Friday, February 29, 2008

Day 99 & 100 - More Museums, Athens

Today, I didn't do much since I woke up late. I just took a look around and sat myself in Eleftheroudakis. The following night, I had a fire at home. It was good fun.

The next day, was the last day of the month for the leap year. I headed out at about 10am, and looked for a museum that was worth visiting. The Folk Art museum lost my interest, and the Ceramics museum wasn't in service, so I decided to visit the National Historical Museum, which I got free entrance for. It was an interesting visit; there were old fashioned displays of costumes, mainly Ottoman antiques from the 15th to 20th Centuries.

I didn't do much else for the day other than spend time at Aleko's.

Anyway, that's the hundredth day of my trip. I will share a video to sum up the past events.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Day 98 - Museum of Popular Greek Instruments, Athens

Today I paid a visit to yet another museum; the Museum of Popular Greek Instruments. This museum was well worth the visit. It had displays and sound samples of what the instruments were like, from the 18th Century upwards.

I later decided to go to the Centre of Folk Arts and Traditions, and the History of Greek Costume Museum, but both were closed. I decided I wouldn't visit them anyway; I crossed them off my list as visited. I couldn't be bothered.

I felt a sense of satisfaction, and spent the rest of the day at Eleftheroudakis, studying languages.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Day 97 - War Museum, Athens

Today I went to another museum to cross off my list. There are so many museums, I wonder if I actually should be seeing them all. I feel that I must do it, and if I don't, I'll miss out. Such thoughts made me stress, and made me feel unorganised.

Anyway, this museum was free of entry; and very interesting, to say the least. I was wondering why it was free to enter; the displays here are great! I saw displays of weapons and vehicles used in the World Wars. Yes, it was a modern war museum, not an ancient one, and still interesting nonetheless. There were model planes and tanks, life-size.

I went to Aleko's place later on to chill.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Day 96 - City of Athens Museum, Athens

Today I made a visit to the not-so popular City of Athens museum. It was easy to find, and inside was quite interesting. It showed models of Athens city and what it looked like in the 1900's, and how it has changed over time.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Day 95 - Athens, Varkiza and Peania

Today I was meant to go to Cape Sounion, but I ended up in Varkiza, because by the time I got to Cape Sounion, it might have been too late. I spent ages waiting for the 125 bus in Peania. It was fine, though. Varkiza was a nice place, and I made use of my camera.

Afterwards, I went back home, then back into the city centre again.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Day 93 & 94 - Work and Eleftheroudakis, Athens

Today, I woke up early, as I was asked to go and help Con at work. I wasn't on a shower screen mission though; I had to help clean all the rubbish around the building, which was very dirty work. That will sum up today.

The next day, I bought myself another weekly metro ticket, so I can travel into and out of the city easily again. I hate being stuck at home. I didn't do much other than go to Eleftheroudakis to do a bit of research, and to the internet café to do a bit of catching up.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Day 92 - Walking from the City Centre to Glyka Nera, Athens

Today, I've hit the 3-month duration of my stay in Greece, a day I would have had to return to Australia had I not had the residence permit.

I didn't have money or tickets to begin the day with today; I'm keeping a good eye on my bank account and trying to save the money I have available. I'll need it for exploring Greece.

Despo gave me a ticket and a little bit of cash for me to head out. I went into the city and stayed at my "base", Eleftheroudakis, for a while. I bought myself a souvlaki later on, along with a bottle of water. Now the money Despo gave me is finished. I was tempted to pull out more from an ATM, but I wanted to save. I decided to WALK back to Glyka Nera, which was going to be an achievement of its own. The entire walk took almost three hours, but it was a rewarding walk. I knew exactly where I was going and I didn't get lost. All up, it was about 15 kilometres.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Day 91 - Palio Faliro, Athens

Today I decided to hop on any random bus and head in whichever direction cried out. It was a good opportunity for me to sit down, ride and think. I ended up exploring a bit of the suburb Palio Faliro. I was looking for the Hellenic Cosmos Centre too, while I was here, but didn't end up finding it, as I confused Palio Faliro with Faliro, two separate suburbs.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Day 90 - Strefi Hill, Athens

It was a reasonably warm day today, and there was still some snow on the ground. It had dried up by now. I headed to the internet café in Aghia Paraskevi to do a bit of updating.

Later on, I went into the city, and decided that I'd climb Strefi Hill, the next tallest after Lykavittos and Filopappos. It was a great trek! There were some nice patches of snow on the ground too. I observed the view from the top, and saw some people having campfires on the hillside. In the distance I could see the Saronic Gulf Islands. I will be exploring these sometime soon.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Day 89 - Snow in Glyka Nera, Athens

Today, there was going to be no public transport service, yet again. It's not going to affect me much this time; there is something much better to do outside in the snow.

