Friday, June 4, 2010

Athens Arrival


It's been less than 24 hours since I left Newton, Massachusetts and I've already eaten excellent olives in a Greek taverna, out in the sun, surrounded by Spanish tourists. I like the feeling of traveling by land better than just getting on a plane and getting off in another world, but you've got to admit it's convenient.

Speaking of air travel, the last time I left out of the gate at Logan that I did yesterday was when I was going to Florence with Katie Koppel, by way of Paris, last March break, and we ran into Sandy and Lucille Stott on the plane! I always like remembering when I was last in a particular terminal or at a certain gate.

I've already broken the law here, bringing in a grocery bag half filled with fresh fruit from the U.S. I had planned on eating it on the plane over, since British Airways is striking and therefore is not giving out vegetarian meals, but I ended up bringing most of it to my hostel here in Athens. It might seem ridiculous to keep old apples and grapes when I'm surrounded by all of these amazing olives and feta cheese and spanakopita, but I'm saving money so I can do things like kayak between islands on Croatia's coast and hang glide or para sail or whatever off cliffs in Turkey. Not that I'm not eating the olives. Obviously, I have to eat the olives.

Another random thing: people told me before I left that because I'm traveling alone, I'll meet way more people than I would if I was with somebody else. But I don't think that is necessarily true, I think that when you're alone you just notice all of your interactions with other people a lot more, like they "count" as something more. When you're with a friend, you can talk with somebody and learn about them, but you can forget about it fairly quickly. I am interested in watching the solo-travel aspect of this trip unfold.

Since it's pretty hot here in the early afternoon, I took the opportunity to write this blog post and do some other logistical stuff, and pretty soon I am going off to find something cool enough to keep me awake despite my jetlag. A shout out to Elizabeth Lamkin: there are NO FOUNTAINS here. Nothing to cool off with. Also, Elizabeth, I did the exact same thing as we did in Madrid the first day, and ordered way too much lunch, spending more money than I will on any meal for the rest of this trip, probably.

Tomorrow I am going to take public transport out to a beach so I can cool off and continue a recent practice of swimming across large-ish bodies of water, like Walden Pond, by attempting to swim across the Mediterranean. Just kidding. Sort of. I also want to walk around the parks here, and visit some ruins and other old stuff. But the thing is, the old stuff is kind of all around you here- I just walked past an above-ground subway track running through an excavation of these carved columns and buildings.

If you've ever been to Athens and have any suggestions for things I should do here, let me know! Comment or email Thanks everybody!

Love from the land of the olives,


  1. i thought we saw sandy and lucille on the way to spain....

    and i love my shoutout :) except that it would be better if there were fountains. whatever. i love you!

  2. there was one fountain, but it smelled like garlic, so even I refused to go in.

    And maybe it was Spain. Hmm.