Friday, September 30, 2016

Day 2 in Athens

It was a night of sporadic sleep, interrupted by frequent disbelieving glances at the clock. Finally at around 6:00am we decided to turn on our electronics and entertain ourselves for a couple of hours while the rest of the city came to life.

The hotel manager directed us to a Germanos location where we provided passport ID and obtained a SIM card for the phone. Yeah!! We have a connection to our friends in Greece. The cost was 10 euros for the initial "joining" and 12 euros for 100 minutes of talking and hundreds of text messages.

From there we enjoyed a "blessed" meal at "God's Restaurant"...fresh orange juice, coffee/tea, omelette, toast, yogurt with honey...8 euros each! It was actually quite good.

After the meal we discovered signage with recommendations from Rick Steeves and Lonely Planet. We usually try to avoid the commercialised places but this was okay.

From the restaurant we wandered to a travel agent to buy the tickets for tomorrow's ferry trip to Paros on the Blue Star Delos.

People watching is always a great way to spend hours in Athens. The sun was shining and the day was warming up to 30 degrees so we explored the market and shopping streets. When our energy waned we stopped at a street cafe for coffee/tea and an hour of watching vendors and shoppers.

At 1:00pm it was finally time to head back to the hotel for a rest and to confirm arrangements for tonight's outing. Our plan was to join Vassilikis at the shop where Niovi works.

Niovi making Mojitos (her beauty overcomes the blurry photo taken without a flash)

Niovi and Vassilikis share special time with us.

After a dinner of Asian fusion dishes we met with Niovi at her shop and were introduced to Olga, a regular visitor to Amorgos who we have wanted to meet for years. Vassiliki arrived soon after and we caught up on her work in the pottery studio. Niovi joined us in between serving drinks to customers. She brought us up to date on the refugee situation in Athens and on the islands. The hotel in Athens that was "squatted" by refugees continues to run smoothly with volunteer assistance. She dedicates hours every day to helping with various aspects of the management for this group. The island camps are now referred to as "detention" camps which is very disturbing to the inhabitants who are imprisoned in them and to the volunteer groups to try to provide aid.

After sharing stories and a drink with these women Vassilikis chaperoned our walk back to the hotel.
It was another evening with special friends and we were back in bed before 11pm!

Tomorrow we will be woken at 6:00am for a taxi trip to the port. Should be smooth sailing!

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