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Day 3: Time change, Politics, and OuzNO!

View Greece with William on empaustian's travel map.

We lost the time change battle. We slept in after our 20 hours of no sleep on Day 2 and went for brunch at a great cafe a couple blocks away. I got Spanakopita for breakfast, which is a pastry filled with spinach and feta.
We walked to the Temple of Zeus and Adriatic Arch, which is a shrine built in the 6th century to the Olympian god. There used to be 104 columns and only 15 remain today due to earthquakes and conquerers throughout the years. As we continued on to Syntagma Square, I was amazed at how the Greeks had incorporated the archeological sites into the city. We passed a dig site just a couple feet from the bus stop!
Syntagma Square is where all of the buses meet in Athens and is also considered the center of Greek politics. Across the street from the square is the Parliament building where the Changing of the Guard occurs.
Next, we saw the first Greek University and the National Library. They were absolutely beautiful buildings, but I was astounded that even those buildings had been tagged with graffiti. The police do not penalize people who graffiti, so it covers the majority of the city.
We briefly checked out Attica Square, the shopping district, which was a huge contrast to the historical district we are staying in. It's funny to see all of the motorcycles lined up all over the city. It kind of reminded me of all of the bikers in Portland.
Will and I walked the Plaka loop, enjoying the flee market and adorable churches before getting a late dinner at 9 pm. Most Athenians do not eat until 9 or 10 pm and sit for hours at the restaurant.
This is a picture with our "bible" aka my binder with the itinerary, tickets, and everything we need for our trip. It's sacred.
After about an hour, we signaled for the check and the waiter offered us a "small" glass of ouzo on the house. I emphasize small because this was not a small glass and also, our first time trying ouzo. It tasted like black licorice and was strong on the tongue, forcing us to take small sips. I did not think I could finish the glass, but it was pretty clear the waiter had no intention of returning until we were done. We spent the next 45 minutes sipping at it until finally we forced ourselves to take large sips. Looking back on it, ouzo is such a tricky drink! In the moment, it is just plain rough to drink, but in retrospect it doesn't seem that bad.
We walked through Athens nightlife, which was still busy even though it was a Monday and finally went back to the room to sleep.

Posted by empaustian 19:37 Archived in Greece

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