E95 into Athens.
Published Thursday November 18th, 2004

Well, here I am.. in Athens, Greece. Wow. I've been here about 8 hours and I already feel like I don't have enough time.. I already know that I must travel more or I'll go crazy and die.. Athens proves that there are so many things I have not yet seen.

Anna: Ouzo is disgusting.. It tastes like mint and black licorice mixed together with 40+% alcohol. Ick!

Well then.. Got up this morning at 05.30 and got to the airport at around 08.00 after leaving at 06.15.. It rained pretty hard on the way, but there was not much traffic. My grandpa drove me.

At the airport, I checked in, parted with my grandpa and went to my gate where I waited while eating a sandwich.. The flight was somewhat delayed, but by 10.15 we were in the air, on our way..
A view from my hotel room's balcony.

The flight took us straight over the Alps which had just received a fresh coat of snow.. It was spectacular.. oh so very beautiful!

Flying business class was amusing. I flew business class to use up all my frequent-flier miles which I used to book the flight.. The miles would have expired in the next three years during which I probably wont be doing much flying.

I started of the flight with a glass of white wine, then after we took off I got a coke, and some crackers.. Then a fresh salad, and then a meal, followed by chocolate pralines for desert and some tea.. ha ha ha.. The rest of the flight I slept.. The flight was about 2 hours and 20 minutes in length. We arrived in Athens at around 13.45 GMT+2.

De-boarded the plane and got my back-pack/baggage (which as my back-pack..) I exited the terminal and had no idea where to go. I found a information booth and got hooked up with a plethora of maps which I bled all over because I managed to cut my knuckled somewhere and it wouldn't stop bleeding..

Being fully adept in public transportation, I took a bus from the airport (which is a bit on the outskirts of Athens) into Athens to Syntagma Square. I bought a ticket for EUR 2,90 which was valid for one trip from the airport to ones hotel for 24 hours.

It was difficult to know when I was supposed to get off because signs are frequently just in Greek, which does not use the Latin character set, so even if I knew the Latin name of the stop, I had no idea what it would look like in Greek.. Luckily Syntagma Square was the end of the E95 route from the airport, and after a little under an hour I finally got off the bus..

Found the subway and took it from Syntagma Square to Omonia Square. From here I walked through the crowded, tight, grid-locked streets until I reached the Amaryllis Inn Hotel in Athens. I checked in and then studied the maps I had gotten for a good amount of time.. I reached the hotel at around 15.40, and left to go explore a little and eat dinner at around 18.15.

I went into the old-town right below the Acropolis, and walked about the street side shops.. Many tourists... many Americans.. I ate dinner and continued wandering around. The temperature was perfect, even while it was night and dark. Wearing only a shirt I was perfectly comfortable. I returned to my room at around 21.00 and here I am.

Spoken Greek, from a distance, to me, kind of sounds like Swiss German. I keep wondering why there are so many people speaking Swiss German. But, when I tune in closer, I realise I have no idea whats being said..

It's really different here.. Everything is incredibly tight. The buildings hugging each other, divided by small roads with heavy 2 way traffic.. A lot of the buildings look pretty run down.. My single-room in my hotel has no toilette, but it does have a sink and a shower. I have to use a toilette at the end of the hallway to which I have an additional key. Ha ha. I think I'll go to bed now, so that I can get up tomorrow and go explore!

Another view from my hotel room's balcony.

Note that photos in this entry have not been altered and could possibly use some white-balancing, contrast, brightness, saturation, and hue adjustments among other touch-ups.