Sunday, August 22, 2004

My first Sunday in Athens.

Today I stepped in a nice big was of gum. All heated and mushy from the hot Athenian sun. I'm still sticking to the ground when I walk.

I left ya'll off in Bari.....
When I got into the station @ 10 I found out that the ferry only left at 2000. So I had missed it. I figured that I could try to negotiate a fair price for a hotel seeing as I couldn't get a hold of anyone at the hostel. People in Bari were really rude. I found this little Pizza shop and asked for help in there. I was surprised how quick I remember The Italian I knew... It all came back.
I remember thinking that it was really nice to see a genuine Italian mom and pop pizzeria. Then I remebered I was in Italy.
I had a pizza and regrouped, and started looking again. I went to this lilltle spot and the fellow said 30euro. I was a little bit weary, then I found out that there was a shower IN the room. The money was on the counter sooo fast.
The room was huge and a double bed, and a shower and a toilet and I slept so well!
I picked up my ticket for the ferry the next day. Of course I walked the wrong way @ first and only found out about 2 kms down the when I stopped for some water. I bought the wrong kind, the frizzante. Yuck!!!
I went to buy my ferry ticket and thought I could scam a ticket for 48 euro but it was all sold out. I had to buy an upper deck ticket. I got up there and there was a pool, jacuzzi, fresh air, clean facilities and a poolside bar. Couldn't ask for more.
I met a fellow traveller from Austria, named Erich. We had a good time, he tought me to play an austrian card game. We laughed a lot talked and eventually parted ways in Patras. His eventual destination was thessoloniki for a wedding. We also exchanged addresses.
From Patras to Athens I took the train. Holy Shit ! I thought that upper New Brunswick railway was bad. This one takes the cake. No AC, bad track, but nice people. The girl accross the way helped me figure out how to pronounce the greek alphabet. After she got off a nice elderly gentle man sat beside me and I would write down the words I saw outside and pronounce them and he would nod, smile and correct my pronouciation. I've learned a few words and can somewhat look at Greek words and sound them out.
Another woman got on after Corinthos and she was a greek american. We had long chats and she taught me a lot about Greece.
I arrived in Athens only to find out that Joachim's family were still away in the islands on vacation. I had to find a place to stay. Skip over the next section if u are my mother or Lisa. Sorry guys.

I wandered around syndagma looking at all the archeological finds. a whole wall is in glass and it shows the strata and the various finds along the dig. One of my plans are to stop at all the Metro stops and check out the finds. I hopped on the e-mail. found out that the canoe kayaking and baseball are cheap enough, I'm gonna check those out. I called some hostels that I found on the internet. 100 euro for the night!!! I would rather sleep in the street. I found another straggler looking for accomodations, her name is Michelle and she;s from China. She's here mostly to see ping pong. Together we didn't do too much better. Everyone on the streets seemed helpful. She finally decided to stay at the student's Inn for 50 euro. I had spoken directly to Machis who told me that Omonia square and area were the cheapest hotels. He also told me to be very careful because it was hooker heaven. So I went to Omonia and I guess they've revamped it. I couldn't find anything. I met a Greek Canadian in one of the hotels and he was really helpful. The hotel he works in was booked until October, and it was and official hotel so it had much of the Olympic delegation staying there. Hooker Heaven My ass Joachim. I walked around and finally had to take a break because my hip hurt ( i Noticed after that my bag wasn't on right and the straps around the back were not tight enuf.. I layed on a bench in a square, waiting for the trams to start to go toglyfada ( I was told the beach was a good place to stay), there were two guys watching the electronic equipment, so I felt pretty safe. After a while, one of them came up and started talking to me. He seemed nice, but I was weary. He asked me once if i wanted to go for a walk, he'd take me to glyfada. I said that it wasokay, i'd be fine. We talked for about another 2 hours, he was really sweet and I figured he was sincere. after a couple more times asking me to go for a drive,of times I said sure and hetook me on a tour of the outlying areas. The sun was rising, it was magical. he took me back to his apt and let me crash on his couch. His English was halted otherwise we communicated well. Nikos, reminded me of one of my exes, James. Lisa will get a kick out of this ( young, cute , but skinny). We watched TV and some really funny shows he had burned. He gave me his number and we might hook up later and see some sights.
While we were driving, I,saw camping outside of Glyfada, so that night I decided to try my luck there. I got off the tram and asked a gentleman how to get to glyfada and he said you are in it. I asked about camping and he said to follow him. His name was Andreas and he's Australian greek. He drove me to the camp ground and it was full i was going tosleep on the beach and he told me that he wouldn't let me do that, and he let me stay at his place on the couch. We had acouple beer, chatted, I had a shower and crashed. Andreas has been retired for about twenty years, got a aussie degree in world economics. He was lots of fun to talk t. Well read and educated on world issues.
I got back into Athens, dropped by back pack off, had something to eat and went to find out if michelle was around. No Luck. So I'm here telling everyone what's up... Of course it's also the hottest time of the day, and it's ac in here.
It's been a crazy couple days but I've been having fun. It's all part of the experience, I'm going to the canadian base ball game tonight. Keep your eyes peeled.