First, I helped Con shovel the snow out of the driveway. It was pretty tiring, but a new experience for me. I then took a stroll. I decided to have another attempt at making a snowman, now that there is more snow. It wasn't a very impressive snowman in the end, but still good enough.

I then took a stroll up the mountain. It was covered with snow, and it was difficult to climb, but I absolutely loved it nonetheless. I felt like a fictional character out of a movie climbing the alps. It's a kind of experience I really love. I love the idea of conquering snowy mountain peaks. It was the closest thing I had to it. The snow was knee-deep in some areas and I got plenty of ice in my boots.

I ended up lying down in the snow for a bit. It was comfortable, very nice and cool. I don't think any feeling is more comfortable. I took a big stroll around, and even slid down a hill, using my jacket as a sled. It was great fun. I had a blast.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Day 88 - Snow in Glyka Nera, Athens

I woke up in the middle of the night tonight, and decided to take a peek out the window. And voila; There was snow! It was exciting to see. But I went back to bed, so I can enjoy it in daylight when I wake up.

I woke up at about 9am, and went outside for a stroll. It was great fun! I hadn't seen proper snow since the last time I visited Greece, which was 6 years ago.

I attempted to build a snow man, but there were two problems. One, there wasn't enough snow, and two, my hands were absolutely freezing, even with gloves on. I'll get it done later, with a better pair of gloves.

Later on, I decided to catch the bus to Aghia Paraskevi. The bus went very slow in these conditions. I went to the internet café to get my photos of the day uploaded. I'll take some more tomorrow. There snow is getting heavier and more will be coming in, which will provide an even more picturesque environment.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Day 87 - Numismatic Museum, Athens

Today I decided to visit the Numismatic Museum, which was just across the road from Eleftheroudakis book shop.

I got free admission, and witnessed an impressive display of ancient coins. This museum consisted of nothing but ancient Greek currency. I was quite impressed, and I enjoyed it here.

Afterwards, I went to the book shop and internet café. It was rather cold upon returning home; it will probably snow tomorrow, or so I've heard.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Day 86 - The Planetarium, Athens

Today was particularly interesting, despite waking up late. I'm quite sick of waking up this late; it's taking time off my holiday!

Nonetheless, I took a little day trip. First I went to Eleftheroudakis, and then I decided I was going to visit the Planetarium. I looked up a street directory in the book shop and found it's location; then took the necessary bus, which was number 550.

Once at the Planetarium, I purchased a ticket for "Violent Universe", which would start at 8:30pm. I had a bit of time to spare for now, so I explored the streets surrounding the Planetarium. At one point, while standing outside on the steps, a driver in a van passed us, and the passenger had given me the rude finger, for absolutely no reason. It was quite a laugh. Did he give me the bird just for looking at them? Well, regardless, I found it quite funny that out of sheer randomness, he'd bone me.

Anyway, the show started, and I must say it was great to watch. I had plugged in the earphones which provided English translation. I looked up at the giant dome-screen, and I felt as if I was moving while the screen was showing bits of space and planets. It was like the IMAX theatre in Sydney, only it wasn't in 3D, but still great nonetheless. I've always found space truly fascinating.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Day 85 - Pagrati, Athens

Today I woke up late, yet again. I headed to Niko's shop, and collected my long awaited residence permit for Greece. I am now allowed to stay here for one year from today. I was happy and relieved, but not completely. I have to find out if I can visit Latvia.

So Niko helped me out with this. He called up the Latvian Embassy here in Athens, and we asked our few questions. Things weren't cleared up 100% though. I'm going to make a personal visit to the embassy.

I'm just hoping that I will indeed be able to go. Agnes tells me that she misses me, and that she is sorry. I wished her a Happy Valentine's Day, and told her that I'll see if I can go up to visit her sometime soon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Day 84 - Glyka Nera, Athens

Today was expected to be an extremely boring day. The public transportation system was on strike, so I couldn't go into the city at all. I had to stay in Glyka Nera.

Nonetheless, I made what I could out of the day. At about 3pm, I hiked my way up to the nearby mountain, part of Mt. Hymettos. I hiked to the top of the section that got snowed on. It was fun! There was no snow on the ground, but there was plenty of snow falling through the air. I had a fun time trying to catch snowflakes on my tongue!

I thought I saw a wolf or wild animal up here too; Greece has a few of them. But I realised that it was just a car. I was talking to Ada via text messaging too, telling her how cool it was up here.

