Our good friend, Pavlos, whom we met while living in Tucson, now lives in Athens. So he invited us to stay with him while we were there. He came and picked us up from the airport Saturday evening and took us to this authentic Greek restaurant where he ordered for us. It was a little bit of a surprise whenever we would go out to eat and he would order for us, because he did so in Greek without looking at the menus. Needless to say we were able to try some very traditional Greek dishes that were very good. Although during this point of the trip I was beginning to miss the good ol’ American food. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s crazy how much you can miss certain kinds of food. I guess you just get accustomed to certain things. I knew I was in trouble when we passed a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Pizza HutÃ¢â‚¬Â delivery driver and I instantly started craving it, even though I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ordered from Pizza Hut since college. But it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter, Thomas was not about to order from there. He thought I was crazy to even consider ordering a Pizza Hut pizza while we were in Greece. I started thinking about before we left the states, when I needed to remove some things from my suitcase in order to get it closedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦I was regretting taking out some of the snacks and water from my suitcaseÃ¢â‚¬Â¦I could have used that, but hey I had at least five different white shirtsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦guess at the time I felt that was more important than having food and water. Wow! As I write these posts, I realize I am beginning to sound a little like a prima donna!
On Sunday we all took a little road trip to the village of Delphi. We went to see the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Oracle of DelphiÃ¢â‚¬Â which for those of you who donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know is where Socrates saw his future and some pretty cool other stuff happened there as well. We did a lot of walking and were amazed by the ancient structures and statues. The museum had a model of what the whole thing looked like back in the day, it was unbelievable. We all pondered at how people were able to build stuff like that without the tools we have today. It’ s pretty amazing. Afterwards, we drove down to a village along the Mediterranean Sea and had dinner which was a beautiful area. Thomas was brave and tried Octopus and Sardines. It was an awesome day trip.
The next day our friend had to go to work so Thomas and I went and saw the Acropolis and the Parthenon. It was very interesting. On our way back we decided to take a taxi. Little did we know that the taxi driver would turn out to be a scam artist. We got in and proceeded to tell the driver where we wanted to go. He told us that the taxis are very expensive after 3:00 pm. We asked how expensive and he said 17 Euros for every kilometer. Then he showed us a document in Greek that supposedly reiterated that. So we said, never mind weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll walk, we were about to get out when he started to drive and said he would just take us to the train station which was a few blocks away. He said it would be cheaper for us to take the train. So we were like ok. We maybe drove a mile when he whips a U-turn in the middle of the intersection and shouts the train station is right there and he points down the road. He said the fare would be 20 Euros. Holy crap! But what could we do, so Thomas gets a 20 out of his wallet and hands it to him and just then ThomasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cell phone rang so he answered it and said he would call his friend back. Meanwhile the taxi driver had taken the 20 and turned around real fast and then started to shout, “I said 20 not 5, 20! And he hands Thomas a 5 back, supposedly the 5 Thomas had just given him. Thomas said I thought I gave you a 20? The taxi driver is growing impatient, we are blocking traffic and he wants us to pay so he can get out of the way. Thomas was confused so he was like ok, and hands him another 20 but as he did he felt like something was up, but we just got out. As soon as we did, Thomas was so mad, he realized we just got played. So the one mile ride cost 40 Euros, which is $50.00 American dollars. What a crock! We were pissed. We ended up taking the train back for less than a dollar! When we told our friend, Pavlos, about what happened, he was outraged. He felt so bad for us. Guess we learned our lesson the hard way. Never take a taxi in Greece! Ok that might be a little harsh…just don’t be stupid Americans!
That evening Pavlos took us by where the Olympics were held, and to this really neat little downtown area with lots of shops and restaurants and he even took us by the first Olympic Stadium ever built. It was great that he was able to show us around and take us to some really cool places that we probably wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have went to had we been there by ourselves. We had fun seeing him and spending time in Athens.
Here are some pictures