Friday, April 23, 2010

We made it! Safe and sound in Athens...

So...after an extremely long flight (10 1/2 hours to be exact) we arrived in Athens. I think Brandon and I tolerated eachother quite nicely:) Everything went very smooth actually. The Athens airport is actually very nice and it was easy to navigate. And thanks to Rick Steves we found the metro easily and took that all the way into Athens (the airport is about 1/2 hour out of the city). The metro was nice because we could observe our surroundings as we were heading in to the city. The terrain looks very much like Italy actually...mountainous, green. But a little more arid here. We popped out of the metro station and the first thing we saw? The Acropolis! It's amazing...hard to miss actually. It sits on top of the highest point in Athens. It's actually nice if you get can always be used as a point of reference. We couldn't check into our hostel right away, so we did the walking tour around Athens that Rick Steves suggested in his book. It was great actually. It is definitely a European city! Tiny roads winding everywhere...monuments and streets are very hard to find. But that is also what I love about it! It's an adventure! You never know what you're going to find around the corner. Athens is very interesting actually, because the ruins are in the middle of the city. The Roman Forum, for example, is in the middle of a residential area...just gated off. It is so amazing to me that these ruins are from BC and there they are...sitting right there next to a house....weird. I admire a culture that respects it's past so much. I have a feeling that we'd just tear them down in America...sad. We also saw our first (of many) Greek Orthodox churches. It was interesting....different than in Italy. Greek Orthodox is apparently very old Christianity. They split from the Catholics sometime back because of differences in practice, not necessarily beliefs. The Greek Orthodox churches are more...I don't want to say plain, but kind of I guess. They are not nearly as ornate as the Catholic churches in Italy and they don't have any statues. Apparently they think having statues there would be like worshipping a false god.

Well, we are all checked into our hostel (it's in a very convenient location which I'm very happy about) and this is where I am writing you from. I think we are going to take a bit of a disco nap and then head out to dinner later, hopefully catch some live music somewhere. There are some great outdoor cafes/restaurants. It is beautiful weather here today...I hope it sticks around:)

I will write again soon! Love you all!

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