Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Greece Again

Well, for the last four days I was in Greece for the second time. I was there last year for 10 days and visited Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini.

Needless to say, I wasn’t planning to go back this year, but my husband had a conference in Athens and thus one of us had a free ticket, so we headed there Thursday night and I came back last night. On Saturday we took a day trip to Aegina, the closest of the Greek islands (40 min by boat, 23 EUR round trip per person).

I wasn’t really that excited about the trip to be honest. That sounds terrible, but I like the excitement of stepping off a plane in a completely new place. There’s that rush you get when you have no idea what’s there. I already thought I knew Athens.

But I was wrong. You don’t know a place until you go where the tourists aren’t. Like the meat market, where pigs heads hang from display racks. Like a restaurant off the beaten track where old men drink beer, smoke, and listen to hand held radios at their table. And like the metro, possibly the cleanest part of Athens (and the only place where smoking appears to be banned). For the record, Athens is the smokiest city I’ve been to in Europe.

Greece was better the second time around. Because we had already seen the main sites of Athens, we had a very relaxing time. Of course, we still took a hundred photos of the Acropolis. But this time we knew where to get the best shots. And the best part of being there in Feb/March is that there are barely any tourists and you can get the best shots with no random heads in the way. Plus the weather was great—60s and 70s.

Now I will definitely be open to revisiting cities. You get a whole new perspective the second time around when you aren’t as much of a tourist running around like a chicken with its head cut off!

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