Later at night, I watched Life As A House on TV. It's a really great movie.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Day 82 & 83 - Theatre and Jewish Museums, Athens

Today wasn't much of a day, as I woke up fairly late, and wouldn't get to any museums in time, thanks to their early closing times. So I spent the day in Eleftheroudakis, expanding my travel knowledge and developing my ambition to travel. With each book I read, my desire to travel more and more grew bigger and bigger.

The next day, I woke up at about 11am and headed into Athens. I decided to check out the Theatre Museum, which I got free entry for. It wasn't fascinating, but it was alright to see what stage performances were like back in the day. I was focused on visiting every museum in Athens, or at least most of them. I've got a fair bit of time on my hands.

So next, I was off to the Jewish Museum. I paid €3 for entry. This museum wasn't very interesting either. There were a lot of panels to read from, and I learnt about some of the history.

I spend the remainder of the day at the internet café and Eleftheroudakis, as usual.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Day 81 - Vorres Museum, Peania

So, after yesterday's massive fail, I decided to have a study of the road map. I headed to Peania again, a whole new day ahead of me to start over. This time, I was in luck, and found the Vorres Museum.

I paid €5 for entry. There was no student discount, despite it being mentioned in my Lonely Planet guidebook. No big deal. The museum itself was quite interesting. It was definitely different; it was a modern art gallery. I was quite impressed actually, and I'd say it was worth it. There were sculptures and pictures made out of coca-cola cans and straws, and it was quite amazing. It's quite amazing how much creativity can come out of sometimes really ugly items. There were plenty of paintings and sculptures of nude women as well. This is some high quality stuff!

After my visit, I went on a tram journey along the coast of Athens, from SEF station to Voula. It was quite a good ride.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Day 80 - Athens, Peania and Eleftheroudakis

The first thing I did today was head to Peania. There was a museum here that I hadn't yet crossed off my to-see list.

I spent a whole hour looking for the bloody thing. I didn't even manage to find it at all. It was a massive fail.

Well then, I headed back from here, and decided to go to the city instead to have a read at Eleftheroudakis.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Day 79 - Glyka Nera, Athens

It was time to go back to Despo's place to reside. I packed my bags and caught bus X41 to Irini, near the Olympic Stadium. Then I caught the suburban train from Neratziotissa to Doukissis Plakentias, from where I then caught the 307 bus to Glyka Nera.

I had a bit to eat at Despo's, and then got my room arranged.

Later in the day, I headed back into Athens central and spent some time at Eleftheroudakis and the internet café.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Day 78 - Pagrati, Athens

Today I headed to Niko's shop to check on my visa updates. I had to pay him €300 for the visa to be done. So I went to the nearest ATM and grabbed the money for him.

For the rest of the day, I took a walk around Athens. I checked out the Roman Stadium, and tried to find a way in. I ended up circling the entire thing, and managed to get some good views of it.

I spent the rest of the night at Eleftheroudakis.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Day 77 - Lykavittos Hill, Athens

Today was going to be a rather big day. I headed out at midday, and caught the X41 bus to the Olympic Complex Stadium. This was a good transfer point from Menidi to the city. I took the electric train from the Stadium to Attiki, and got myself a new weekly ticket. I then went into the city, and got myself a Souvlaki from Savvas. The waiter knew what I wanted; chicken. I have been to this shop enough times for the waiter to remember me, not to mention I was a foreigner as well. Afterwards, I went to Eleftheroudakis book shop, once again. I dediced to take a picture of the National Library on the way.

Then, I decided I was going to take a little hike. First I walked along the Grande Promenade, and climbed the Hill of Pnyx and the Hill of Nymphs, which was a beautiful hill, marble embedded, situated right beneath the acropolis. There were lots of people on here as well, and I took my walk around. It was pretty adventurous. I also saw a tortoise while on my trek through the forest. I picked it up and moved it to a safer place, where it couldn't accidentally be trodden on.

By sunset, I headed to Evangelismos station, and climbed my way to the top of Lykavittos Hill, the major lookout point in Athens, and a pretty tiring climb at that. I had to take off my jacket.

At the top, there was a nice church, where I spent some time inside and did my cross. I took many photos from different viewpoints up here, and it was a great place to be where I could take in the view, chill out, relax, and listen to the world before me. I was mesmerised. A high viewpoint is a great place to indulge yourself. From the top of this hill, I could see Athens in all directions, and the nearby Saronic Gulf island of Aegina. It was a great vantage point. I spend well over an hour up here, just sitting down and thinking to myself.