Ah well, it’s unbelievably hot here and I was nearly going to pass out once we reached the Areopagos Hill. Where the mythological trial of Ares where he was acquitted of murdering the son of Poseidon. We were treated to some spectacular views of the city from there as well as a touch of heat stroke.
We retreated to the hotel to wait out the mid day sun and took a nap. A nap in Greece is far more exotic than laying around on our couch at home :)
Before a second retreat to the cool air of the hotel we walked around Psyrri, just outside our door it’s an area of town with narrow streets lined with restaurants and shops. In the morning the lanes were packed with flea market merchants selling their wares on the “sidewalks” (although the streets were about as wide as a sidewalk).
We went to the Taverna Tou Psyrri and fumbled our way through ordering lunch. I had an odd stuffed tomato dish yemista, baked and filled with rice, vegetables and seasoned with mint. It was a minty warm tomato. With yummy tzatziki on the side, thick greek yogurt with slivers of cucumber and garlic.
We made sure to stop at the gellato shop. It recently opened for the day so the piles of gellato were mostly untouched and looked deliciously divine and decorated with toppings. We went for the panacotta flavor and were not disappointed.
(I just might stay on top of my entries this way, coming in out of the heat to blog (even though I decided not to bring my laptop this trip and need to use Mark’s), although the addition of photos will have to wait. Or not.)
In the evening we wandered through the Plaka, this is the historic ancient heart of Athens. More narrow winding maze like roads packed with shops for clothing, pottery, metal works, leather crafts (i.e. sandals galore). Not as much a flea market feel that is in Psyrri and there was certainly more residential housing above these shops.
We wandered by Hadrian’s Arch, the arch built to separate that of “old” Athens from the new in 131 A.D. We peered in through the gates at the Olympian Temple of Zeus, a site I’ll soon visit. Our walk took us in front of the Greek Parliament building and the busy Syntagma Square and down along Ermou Street, a central clothes shopping street.
We stopped to people watch at a taverna under the ever present “outdoor air conditioning” This comprised of fans blowing at high speeds accompanied by a fine mist of water spraying from them. It was quite effective, we didn’t sit there and get soaked or anything. The air was too dry for that. It just made the ambient air quality within ten feet of the building so much more pleasant.