Published: August 6th 2012July 25th 2012
There was no one on the flight and we managed to get 12 seats for the 3 of us, meaning we each had 4 to lie on. Who needs business class lie flat beds? Unfortunately we still didn't sleep too well and were pretty exhausted when we arrived in Doha airport.
Even though we had been in an equatorial climate for 3 weeks we were hit by the heat in Doha. Luckily the airport has been updated and it is air conditioned and cool, but it is very small and there is very little to do. Not much fun when you have a 9 hour transit. We could have paid to go in elounge but once again Ramadan restrictions thwarted our plans. They were only serving snacks, no alcohol and for some reason there were no showers allowed. So we slummed it on the public seats like everyone else.
Unsurprisingly, There were large numbers of Muslims in the airport and at one point a group gathered around one man, with the men sat on the floor at his feet and the women on seats. He seemed to be preaching and was very loud keeping us all awake.
ate, played cards and drank coffee to pass the time. Toby struck up a conversation with a security guard from Kenya who was on his break. They chatted about books and Toby ended up leaving his book for Fredrick to read.
Some how the time passed and it was on to the next flight. The guy across the aisle from Harriet was very upset about not having a window and made a big fuss. Eventually the steward suggested he could move but he remained where he was. Were we cynical thinking he wanted to be upgraded to the empty business class?
When we arrived in Athens we took the bus to Sintagma Square. Even tough it was 7 pm
it was boiling ot and Harriet was confused whether it was evening or morning. We got hot and bothered trying to figure out where the metro was with 3 huge bags and then to find the hotel once we got back above ground. We wouldn't have won the Amazing Race!
The hotel was a nice hotel, but the area was decidedly sleazy. As we walked to find a restaurant we passed a porn shop and prostitutes on the
corner. The restaurant was recommended by Lonely Planet (of course) and was a beautiful old taverna that reminded us of the Batavia Cafe in Jakarta. We ordered, and ate, far too much, but enjoyed the bread as a welcome change for rice.
Crossing the road was tricky. We kept expecting the cars to slow down and go around us and then remembered we had to wait for green men and traffic lights and that cars had the right of way. There were dogs everywhere just like Indonesia and it was still hot even when it was dark, prompting Harriet to comment it was like a white Asia. And with that thought we went to bed.
There are more photos below