring them. I also sat and wondered if the Turks hadn’t stored weapons in the Parthenon would it still be standing today. Would it still be there whole, towering over Athens a place of worship for the Gods?
Descending from the mount I decided to take a look around some other ruins. I am not sure if this next even took place in the ancient Agora or some other place with columns but I am not sure it’s really relevant. The moral of the story is I am clumsy and being a solo traveler made this whole situation worse. I wanted a photo on the columns and being alone went with the timed picture and things went wrong. I set the camera up, pressed the button then ran like a crazed person to the column. I raised my leg to get up onto it, in the process putting my knee through my bags shoulder strap as I went to move my leg down I was trapped. I fell forward onto my stomach across the column. Smashing my thigh into the side, scrapping my shin bone and winding myself. I wasn’t going to miss the photo though. So pulling myself back up, pretending it didn’t happen I stood like a proud gymnast on top of that column and like the gymnasts that I fall, trying not to cry. I got down, limped back to my camera, knowing a group of people saw and yet no one offered to help when I looked down at my wrist and Oh my god there was a lump there that looked very much like the bone trying to escape from my skin. I was now officially freaking out that I could have broken my wrist. After a few seconds of hyperventilating u calmed down and realized. Nope writ not broken just very bruised up and very embarrassed and to make matters worse I didn’t capture the fall or the intended photo. I have included them here to prove this. That night I stayed in feeling very sore and sorry for myself.
My final full day in Athens was spent on a walking tour which I highly recommend the guide was really knowledgable and just loved his city. I was sad to be leaving Athens as I felt there was so many more places I wanted to visit. There was a vibe about it that I can’t quiet explain an excitement in the air the feeling of change but not a rebellious one it’s a feeling of hope. Athens I hope to see you again.