Sept.26.2010, Athens

Wake up at 0900!  Not a solid sleep until after 3 am, but woke up feeling refreshed.  However – Debbie has diarrhea since about 4 am so she is not doing well, some vertigo as well. She is blaming it on last night’s spaghetti but then remembered having a headache since Thursday pm so I suggested it might be the water in Richmond, BC.

Downstairs at 1000 for a huge and interesting buffet breakfast (courtesy Amalia Hotel). Debbie ate a little too.  Some of the things I had were hot chocolate, cold domades, miniature cheese bun, pastry with honey, scrambled eggs and yogurt.

Upt to 7th floor roof top terrace to check it out.  Nothing up there but a gorgeous 360 deg. view.  We are (long) walking distance from the Acropolis and just across the street from the Presidential Palace and the National Gardens.

Back to room.  Debbie is going to stay close to the bathroom, back to bed.  I will go buy some water for her.  Gave her an immodium.

Metro – 1st departure is 0537 am, then 0604, 0634.  Note strike scheduled for Sept. 27 0600 – 0900.  That doesn’t affect us as we don’t leave until the 28th.

1200 Walking with the breast cancer march on Amalia Ave., then to Syntagma Square, Presidential Palace with the pigeons and the guards.

1300 Monastiraki Square with 4 guys break dancing to Pink Panther theme music.  Lunch is a huge sugar coated stale doughnut and water.

1330 Hadrian’s Library – also several churches were once here and maybe a military barracks, prison and administrative center for the rebels in the 1830’s.  Note that the ground near the monuments is often lower than street level – sometimes considerably, commonly 6 to 12 ft.

1345  Roman Agora ruins.  Walked to the foot of the Acropolis hill, then north to Amalia Ave. and returned to hotel at 1430 to check on Debbie.  Still in bed, brought her some bottled water.  A/C is still dripping.

1700  A couple of glasses of red wine later in the Chrysalis Lounge and everything is looking good.  We’re in tourist central in Athens!  Will try to convince Debbie that red wine conquers diarrhea, LOL.  1708  Debbie is still asleep.  Saw many Canadian tourists arriving at our hotel, a tour group in the lobby when I went down.  Waiting for Deb to wake up so I can find out if she will join me for dinner.  Got on the computer and sent messages out to Chrystal and Lindsay.

Debbie has been sleeping all day.  Got room service for her supper – yogurt and bread.  Some language difficulties ordering the bread but it showed up.  Deb is still in her pyjamas.

1900  Out for dinner.  Scammed!  Old Greek guy on the street appears to be blind, accompanied by alleged sister – talks about working on ships and has been to Vancouver – likes better than Montreal where they don’t speak English.  Says he wants to give me his card so I can come and share a drink with himi when we come back to Athens.  Takes me to a tavern, I get a beer and I offer to buy him a drink – a whiskey as it turns out.  Then a Korean girl starts to chat me up and asks fi she can have a drink, I say NO and ask for my bill.  Barkeep woman says 20E.  I say too much, she produces an overpriced bar list.  I say too much, put 10E on the bar and leave.  No one tries to stop me.  I am pissed off but happy to get out at 1/2 price for the experience.  Walk on!

1910  Find the Hard Rock Cafe, it’s overpriced.  Continue walking into Plaka.  Stop at street side table Taberna Eaita.  Order tsatziki, 1 glass ouzo, chicken souvlaki.  Candle light on the table, crickets are singing, eating on the sidewalk with 4 cats. Sunset at about 1930.

How long do you sit and wait for a bill at an Athens outdoor restaurant? Tonight I may find out.  Some streets and alleys are paved with marble!  A 4 piece band shows up at 2030, 2 accordions, bass and an oboe playing old band tunes.  They played just long enough to try and collect some money.  Amalia Ave. is busy even at 2100 on a Sunday night.  Note that the X95 city bus to the airport runs all night, 3.20E/person.  It runs about every 15 min.  Back to hotel at 2100, asleep at 2230.

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