Jul 29, 2011

Getting there and the first day.

3am Hong Kong time:
So the trip started off a little shaky. I had a momentary lapse of "what on earth am I doing?" But then I was okay. Its a bit nerve racking going to a place all by yourself and not even knowing if or where you'll be staying. Qatar airlines was absolutely amazing though, checking in the guy got me bulkhead seating for the first flight and emergency exit for the second flight from Doha to Athens. I did manage to think ahead and write down directions for a hostel that I think might have room, so that might be ok. There are a lot of children on this flight as well, I dont think i've ever seen this many but it is an overnight flight so maybe i'll get lucky and they'll just sleep.
1130am in Greece:
Arriving in Doha i didnt have a window seat but I could see from where I was sitting this beautiful orange and red and yellow sunrise. It was the kind of sunrises you only see in the movies and you can just imagine the desert that goes for miles. I unfortunately wasnt able to take a photo so you'll just have to take my word for it. In the airport it was very small and there were a ridiculous amount of children screaming,crying,throwing fits,throwing things...after three hours in that airport I thought I might go insane. Perfect anti sex campaign there. Now I am on the plane again and about an hour and a half from Athens, currently over Tripoli. We also flew over Damascus and Beirut.
4pm athens:
So I finally booked into a hotel. I really wanted to find a hostel but everything was booked. The hotel Im staying in is the Attalos Hotel. Its not great but its also not very bad,although it is a bit more than I was expecting to pay. I probably would have spent more time looking but I almost got robbed and that pretty much called it a day for me. This Greek boy probably had seen me walking around for a really long time looking for a place to stay and thought I made a good victim, plus with nearly no sleep and almost 30 hrs of no sleep I probably looked like a zombie. He ran by me and ripped my bag off my body, but somehow I got my foot out to trip him and I lunged forward and ripped my bag out of his hands. He stumbled a bit but didnt fall, and kept running down the street, he must have gotten half way down before he even realized he didnt have it anymore. Im very surprised at how fast I was on this particular day as Im usually not very quick especially without sleep and after walking around in the scorching sun for 2 hrs with a huge backpack. Obviously God was watching over me yesterday.
Anyways got into the hotel and showered and changed and then did some walking around. I saw Hadrians Library and I had some food. Mmmmm greek salad and saganaki. Then I just walked through all the shops. My cousins Yannis, Marios, and Yanni's girlfriend Angeliki came to pick me up at 9 and we had some traditional greek kebab and some greek Mythos beers, and then we walked around and saw the old Greek market place and the old Roman marketplace and Marios told me stories of hidden catacombs under the Greek parliament and secret passageways under ruins. It was very cool and made me feel so much better about my crappy start to my trip. We also talked about the ferry strike and the situation that Greece is in and all those interesting political conversations that I enjoy so much. I was a bit nervous to meet them but we had a really great time and they want to go out again tomorrow night so thats pretty cool. Marios is so much like my brother its crazy, he loves star wars (he has the storm trooper phone cover that I wanted to get my brother), he gas loads of tattoos and loves art, and hes a singer in a band and loves music. Tomorrow Im also meeting up with Nikolos who is just a friend not a relative and hopefully go see the acropolis and the temple of Zeus. I'll let you know...

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