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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Another day in Athens

Waiting for lunch
J wrote thoroughly about the places we saw on our second day in Athens on his blog; I’ll add the family bits here. The bus from Rafina was late so we had a delayed start to our day, and went straight to lunch in a café just off Monastraki Square. Lunch included moussaka (eggplant, potato, spiced ground meat, topped with a creamy béchamel sauce), a plateful of gyro and souvlaki (kebabs), tzatziki (yogurt and cucumber), bread, pita, and meatballs and potatoes for the kids. The generous portions of hearty food filled us well for a day of walking around Athens.

Sitting on the steps of the Stoa of Attalos in the Ancient Agora
Ancient Agora
We strolled through the flea market and the Ancient Agora, expecting L2 to fall asleep in the stroller. No luck, so we headed toward the Parthenon Museum, and L2 finally fell asleep on the way. One of my favorite parts of the day was walking by the Odeon Theater where a street musician (of which there are many around central Athens) played “Never on a Sunday” on a violin. The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1960 for a film of the same name, in which an important scene takes place at the Odeon. The weather turned blustery while L1 had his portrait drawn by a street artist. The artist took about 40 minutes to draw his portrait; have you ever tried to keep a 3-year old still and quiet on your lap for 40 minutes? Later, we passed another artist advertising portraits done in just 5 minutes; we’ll know where to go to get L2’s portrait drawn.

L1 having his portrait drawn 
By the time L1’s portrait was done, L2 was awake; the afternoon was wearing on, and the weather getting worse. We had promised to go to a playground at the National Gardens, and so we skipped the Parthenon Museum (for the moment). L1 was very tired, switched places with L2 in the stroller, and fell asleep. He awoke just in time for the playground. At the end of a good run around the playground, L1 found several bits of colored paper streamers and tied them together to make a “kite” which he proudly carried all the way home. We splurged on a taxi home instead of the metro because it was late and still chilly by the time we left the playground. L1 and L2 giggled and screeched all the way in the taxi. I don’t know if they gave the taxi driver a headache, but I figured it was better than crying, which was a distinct possibility given the late hour and how tired and hungry the kids were.
L2 in the National Gardens on the way to a playground

We have only seen a fraction of the things we planned to see; I'm looking forward to another trip to Athens next week.

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