Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mama Mia!!!

It’s day three in Greece and I’m in love. Athens was far too kind to four young twenty-something Oklahoma/Texas girls (Ashley, Lindsay, Haley & Me). The people love us almost as much as we love their country. On many occasions people have come up to me and stroked my hair and face in utter awe of my blonde American-ness! It’s quite awkward and flattering at the same time. Who knew we’d be such a hot commodity?!

Day 1: A Great Introduction (well sorta)

My long-awaited trip to Greece did not come without a few hitches…Apparently, the Greek aviation transportation peeps tend to go on strike whenever the mood strikes – and today was that day! Unbeknownst to me, the airlines had called my cell phone (which doesn’t work overseas) to tell me my flight was cancelled. So I show up at the Samos airport after a brief ferry ride from Kusadasi, Turkey that am. I am early, so I grab some lunch and plop down to wait patiently for my flight to show up on the departure screen. After about an hour or so it’s getting nearer my departure and still no flight listed…hmmm…I decide to check with the ticket office and my worst fear has come true – CANCELLED! “What?” I ask almost in tears. The next flight wasn’t for 4 hours later and it was full. My next option was the next morning. I opt to do standby and then head into town to the Internet café to email the girls that I won’t be arriving as scheduled. A few hours, 2 green teas and 2 Danish boys later, I am back at the airport. I decided to pray that God would provide me a seat on the plane….and in the midst of my prayer I hear my name called! Whaa la! God is good. I’m headed to Athens! At this point I think I’m in the clear, however, upon arrival in Athens I find that all the city bus and transit workers are on strike too. This means a 45 minute taxi line for me! I fortunately found a Greek couple to share my cab and cut in line with me and they returned my favor by covering the fare! All’s well that ends well I suppose!

The first night in Athens while walking along the narrow cobblestone streets we were offered free wine, drinks, dessert and the likes just to stop and eat at their restaurant. We finally chose a quaint place nestled at the base of the mighty Acropolis with stunning views, tasty food and unmatched service. We were presented with roses and another restaurant owner sent us over fresh mint leaves as a token of his affection – too bad we couldn’t get them to make mojitos out of it! After an A-mazing dinner (fried cheese, chicken kabobs, rice, French fries and watermelon) we set out to explore the streets of Plakos (our neighborhood). After dinner, a street performer and his stray dog caught our eye b/c the man was playing the trumpet while the dog howled along to the melody of his tunes (video to come).

Before long we are whisked away to a rooftop café with even closer views of Acropolis and all it’s glory! We treated ourselves to a hearty dessert – a banana split and vanilla ice cream and strawberries. It was DIVINE!!!! Then a few photos later, we were walking off our dinner and dessert till the wee hours of the morning. This city is captivating! We were so enthralled with the sites and quaint European streets that we totally lost track of time and space finding ourselves absolutely lost and not too disturbed. Especially when we found a street vendor selling fake Louis’ for pennies! SCORE! Circles later we found our hostel (The Student and Travelers Inn) and tucked ourselves in for the night.

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