I've returned from the heroic land of Hellas
Probably one of the best holidays I ever had.
Saw tons of monuments and art and I filled an entire booklet with notes and impressions to boot while also taking so many photos that put Asian tourists to shame.
The weather was really good in Athens. Got a slight tan, but nothing more, because I covered myself with a towel on the beach.
I'm really prone to getting sunburns.
I loved the Acropolis. It's monumental, it's relatively well preserved, and the scorching sun only adds to the experience. Makes it feel almost transcendental. You're here, but also there
in time as you look at this gigantic temple that survived 2000 years.
There's a lot of stuff.
The best were the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum, the Temple of Hephaistos and the Ancient Agora of Athens, and the Byzantine and Christian Museum and of course the National Archaeological Museum.
Really, if time is limited, I'd have just visited the Acropolis+museum, the Ancient Agora and the Archaeological Museum.
The Acropolis is in the spotlight because of how central it is, but the Agora is very quiet and is more like a park with a few ruins and a museum inside. (The Agora's museum is very small and isn't worthwhile after seeing the National Archaeologic Museum)
There were really few tourists everywhere because of Covid, so I got to take my sweet time everywhere while I took notes and photographed. (The lack of visitors because of the virus was probably one of the big reasons why I enjoyed this trip so much.)
Wearing a mask was compulsory on public transport and in enclosed museums.
Most people observed it.
The Greeks themselves are very friendly. It's as if the ancient value of xenia
survived to this day. You buy two pieces of ekmek and they give you a third. They give you free watermelon after having lunch. (Funnily enough, in Hungarian watermelon is called "Görögdinnye", which means "Greek Melon".Ö
They smile, and leave the shop unattended while they show you the bus stop.
Really, compared to Italy, nobody tries to rip you off at all. Not to mention that the number of Indians and Negroes selling bracelets and roses seems to be quite low, though I wonder how these fucking third worlders all come up with these concepts of ripping you off like this. It's as if there was a higher authority that directs them or something.
Contrary to people working in tourism in Italy, they speak English. Not "good" English, but they understand it and can communicate the necessary information.
Though when I went to a bookstore, I achieved more by saying Odüsse-eeyah
instead of Odyssey
, but that's just me being an assburger weirdo who cares about the titles of literary works in foreign languages.
Also looked at what the street vendors had on offer in terms of books, but I haven't found anything good/relevant to my interests in their selections.
Another nice gesture is that if you're under 25 and have an ID card from an EU country, you go to all state-museums free of charge and there are no limit as to how long you stay or how many times you can visit a given museum with an ID.
Like for example I went to the Archaeological Museum twice, because I missed the Mask of Agamemnon the first time.
The beaches near Athens aren't very good, but they aren't terrible either. It's just that I wouldn't have wasted time going to the beach personally. There are many places with beaches. There's only one place with THE Acropolis.
But the see is actually kinda purplish in the distance if you look at it, so it's almost like in muh Greek epics
. Haven't had the chance to see if dawn is rose-fingered
One complaint of mine is that Athens is to put it simply at times is very dirty. There's trash everywhere and you can see hobos injecting heroin or inhaling meth, which probably explains why Budapest hobos look better despite having to suffer through winters. Those bastards only drink cheap, flavoured ethanol.
It's a cool country with cool heritage and cool people.
I returned home with it as follows:
>The Anabasis in two volumes in Ancient Greek
>The Complete Works of Sophocles in Ancient Greek
>An A/4(?) sized replica of the Mourning Athena Relief
>A bottle of Ouzo and Metaxa
Having a decorative item of Pallas Athena was one of my long-time wishes. She's my favourite God from the Greek myths.
This relief I saw in person at the Acropolis Museum, so having a replica of it makes it feel all the more personal.
Plus it was only 8 Merkelshekels, which is remarkably cheap for a tourist knick-knack of this size. Now I just have to find a place to hang it.