Saturday, September 27, 2008

Athens, day 1

Most importantly, I got some sleep on the plane with some pharmacological help, which is a new one for me. That's how I've been able to survive the day.

Took the bus in from the airport and had a good look at how it unrolls. It's surprising to think that Athens and Greece have been populated continuously for millenia, because so very little looks like it's been planned. It has all just happened.

Once in my hotel I discovered that it is indeed in a touristy area but also that, in Greece, it's either touristy and cute or it ain't neither. At least from what I've seen thus far. What's touristy has reason to be. The Acropolis is an intensely commanding space. I hadn't picture it as being such a fortress, way up there on the fortifications. It's easy to imagine why they thought in terms of gods living up on the hills around here.

But the hotel, despite their having told me it was quiet when I called from the States, concerned that the hostel atmosphere might be a bit much, is anything but quiet. They have a big flat panel TV in the courtyard onto which my room faces playing music videos (songs from Grease, no pun intended) for the amusement of American 2osomethings (why aren't they in college). Amstel is sold from the drink machine in the courtyard, and there's a liquor store across the way, so the kids sit in there and drink and smoke. I am quickly being cured of nostalgia for the days of my youth. Tomorrow I move to the Best Western and get a AAA discount. And the early bird special, for good measure.

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