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Published: January 22nd 2010
Day 52: Sunday, January 17, 2010.
Athens, Greece. Found this cool site
while looking for some info to link to, check out the panoramas! I want that camera! Now, back to the blog...
Since I fell asleep early I also woke up early. So, I'm out the door by 8:30 am and in search of the Monastiraki Flea Market
which is supposed to be even more amazing on Sundays. As I walk along the Acropolis I see another stray dog coming towards me. He seems to be on a mission and we pass each other without incident. About 10 seconds later, I hear a church bell ring right behind me so I turn to look to see what's going on and, since it's Sunday, it's just the normal routine. However, the dog had also turned around and was trotting back, howling. He stood by the guy who was tolling the bell and howled the entire time he rang the bell. It was hysterical to see. I tried to get my camera out in time but no luck, they finished their duet before I could get it out. A funny start to the day at least.
I look at the map and follow what
i think is the right road but ends up leading me thru a seedier part of town than I think a tourist should see. Once again, I am getting uncomfortable looks from men and I don't even want to pause to take pictures of the ruins and churches that I see. At some point I see people with shopping carts full of wrapped items so I'm thinking they're heading to the flea market so I start to follow them. However, as I look around, my surroundings aren't improving so I find where I am on the map, hop on a metro, and get the heck out of Dodge.
I get off at the Syntagma stop where the National Gardens
are. I wander thru there and while it's very pretty, it feels like a typical city park. I stop and sit on a bench and read for a bit and then decide to move on. On my way out of the garden, I see a pond full of turtles and stop to watch. I've never really paid attention to turtles before, but they're pretty cool. I start to leave when I notice this one turtle that seems to be wedged between
two rocks in the middle of the pond. Now and then he'd move his legs but wouldn't move his position. I watch him for about 10 minutes and start to get pretty friggin' upset. I'm wondering if this entire week is just going to be me seeing strays and animals in danger. The pond is pretty big, so I can't reach over and help him out and I don't see any tree branches lying around. This was really getting to me that much. Finally he twitched the right way and one of his feet made contact with a rock. I continued to watch for another 10 minutes and he very slowly (well, he is a turtle) was able to get away from the rocks and back to the water. I wanted to cry when he finally made it into the pond- anyone watching me must have thought I was a lunatic. I just wanted one thing to work out well today! I was taking video of him getting off of the rocks but I ran out of memory space RIGHT before he made it to the water- like 2 seconds before 😊 However, i did get good footage of him
doing a face plant onto one of the rocks below him. You can probably even hear me go "ohhhh" when he took that hit- that part was like watching a football game and seeing the QB get hit. So, the turtle lived, and I started walking back to the metro station.
As I'm walking that direction I see 3 guards marching my way on the sidewalk and between their official gait and unusual outfits, I jump out of the way. Once again, didn't have the camera ready in time so follow the link to see the uniforms of the guards that watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Watch the video here of the changing of the guards
, I guess what I had coming at me were the 3 who were going off duty. Imagine having that suddenly walking towards you as you're in a turtle daze. As I write this on my final night in Athens, part of me wishes I had seen them change guards but considering how I was grinning just watching the video, I don't know if that would have been a good idea, I wouldn't want to disrespect a site like that by giggling.
Around the corner from the hotel I
found another bookstore that carried English books so, since I was almost done with "The Lost Symbol" I stopped in. I wasn't in the mood to start up "The Bell Jar" just yet. Even though I own a copy at home, I found a paperback of "Angels and Demons" and picked that up. It should be fun to read a book about a place that I've been to. And, it amused me when I was reading "The Lost Symbol" that I was in Europe reading about a story that takes place in Washington DC. On the other hand, when I read "The DaVinci Code" and "Angels and Demons" the first time, I was in the U.S. reading about stories that took place in Europe. Isn't it ironic, don't ya think? So, yeah, babbling aside, I picked up that book and headed back to the hotel. I book a tour for the next day that will take me on a cruise thru 3 of the Greek Islands (Hydra, Poros and Aegina) with port stops at each island. I then hide in my room and enjoy my grocery store dinner.
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