Forget the birth of democracy--- they've got puppies!
08.01.2009 - 09.01.2009 40 °F
A cruising day. Nothing to report. We ate. We slept. We started gambling.
I had done a little indie research on hiring a driver to take us around Athens instead of book a cruise excursion. It was about the same price and we would get to see much more. Plus, get the real scoop on the situation in Athens and have fast wheels with a local in case a riot broke out.
We met John at the terminal, holding a sign that said DERRICK MANSMITH. Geez. It's going to be awhile before we can sort the names out. Everyone keeps calling Craig "Derrick."
We hopped in his very nice taxi and he yelled at some other taxi drivers in Greek, laughing of course since they were all there vying for the tourist business. He was so nice. He made great conversation with us while getting us about. There was to be a demonstration in downtown that day at noon, so he switched up his normal tour order to get us across the demonstration route to the Acropolis. We drove along the natural harbor where there are 50 seafood restaurants, went by the palace (missed the changing of the guards by 2 minutes), hit Mt. Lycebetticus (soooo spelled wrong, but I'm working fast here, people), Hadrian's Arch, the Acropolis and then the Agora.
We were pretty ruined out by the time we went to the Agora, so I was starting to take some funny videos... when a band of puppies came bounding up to us!!! Ohh... my heart melted. They were jumping all over me and so sweet. What killed me was the runt of the litter who was timid and hung back, peeking his head around the corner to look at us. He finally came near and I scooped him up. He was adorable and pitiful and I wanted to smuggle him onboard in Craig's jacket. It was touching. There are so many stray animals, but they seem well cared for.
I can't describe the splendor of Athens' ruins. I also can't upload pictures. Craig's laptop is rejecting my memory card and the photo lab here wants to gouge me on the disc transfer. I guess it will wait until we get back. I can tell you that we are learning a lot about ourselves as Americans and consumers. We live far more extravagantly than we need to and have had such a narrow view of the world. I feel very comfortable abroad and hope that we can make some changes when we get back.
Our taxi driver also gave us great commentary on the political situation in Athens and moved us quickly back to port when another demonstration started. John was awesome... he even lent Craig his jacket because I left mine on the ship like an idiot. And it was cold.