Sunday, 7 May
Dolora and I were up at 5:00 so we were ready for our chauffeur, Nicole, when she showed up at 5:30. Nicole had never been on the autobahn with so little traffic but that’s what it is like before 7:00 on a Sunday. We did an extra lap around the terminal to get oriented then Nicole dropped us off after a final goodbye. Dolora and I could not have been treated better that we were by Nicole and Frank.
We were through security with the German efficiency I have come to expect. Then it was off to find some much needed coffee, a muffin and a croissant. A short train ride and we were at our gate. The Lufthansa flight to Athens was full. I had another coffee on the plane which was a little bit of a new experience. They put the grounds in the cup and add water. You are told to stir it good and then snap the lid, which contains a screen filter, on the cap. The filter keeps the grounds out. This might help prepare me for Greek coffee which I plan to have this week.
We had arranged for a driver to meet us at the airport with the highly recommended George’s Taxi Service. Only a few euros more to have someone waiting that would be able to speak English. Our driver, Spiro, met us a little after noon and filled us in on the history and geography of Greece during the ride, at times with no hands on the wheel which made Dolora a bit nervous. We were dropped off at the Hera Hotel, our home for the next three nights.
We were a little early for check in so we completed the paperwork and went for a walk and found a place for lunch, Athena Taverna, for pork skewers and chicken skewers. By then it was time to check in. A beautiful room and the air conditioning works well! It is about 78 and sunny. The hotel is at the base of the Acropolis which we can see with a short walk.
We followed part of a walking tour of Athens that took us past several ancient monuments and through an old neighborhood. It also went through some of the major tourist squares, quite the crowds. I’m hoping tomorrow is a little less busy. Today is the weekend and I think the museums offer free admission on the first Sunday of the month. Dolora and I walked back around the other side of the Acropolis completing a lap.
With the late lunch we decided gelato would make a good small dinner. We headed to Konstantinidis which is recommended by Rick Steves. Dolora and I made a tiny blunder and had ice cream next door. After realizing our mistake, we washed down the ice cream with a scoop of gelato. We found a twenty four hour laundromat across the street from the hotel and will probably do a load of wash in the morning. A relatively early evening after getting up early and a lot of walking today…