I had the best day ever today. This is mostly because I had 2 coffees and a Red Bull but also because I went on a tour of the Parthenon in Athens and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion (One of the best perks of working on a cruise ship is the opportunity to volunteer to assist on tours during your free time. I love it because I get to do touristy things and its one of the few opportunities I get to speak to another human being).
For those who don’t know, Athens is the birthplace of authentic democracy (as opposed to modern-day corporate-sponsored democracy).
A brief summary of the history of Athens:
1. 431-404BC: The Golden Era.
2. 404BC-1458: Everything turns to shit for a long time.
3. 1458: The Ottomans conquered Athens.
4. 1821-1832: The Greeks fight for independence
5. 1832: Athens becomes the capital of Greece.
Basically, what this means is even though Athens has a rich history, it looks like an ironic contrast of poorly planned modern-day slums constructed amongst ancient architecturally breathtaking sites.
After being uninspired by Paris, I was certain that I was now desensitized to wonders of travel. I stand corrected – the brilliance of the Pantheon blew me away. Seeing the Pantheon was like watching a 3D movie for the very first time while enjoying a super-sized popcorn and drink combo and a chocolate ice-cream cone with nuts on top, all the while being stoned.
After gawking at the Pantheon for ages, it was time to leave for lunch. We headed to a restaurant where we were greeted with a buffet of salads, moussaka, tzatziki and wine. After eating only crew food for the last month, this was like eating a souvlaki made of fun, happiness and smiles.
Soon, it was time to head to our next stop – the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion. It was an hour drive along the beautiful coast, or so I was told because I was having a post-lunch siesta. Hey, when in Greece…
The Temple of Poseidon was impressive as well. These guys really had their shit together 2500 years ago. And then they discovered Ouzo.
Have you been to Athens?