Travel Journal: dusty trails and cocktails

After spending the previous day hiking up the Acropolis, it felt like we needed to recharge our batteries a little. Isn’t that what holidays are for?

Our hotel was slightly outside of the normal tourist areas, but the extra 10 minutes on the metro paid off as it had a rooftop pool with 360° views of Athens! It was super quiet with no traffic noise and (on this particular day) no children splashing around! Perfect for getting engrossed in a good book.

Tim Burgess Book

I picked up Telling Stories months ago, flicked through the photos (not too embarrassing) and left it on the ‘to read’ pile. Sometimes,  it just doesn’t seem like the right time to start a certain book, and it gets left gathering dust just waiting for your attention again.

Telling Stories is the memoir of Tim Burgess, the lead singer of The Charlatans. I wouldn’t say I’m a die hard fan of The Charlatans, but I do think they’ve had more great songs than some people realise. I went into the book without much background knowledge or expectation, but afterwards my overwhelming impression is that Tim Burgess seems a likeable person, although slightly bonkers.

I like the fact that it’s slim on facts and figures; I’ve never found it useful to know dates of birth or inside leg measurements. Instead, I prefer to slowly get an understanding of the author, like you’re getting to know a friend, which is the case with this memoir.

Anyway, back to Athens!

The sun had mellowed by the time we left the hotel and we went off in search of food. We ended up at Thanasis for one of many kebabs of the trip. I had what I think was called the Thanasis special, which turned out to be an extra large portion of souvlaki.

After being faced with four kebab skewers I didn’t want to stretch myself too much so we took a stroll towards the Roman Agora. What we didn’t know is that it closes early on Sundays, so we were left peering through the gates from the outside.

Gate of Athena Archgetis
A snapshot of Hadrian’s Library next door to the Agora as we carried on our stroll.

Sometimes Rich and I walk hand in hand, sometimes I get distracted by interesting buildings or a sleeping cat on a windowsill. Whilst I was reading about some rocks which women would slide down to promote fertility (erm, no I didn’t) Rich had found a cocktail bar.

Acropolis View Bar

I’m thankful it had such a lovely view of the Acropolis as Greek service is the slowest I’ve ever encountered. They couldn’t be any more laid back if they tried. It’s acceptable for a holiday, but can you imagine living there? I think my patience would be severely tested.

Rich had a Mojito and fancying myself as a bit of a Bond girl I plumped for a Vespa Martini.

CocktailsIt looks the business, but was quite possibly the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted. I’m partial to a gin and tonic so had high hopes, but it didn’t seem to be made from anything edible (drinkable?) whatsoever. More like a cocktail made from liquids you’d find under the kitchen sink, 0/10.

While I debated how to ditch the Martini, Rich was snapping away to make a panorama of the skyline (he’s stitched a few together now so I might post them later on.) In the distance he noticed a thick green forested hill with a little white building on top. We plotted a course and ended up at Lykavittos Hill (‘hill of the wolves’.)

We’d spent almost the entire day gazing into the distance so it was apt that the views are the main reason people visit Lykavittos Hill.

At the top is the Chapel of Agios Giorgios, where that evening a wedding was taking place. I felt a bit of a gatecrasher as they had their wedding photos taken, but everything was still open to the public. It was nice to visit Lykavittos and witness something special even from a distance. It’s often the unexpected things which makes each holiday memorable.

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