Greece

December 19th to 29th: We met up with Les’s friend Pi in Athens and spent our time doing what we always do: walking, eating, and seeing 🙂 We really enjoyed our time here. The people are friendly, the alphabet looks like calculus, and the food is cheap and delicious.

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Changing of the guards outside the parliament building near Syntagma Square.
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Syntagma Square at night.
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We passed by this window almost daily. This cat was there every time, waiting to be fed.
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Graffiti is everywhere.

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There are many hills with viewpoints throughout Athens but our favorite was Mount Lycabettus. Calling it a mountain is quite a stretch, but beautiful views nonetheless.

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Sunset view from Lycabettus.

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Lycabettus on the left.
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Acropolis by day…..
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Acropolis by night.

On Christmas Eve, we went up to the Acropolis. It was a beautiful day.

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View from the walk up to the Acropolis.

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To celebrate Christmas, we made food at our Air BnB. We deliberately picked out one with an oven 🙂 Pi came over with cake and soda. We ate until it hurt and then watched ‘For Your Eyes Only’, a James Bond movie set in Greece.

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Mulled wine!
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Merry Christmas!

A couple days later, we went to a cake and coffee shop known for it’s extravagant decorations. It has three locations beside each other, one had a Nutcracker theme and another, an Alice In Wonderland theme. I think the third one was Christmas themed? It was all too distracting to know for sure. I loved it!

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Athens was great!

December 30th to January 4th: We flew to Berlin (see post) to see Roben and Tracy!

January 5th: We arrived back in Athens. Les was full-on sick so he went straight to bed.

January 6th: After making sure that Les had all his sickly needs (OJ, tissues, drugs, food), I headed out to the National Archaeological Museum. Entrance to museums is free on the first Sunday of every month!

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There was no plaque for this guy but he sure looks cool.
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The Varvakeion Athena, a reproduction of the original which stood in the Parthenon and was about 12 metres high! This is about 1 metre tall.
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Aphrodite is fighting off Pan’s advances while covering up her bits and threatening to hit him with a sandal. Eros is attempting to help Aphrodite.

January 7th: We had to check out of our Air BnB and Les was too sick to travel, so we checked into a hotel near the train station. We took it easy.

January 8th: We took a train up to Kalambaka to check out Meteora. Meteora is a cluster of Eastern Orthodox monasteries situated on precipitous rock pillars.

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Waiting…

Les was still sick but we were hoping train travel would be okay. The train left late, had multiple 30min+ stops and then broke down across a road for another 30 minutes. We arrived 2 hours later than expected. Not ideal but Les survived.

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It was beautiful!

January 9th: Les was too sick to come out to play in the snow. The weather had turned and it was snowing pretty good. I took a cab up to Saint Stephen’s Monastery and spent the day walking between the monasteries. Only one was open to visitors and I was able to visit the Varlaam Monastery.

I was surprised to meet a couple of cats while up there. One crawled onto my thighs as I bent down to pet him. I squatted for a while – how could I say no?? And then gave him the bacon off my pastry. I also met a friendly dog that walked a couple kilometers with me. It was nice to have the companionship.

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Holy Trinity Monastery

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Not the bacon cat, but still cute.

 

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Friend!
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Varlaam Monastery
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View from Varlaam Monastery
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Friend!
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The weather was getting much worse as I headed down. At this point my wool socks and mesh shoes were soaked. I was still warm but it was starting to be less fun. The fun stopped when my phone died (with map and access to Les). Luckily I had an idea of the roads. On the way, a cab driver who had passed me multiple times throughout the day, offered me a ride! I eagerly accepted.

January 10th: We bused back to Athens, no longer trusting the train and went out for our favorite gyros at Savvas Restaurant. Les was starting to recover, but only just.

Our next stop is Rome!

 

 

 

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