The Chronicles of Athens, Part I – The Tour That Was Not

I had booked tours ahead of time (or exorbitant amounts of money, may I add) for Rome, Florence, and Milan. (Side note: so totally not worth it, save for the Milan tour of Last Supper. And that was the most expensive one too! I’m going to forget to write things, aren’t I. See this is why travel blogging should happen when the person is still traveling, but the problem is that it’s so much more difficult to do so when you’re on the road and working from a tiny netbook that hardly supports Lightroom as it is…)

Anyway.

I went to Athens and didn’t have a touring plan, or anything of the sort, so when I saw that our hostel had a six euro tour in the mornings, I jumped at the opportunity.

Unfortunately for me…

The tour sucked.

I mean, sure, we saw things. And I suppose it didn’t help that it was drizzling the whole day…

And I suppose its not his fault that our tour guide had a wicked thick accent that I couldn’t understand….

But still. It was a sucky tour.

SO bad, in fact, that I was falling asleep while standing up, holding an umbrella under the drizzle, and walking.

Although I suppose I was getting sick around then already, so maybe it wasn’t entirely the hostel tour guide’s fault.

Apparently he’s supposed to be some kind of rock star. Looks the part, at least, with all that straggly long hair..

One thing I did learn from him about Athens is that there are all these dogs everywhere, and they’re just wild and free. Which would freak me out if it was the states but apparently people in Athens are nice enough so as to feed these wild dogs and so they don’t go hungry and they don’t attack.

They just kind of sit there and are fed.

That’s the life, huh?

Although I do wonder where the collars come from…

I have no idea what I’m taking a picture of here, to be honest. This is when I started falling asleep while standing up. I felt bad, really, since I think he was trying really hard (though when anyone has to be compared to Tom, anyone loses.)

See? Giant water droplets.

I mean, Athens is a pretty place…sometimes. When you’re standing at the right angle. Generally speaking, though, it’s a very practical city. In that it doesn’t really deal with the frills and the prettiness like Venice or Rome might, but it’s just there for its people, while still maintaining some of its history.

I guess the best comparison I can give (save for the history part, since any kind of “American” history is marginalized when compared to anything European) is New York: it’s existence is mainly for the people of New York. It’s a practical kind of place, without all the decorative stuff and fountains and things. But still, there are some nice places, if you know where to go. Not historical, certainly, but I still rather enjoy the existence of Times Square, hm?

I have no idea what this is.

I remember sneezing a lot in front of this building though.

Oh, this part I remember. Someone asked about the “orange trees” and he said that we could help ourselves, if we liked. But that the orange trees were actually some sort of insert-some-version-of-an-orange-but-bitter tree, and that no one eats them because they’re so disgusting…but we were welcome to them, if we liked.

 

…thanks.

Um, I’m semi-certain that this is some kind of government building. We stood in front of this thing for what seemed like hours, waiting for the change of the guards, that never actually happened because it was raining and even the guards didn’t want to come out.

There were lots of guys (of some ethnicity, but I don’t want to seem racist…and I’m not sure what ethnicity they were anyway) selling umbrellas on the street for five euro.

So many sales with our group…

Random Athens street in the rain…

We walked some more.

And crossed some sort of square (I stopped listening at this point, can you tell?)

Saw some more wild dogs….

And then I bounced.

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