We took our first vacation since Terry joined the foreign service in mid-January. Wow.
First, traveling with an infant is nothing like traveling without one. We are normally carry-on-baggage-only people, and this time we checked 2 bags. Sheesh!
Second, the Greek people are incredibly child-friendly and gracious. Every single time we were on the metro (which was every day) someone offered us a seat because we had Alex in the Snugli. Sometimes multiple people offered. Of course, our girl hates for mommy or daddy to be comfy sitting down so we had to decline every time.
Thirdly, the Greek people are, like the Maltese, convinced that we are abusing our child because we don't dress her warmly enough, in their estimation. More than one person made it clear that Alex needed at least a hat. One old woman tried to pull Terry's jacket closed over Alex.
For our trip to Athens, we were very graciously hosted by Terry's good high school buddy who had moved to Greece a few years after college. He and his wife could not have been more kind or more accommodating, and it was truly a luxury in so many ways to be staying with them. It gave Terry time to catch up in the evening when Alex and I went to bed, it gave us a local interpreter and tour guide, and it let us stay in a residential neighborhood rather than somewhere more touristy.
On to the sights ... we arrived Saturday evening so Sunday was our first opportunity to tour around. Poseidon's Temple is reportedly lovely at sunset so off we set in the afternoon for a 90-120 minute trip. The Temple truly was lovely, and when Terry finally gets through editing the photos you will all see just how lovely. Terry and I each thought the other had brought the bottle so there was no bottle so a starving Alex screamed for an hour while driving there.
Monday was a hang out and organize ourselves day, and touristing began in earnest on Tuesday. We went to the Acropolis because we decided to do the thing we most wanted first in case something got in the way of getting back later. It is amazing to walk around the Dionysius Theatre where Euripedes' plays were first performed, and to see the temples at the top of the mountain. I can understand why the gods wanted to reside up there! The Parthenon was under scaffolding, which annoyed me, but the rest of the structures were pretty amazing. Alex was snug in her Snugli and slept through the whole thing!
We did a lot of wandering around and some requisite gift-buying on Wednesday, and we visited the Agora (ancient marketplace). The weather was icky so we didn't stay too long, but it was a place I could see bringing some food and picnicking in better weather.
We meant to update the blog right when we got back, because now I can't remember what we did the other weekdays :-(
Saturday we tried to go visit the Oracle at Delphi but we arrived 10 minutes after they closed. Part of the delay was because Alex decided to have her first massive poop explosion, the type where you just throw away the clothes she's wearing at the time. Anyway, there were other sights nearby that were open, and when Terry links the photos I'll remember the names. There was an ancient gymnasium and something for Athena. It was a beautiful day so we just wandered around for a while and even sat in the sun. It was a wonderful way to end our trip, as we woke and left before dark on Sunday.