About 30 minutes before we landed in Athens I had the sudden, terrifying realization that I didn’t speak a word of Greek. Not the best time to realize this, I know. I opened a few podcasts and quickly learned hello, thank you, “Can you speak English?” and “I don’t understand”. Enough to get us by!
Our most used word so far is “thank you”, which phonetically, is “Efharisto”. To which Greeks happily respond with “Parakalo!” Mostly though everyone speaks English which means I haven’t had too many chances to show off the 5 Greek words I know. Bummer!
Today was all Acropolis everything. The museum is stunning. Stunning. It’s built over an excavation site so on the ground floor if you look down you see old stone and marble pathways. Pretty incredible.
Today we learned that a one Lord Elgin is a highly disliked character in Greece. He “savagely” (their words) ripped chunks of the Parthenon off, using crude tools that damaged the original structure pretty seriously. Those looted pieces “found their way” to the British Museum, where they still remain. Greeks strongly feel that these pieces were wrongly taken and should be returned to their original home right away. It’s pretty dramatic and hard to miss the anger they feel about this. Who can blame them!!
After the museum (which sadly doesn’t allow photos in 95% of the exhibits), we had a power lunch. A plate of grilled meats. We were about to climb a mountain to the Acropolis and needed fuel! It was. So. Good. So good. But I’ll never be eating again.
We walked for nearly 6 hours today, only running on about 5 hours of sleep. The mind is a stubborn beast. No matter how hard we tried to sleep last night, our brains could not be convinced that it was really 11pm and not 1 in the afternoon. Matt stayed up reading about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle until he was finally able to close his eyes around 4:30am. Rough. Night.
I spent most of the day in the museum humming a song from Hercules. Yeah, the Disney Hercules. I’ve been trying to convince Matt all day that we should watch it. I understand this is akin to watching Lilo & Stitch in Hawaii, but I can’t shake the idea and I can be pretty stubborn:). He finally caved and we’re loading it up on Netflix now. We’ve got a bottle of Greek wine and the rest of the yogurt from yesterday – we’re taking it easy tonight.