Afternoon in Athens
Finding a kiosk with a map we stopped for a bit to study it. We found a couple of museums that were within walking distance (depending on who you asked). A sun shower provided a bit of relief from the sweaty walking, and when we got to the museums we found one was closed for renovations and another was just closed. I guess 15:30 on a Friday is too much to ask. We sat for a bit longer under the palm trees outside the museum and talked about our different countries, like the presence or absence of palm trees, hurricanes and other random things that come up when you have three different countries represented in a small group. Daniel took control of the map at this point and lead us to a large park that was just a block or two away. The name of the park escapes me at the moment, but I’m sure it is on the map.
After getting to the park it started to rain a bit more seriously. First a sprinkle which we walked through, but soon it started a bit heavier and we sought the shelter of another palm tree. A good thing too, because before much longer it just opened up and poured for a number of minutes before subsiding back to a light sprinkle and eventually stopping. We decided at that point we were all quite tired, sore and cranky that we should probably head back to the hotel. After a bit of confusion about where the closest metro station was we found our way back to Omonia Square and then to the hotel. By this point it is 17:30 and we agreed to meet up at 22:30 for dinner followed by the club where our Greek train friends were going to be.
I was asleep before I was out of my sweaty clothes and into bed. I woke up with my alarm at around 22:00 and took a quick shower – or the best approximation of a shower given the facilities. Not wanting to be in the same room as my earlier wardrobe, let alone put it back on, I grabbed a fresh set of clothes and got ready to go downstairs. At this point, Q materialized. He had headed to the Acropolis after we left it and although it was closed for entrance at that point, he took a load of photos of it as the sun set. I haven’t seen these yet, but I suspect they are quite beautiful. He has also eaten, but said he would accompany us regardless. We eventually regrouped in the lobby and headed back into the cool night.
We had about as much luck finding dinner as we did finding lunch. We asked a young couple where they would recommend – something nice, but not expensive. They pointed us in the general direction we should go and we eventually came across a few decent places. We found one place were we could eat outside and have a sit down meal of what was essentially like fast food only served by a waiter. The meal lasted about 75 minutes and it was almost 1:00 when we were finished so we decided to head to the metro to go to the club. It turns out the closest metro station was the one by our hotel and Q and Max quickly ran back to the hotel while the rest of waited. Before they were back, we discovered that the metro was closed. I’m not sure what the hours of it are because we definitely are on it between 5 and 6AM that previous morning. In any case, the stop we wanted was only one away from where we were so after consulting the street map by the metro station, I lead us in the direction I felt we wanted to go it. It was a good guess and we found the destination metro station. Then we had to find the club. It was called Studio 54 – like the Studio 54, only not.
The area it was in was crowded with bars and clubs of all kinds. There were also restaurants which might have been good to try out, but alas we didn’t know earlier. It really felt far removed from the tourist places we had been during the day and a bit more like local Athens. Which is probably the case, and one of the nice things about meeting people from the area. So we had a club name and a couple of street names but it still took us forever to find the place. People we asked didn’t really know where it was, but that didn’t seem to stop them from giving us directions anyway. We were heading in the general direction as it turned out, but ended up taking a very round about way. When we arrived, I’m not sure what Sissi told the guy at the velvet rope (which was a stretch for this place), but he let us in and we didn’t have to pay anything. It was shortly after 2:00 at this point.
The club was small and slightly crowded, but better than most bars I’ve been to. As promised, the woman from the train was behind the turntables which were behind the bar – like I said, not a very big place. She has told Sissi that she was going to be playing drum ‘n’ bass which lead me to believe that we would be listening to drum ‘n’ bass. What we were listening to was not quite that, but whatever, that’s not really why we were there. The waitress came by for drink orders and since I was standing away from the others a little bit and it was loud I didn’t hear what they were ordering, although it was likely beer of some sort. She turned to me and so I ordered a Coke. It didn’t take long before she returned with a few Heineken and my Coke. The others paid, and I asked her how much it was. 5€ !! I had to repeat it a number of times before I allowed myself to believe it. Apparently the beer were 8€, so needless to say we all nursed those beverages for the rest of the night. I know that there are places were drinks are going to be expensive, but I don’t go to those places and neither does anyone else I was with. In perspective, two beer or one night in the hotel, that is where we were coming from.
Unfortunately the DJ wasn’t a very good DJ and so after about 45 minutes we all decided that we had had quite enough of that and we headed back to the hotel. Finding our way back was much easier as I just retraced our steps and we made it back to the hotel around 3:30 or so and tried to determine when we should get up. The man at the desk in the hotel told us that the parade started at 8:00 and Q said that one of the guards told him at the parliament that there was a changing of the guards at 9:00. So we reluctantly decided to meet for 8:30 and see what we could see. We went back to our rooms to try to get as much sleep as possible.