Well, we haven’t had much chance to blog since we’ve been in Greece. Unfortunately, affordable internet is a bit of a rarity, so usually by the time we’ve done our basic errands (check email, book hostels in next destination, etc.), we’ve already spend €12, and can’t take the time to write as well
Since the last entry, we’ve visited the islands of Mykonos and Naxos, and have now spent 2 days in Athens.
Mykonos was mainly just a stopover on our way to Naxos, so we saw a very small part of the island, and the main town. It was very much swamped with tourists, as there were a couple of cruises in town, and found it quite frustrating being back in such a tourist dependant economy.
Naxos, on the other hand was wonderful. It’s a pretty laidback place, and we had great accomodation in Naxos town. We went horseback riding one day, something which didn’t exactly meet up to our expectations, since the horses were not the best behaved, one of them went so far as to get into a fight with another horse and throw Kathy off. No one was hurt though, and now we’ve lost the desire to go horseback riding for a while, so it’s one less thing to check into everywhere we go. Another day, we rented quads to get around the island. This seems to be the in thing to do on Naxos, either with quads or with 2 wheeled scooters. It’s definately a beautiful island, and we had a great time going south from town, but when it came time to turn around, we discovered just how windy it was, as it felt like we were facing into a gale.
The ferry from Naxos to Athens was a bit of an experience. We’ve found there’s not much consistency with the ferries. Our first ride, we booked the second class up (called economy with that company, as opposed to the lowest class, deck), and found that our assigned seats either didn’t exist or couldn’t be found. We ended up spending most of the trip in the very nice lounge anyway, which we could have gotten to with deck class. Our second ride on a Greek ferry was on a highspeed ferry, which, even in the lowest class (economy), was very comfortable. But our third ride, to Athens, we booked into the lowest class on a slow ferry (called economy, but actually deck class), figuring we’d just sit in the lounge anyway. Turns out that with that company, the “lounge” is a fast food restaurant. Not much fun. Add to that that the boat was very full, and the people seemed very pushy, and it wasn’t much fun. Luckily we were able to upgrade our tickets, and the rest of the ride was fairly comfortable in business class seats.
And then we come to Athens. It’s a bit of a dissapointment, as several of the “can’t miss” sights have been. The Acropolis is under construction. Or, more accurately, destruction, since the current theory of conservation seems to be to pull everything apart piece by piece, and then restore it with the most modern methods. Apparently prior restorations are believed to have done more harm than good, so they’re going all out this time.
So the chief attraction wasn’t much to look at, and it was swarmed with crowds. No missing the Princess Cruise this time. The people who run these attractions also aren’t exactly people friendly, since you get there, then get pointed in the direction of the ticket office, and then, when you go to present your ticket, are told that you have to check your bag. That was bad enough, but my camera batteries had the misfortune of dying while my bag was checked, so I couldn’t change them.
So that’s where we are right now. We also visited the National Museum, which really wasn’t all that interesting. Museums around here really need to work on their storytelling, as opposed to just having labels with physical descriptions of items, and where they were dug up.
Anyway, I’m taking up the only computer at the hostel, where the internet is free, and there are people waiting, so I’ve got to go. We’re off to Olympia tomorrow.
Tags: athens, Cairo to Budapest and Beyond, Greece, naxos