November 22, 2014

Marathon Trip: Enjoying Athens

From the beginning we knew the marathon trip would mostly be a "girls' getaway," as most of us wouldn't be able to bring our whole families along. Nine of us ended up sharing 3 rooms at a Best Western hotel right across the street from the National Archaeological Museum. We flew into Athens on Thursday, November 6, after driving to Rome and leaving our Suburban in a parking lot with shuttle service to the airport. So it had been a long day, but it began well--Tirzah's husband Jim prayed over us before we left Support Site, and he and their kids sent us off with the Rocky theme song. :-)

The highlight of our travel day was enjoying an amazing spread at a wonderful restaurant that didn't cater to tourists--our waiter, Theodore, commented that someone must have recommended the place to us, because they didn't get nearly as many tourists as other places. That was fine with us! We dined outside and loved sampling many different kinds of food, including the free desserts they brought us when we thought we were already stuffed!

On Friday we spent most of the morning and early afternoon puttering around the amazing museum. How cool to see our history books come to life! So much of what the kids and I have been studying recently...artifacts from ancient cultures, such as the Minoan, Mycenaean, Egyptian, and so on...oh, it was just incredible! I could have spent days going through that place. It was sad to have to rush through toward the end and know that we hadn't even seen a fraction of what was on display.

One of the very earliest pieces of artwork on the planet! Approx. 6,000 B.C.

Boars' tusk helmet

Love the octopus/squid artwork!

Chariot reconstruction

Animal mummies
 From the museum we walked toward the metro station, stopping at a fast-food place for a lunch of gyros (costing 1.50 each!) and dessert treat from a classy bakery (1.95 for my baklava!). We survived the metro maze, got on a tram, rode for 45 minutes, and finally reached the Expo Center, where the racers picked up their packets and we met up with Julia, who had come straight from the airport (at a cost of 70 euro to a sneaky taxi driver, yikes!). We also found Lisa R and her niece Erin, who joined us for a dinner escapade. We were told by several locals about a wonderful place, and after several missteps, located it only to learn it was not open. So we trooped across the street to the top floor of a hotel to try their restaurant with a view. It was more expensive than our fare from the previous night, and the main course was far less tasty, but by this point it was after 9pm and we were hungry and running out of time!

We finally found THE PLACE! Only THE PLACE was closed!!

Hotel Poseidon's restaurant on the 7th floor

Libby, Emily, and Shauna during our l-o-n-g trek back to the hotel.

Grace and I...still smiling after a very long day!
Day 1 as Athens tourists = a success!

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