I've tried reeeeeally hard not to be THAT tourist. I've been careful what I've photographed, quietly listened, haven't yelled loud English words repeatedly, and tried to smile and say hello in Greek to the locals.
Really. 7 days. It's been going well.
Then came today.
Right off the bat, when I entered into the breakfast room and squeaked as I gazed out the window, I knew my streak was over.
It was a good run.
Today I squealed, gasped, oooohed, cried, and begged Valerie to take the craziest photos.
I hugged British and Asian tourists out of elation and excitement. I read words of Scripture out loud, my jaw stayed open 99% of our travels, and a smile never left my face.
Today, Hailey lost her cool.
But I think, if you're going to lose your cool, it should be done so in Athens.
Yesterday we rode the train 6 hours to Athens. From there, we caught the metro to a stop, and five blocks later, discovered our hotel. That was the short version of it. If I was to try to recreate every thought that entered Hailey's mind it might go something like this....
"This train is so cool! Ohmygosh, the window seat, CAN I HAVE THE WINDOW SEAT?!? The countryside! Wow! So great! So Greece! I have to take a picture of this! Wow, it just got really dark, why do these passengers have to smoke so often? What are they saying over the intercom? Are we there yet? Val, are we there yet? I can't see anything, the train is 10 minutes late...15...45....an hour?! Did we miss something? Why so late, Val? GAH. We made it. We are here! We are...where are we? Val? Where are we? Do I go this way? Where's the bus? It's a metro? Where? Underground? Oh like NYC! So cool! What are these words? What are these places? This is NOT like NYC! Val, what's our stop? How do we buy tickets? Val, what are they saying? Are we going the right direction? Should we get off? WOAH THAT HOTEL IS JUST GLOWING! Hang on, Val, I want a photo. Yes. I know you're hungry. Me too. Wow. Actually I'm REALLY HUNGRY! Omigoodness! KFC! Do you see it? Yes! We are saved! Food! I want it all! Wow look at all this! Val take a pic of me with the chicken! Yes, I know you're tired, no I don't know the street we are on, was I supposed to be looking? I'm eating this chicken! What's the name of our hotel, Val? Are we close? Should I ask someone? Well duh I don't know Greek, but maybe they speak English? Okay, then, we won't ask, let's just wander. WOW these little alleys are just so quaint! I bet this is what Paris looks like! You've never been there, right Val? *mouthful of chicken* Hey Val, are we are lost? It's okay, if we are, you can tell me. I mean hey it's pretty at least! Yay! Our hotel! Hang on I'm taking a photo! This is so cool! Wow! Room 306! Great! Look at this! Look at this view! Val! Are you looking? Do you see?"
On the other hand, Val:
"Yes. Cool. No. No we aren't there. No. No we still aren't there. No I didn't catch what the train said, it was too fast. No we aren't there. Yes I'm sure. Yes. Now we are here. No. Stand here. Don't move. Go left. Hold my water. Turn right. Hailey. I'm hungry. No. I don't want to take your picture. No we aren't lost. No I don't know where we are. No we aren't asking. No we aren't going to get mugged. We are fine. Look. The hotel. Turn here. We are here. I'm taking a shower."
....and that, my friends, is travels with Angus and Dairy. I think we balance each other out, just like milkshakes and burgers.
You're about to begin a visual tour of Athens and beyond through the lens and eyes of Hailey. And maybe then you will understand why of all days it was today that Hailey lost her cool.
But first, lets travel back to the beginning. The very first view of Athens in the morning light...
I took this while we sat and had our breakfast of fresh squeezed orange juice, warm milk with oatmeal and raw honey, and fresh bread caked with jam. It was a magical heart attack waiting to happen.
All along the walls scribbles and doodles made the little breakfast room so very cheery. And the best part? All ENGLISH!
This was something regarding Hadrian....I read the plaque, told myself I would remember for the blog and here we are....blanking.
Ripe olives dangled from the trees as we journeyed towards the Acropolis. It's a shame neither of us enjoy olives...I almost ate one because I felt so bad. Instead, I took a photograph
So much marble. So much history.
Look familiar? The parthenon
Look at it. In all its glory.
Look at the details! My mind was on overdrive.
Here's Hailey- on tourist overdrive
Super proud of the fact no tourists were in this snapshot.
You know, maybe I should start photographing signs. That way I can read back on the history. That would've been really smart, Hailey.
Val showing off with her good, Greek knowledge
Yea, I mean, I guess I was impressed. I guess. It's hard to tell, my poker face is like none other.
Val: "One day I will live in a house of entire marble." ....And that's when Hailey realized the high mountain air had claimed another victim and it was time to climb off our mountain peak.
Please enjoy this super attractive photograph of Hailey wearing her enormous backpack because ain't nobody going to swipe my stuff on that metro.
And of course, the food. ALL THE FOOD. We are living on a gyros and gelato diet. I'm sure it's healthy.
This gelato was so dark, it was BLACK. Again, I'm sure this is healthy.
In the past 36 hours we have:
-Rode the train for 12 hours
-Slept for maybe 6 hours
-Taken the metro and buses
-Climbed the Acropolis
-Destroyed all phone memory
-Journeyed halfway across Greece
Look at all you experienced today! You didn't have to wait in line, stand on a crowded bus, hike a really, really big hill, pay an enormous sum of euros for a train, and navigate the streets of Thessaloniki at 11 PM. There's really something to be said about virtual travel. But there's also a lot to be said about being there in the moment. It's incredible.
From here, to there, to everywhere, I'm happy to say we survived another 36 hours in Greece.
-Angus and Dairy