Thank you, Melanie.
Breakfast provided here at the hotel is starting to get old, at Day 5. The exact same foods, every day, my only complaint. The hotel is very clean, the staff knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. Tomorrow morning, however, I shall grab a coffee and eat the little fruit tart I picked up at a bakery on my way back this pm.
Found my way to the post office this morning, about two blocks from my hotel, and purchased a medium box to ship some things home in....at the suggestion of a friend here that this would be easier and better than going thru customs. Keeping the silver pieces with me, tho.
I don't know that I have purchased anything that would be a problem at Customs.....but, you never know. They have the same kind of shipping system here that we do.....make your box up, fill it, ship it. I can do that.
First stop after the Metra to Monastiriki was a morning frappe, getting my bearings, then found my way to the Ancient Agora...the heart of old Athens... and it's museum. Fascinating, complex society and culture so long ago. Someday, ours will be retroactively examined in the same way. We are so simply a speck in the vastness of time.
Lamb Souvlaki beautifully prepared and consumed sitting at an outdoor restaurant for lunch, with an olive tapenade and bread prior. Delicious.
I have eaten in a restaurant every day since I left, alone but for the day trip to Delphi on Thursday. Maybe I will be used to eating out alone by the time I get home.
I have walked and walked and walked and walked these past three days straight, but there is always a shady stoop, seat of some sort, or rock to rest on along the way.....everyone, young and old, just seems to just sit wherever they find a spot, no one cares, and I am doing the same.
The Greek people are so friendly and engaging....yes, tourists are their livelihood, but friendly and smiling is nice, and very much appreciated.
Sitting on a shady step at Monastiriki square yesterday, a Greek woman was standing in front of me and giving the evil eye to a youngish man, clearly under the influence of something, who had sat down next to me and started a "where are you from, what have you done since you've been here" type of conversation....hmmm.
I mean, this was not flirting...which I still recognize....and I could easily have been his mother. I suspected, and think the woman did, too, that he thought he would distract me with his charm and then snatch my bag. She was telling him "don't you dare!", with her eyes. It was sweet.
I immediately moved my bag to the other side of me, kept my hand on it, spoke with him pleasantly for a few moments, then said goodbye and left. Thanks, nice Greek lady, and I appreciate your wicked glare settling on him, but I've got this one.
Seriously, the people here are lovely, and want their low crime rate to proudly stay that way. But for this man....and who would have not seen he was on something....I haven't had a moment where I have felt threatened....and him only mildly so.
It is warm here, but not hot, and no humidity, which is very conducive to trekking around. My easily overheated self, however, does not care about actual heat, it is exertion at any temp that is the problem.
Indelicately soaked in sweat for the third or fourth time today, and very tired from sleeping marginally last night, I decided to call it a day and skip the cooking class that didn't even gather til 5:30 pm.
Call me a wimp, but I just couldn't fathom cooking and another 4 hours or so up and moving, then having to be up early tomorrow. I'm a wuss, perhaps, but it is okay. Paid for with frequent flier miles, my own comfort and well being calling to me to take care of myself made losing this pretty painless.
The ruins here are stunning and mind boggling, and everywhere you turn....their beauty, detail and absolutely massive size constructed from marble so many centuries ago....with so much of it still standing...is difficult to wrap your mind around.
It has been a humbling year, steeped in the ancients, getting glimpses of lives lived so long ago, and so far apart.