On to Athens

We’re officially checked into our hotel in Athens. We left Thessaloniki early Tuesday morning and despite the warnings from Carlene and Mike, I failed to get enough sleep Monday night. A combination of a late night phone call (sorry Bridget!) and some general agitation about leaving our three-week home.

Agitation about sums up my feelings about Thessaloniki as a whole to be honest. I didn’t love the city and I couldn’t pin point why until a few of us began to wander Athens in search of an elusive Thai restaurant for dinner tonight. As I glanced up to the buildings looming over me, I realized why: Thessaloniki didn’t feel like enough of a city to me. Call me a New York snob but I like my buildings massive, my pedestrians purposeful, and my ability to see the sky limited. Thessaloniki is a beautiful area, but didn’t meet these utmost important criteria. Bridget accurately compared it to North Hampton. Not a bad thing, just different than say, Boston.

Also, bad pizza. And that’s not just coming from me–some individuals are working on a covert project to rank pizza in every city and town we go to. So far…the results have not been good.

But Athens! Athens is a city. After getting lost–which I’m fairly certain was not actually our fault, I just don’t think this restaurant exists–we found a fantastic, if touristy spot in the middle of the square with delicious traditional Greek food. Unfortunately the pizza was subpar, but the food otherwise was some of the best I’ve had in Greece.

I’m looking forward to getting a better handle on the city in the coming days, but already it’s looking up.

Speaking of looking up, we spent Tuesday and Wednesday traveling from Thessaloniki to Athens, with stops in Meteora and Delphi which were simply incredible.

While I’m not really religious, I did grow up in the (Presbyterian) church and I’ve always felt a sense of peace in churches. Religion, to me, is a form of story telling, whether ancient or modern. So it seemed fitting that a group of journalists got to witness the story telling, in somewhat grotesque paintings, of eternal damnation.

But the story telling doesn’t stop there! Wednesday, we drove to Delphi, the home of the Oracle and Apollo’s sanctuary. This has been one of my favorite excursions of the trip so far, as it wove together my love of archaeology and mythology. Plus, I finally have proof that Molly’s dad was right: the Greeks did steal their artistic styles from the Persians!…and the Egyptians and “orientals”. And while I’m not entirely clear on who the orientals are exactly, I was excited to get a shout out. (I’m not slandering either, this is all straight from the mouth of our wonderful tour guide Vicky.)

I’m excited to hit the ground running tomorrow, as Suma and I go to a women’s center to yet again cover the refugee crisis. (Click for captions)

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