Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ελλάδα

Beta, alpha, eta, delta, omega, epsilon...you would think two people with a marginally working knowledge of the Greek alphabet would be a bit more handy getting around Athens but you'd be (mostly) wrong.  Lisa has a working knowledge of the Greek alphabet so she was pretty handy but I, however, just wandered around trying to decide if the t-shirt, "It's all Greek to me", is funny or not.  It's not.  
No knowledge of the Greek alphabet necessary to recognize the Greek flag atop The Acropolis
It wasn't too hard to find The Acropolis since the high, rocky outcropping is visible from virtually everywhere in the city.  
Parthenon from afar
The Porch of the Maidens
Hail to Athena!
Temple of Zeus:  not as glorious as Athena's Parthenon but at least they didn't ignore him altogether.


The (first) Athens Olympic Stadium was up next.
Panathenaic Stadium:  hosted the first modern Olympic games and the only Olympic stadium built entirely of white marble.
Cue "Chariots of Fire"...
..."Chariots of Fire" about to reach it's glorious crescendo.
"We are the champions, We are the champions...No time for losers, Cause we are the champions, Of the world..."
Among the major European cities we've visited, Athens was unexpectedly inexpensive.  You can eat quite well on the cheap.
This cellar restaurant had no menu.  We sat down, they brought us food and wine, then we paid.  So simple.
Potatoes...

Tomatoes...

...and white wine tapped from barrels served in a no frills metal pitcher.
Sweetened Greek coffee.  
Oink!  Oink!
After a couple of days in Athens, we set off for Crete.
Chania harbor 
Walking the alleys of Chania
Sunset over Chania
The Samaria Gorge:   A leisurely 16 km hike in the blazing sun  
Only 15 more kilometers to the beach!
I guess this hike shouldn't be too leisurely after all
"Didn't you read the sign?!  Danger! Danger! Get walking!"
Oh, how we love thee...
"'It's all Greek to me' still isn't funny."
"Greek letters are hard.  Math is hard."
We also hit up a beach en route to Iraklio.
"Another Greek salad?  Yes, sir!"
Frozen Greek yogurt.  Healthier?  Not topped like this.
We concluded our time on Crete with a day trip, via ferry, to Santorini.
Great views everywhere = Many(!) photos taken
No joke  
I wasn't exaggerating
Lunch in Santorini 
We love you, too
Here's to hoping our cats will also, like this cat, earn their keep