Greece Adventure -- Day 1 -- Athens

The Dead Dog Phenomenon in Athens

There was no agenda to follow, nobody to meet, and no expectations. For the entire trip, we just needed to catch the flight/ferry/hotel check-in, check-out, breakfast serving time, and nothing else. Everything else was completely up to us. As a result of that, we spent our first day in downtown Athens looking for sunscreen (my fault for not bringing any from home), and taking random pictures of napping dogs who looked like they could very possibly be dead. (The dead dog phenomenon was described in the books I read, so I was very excited when I saw them on the streets.)

Archaeological sites are scattered throughout downtown Athens

After a total of 17 hours on the plane and in the layover in Philadelphia, we stored our luggage at the Athens Intercontinental Hotel’s lobby before 10 am and took the shuttle bus into Syntagma Square. The nerdy and stubborn side of me took over the take-it-easy mood immediately when I started reading the hotel’s recommendation on how to spend an afternoon around Syntagma square. So, we followed the instructions and walked to the city’s first pedestrian market, Plaka, and ate our first local Greek meal of classic fried small fish, Greek Salad, and tzaziki. After food, we toured the Flea markets and then Psyrri, under the pounding sunshine and the constant feeling of never really knowing where we were on the map. On the way to the National Library and the University Academy, we found Krinos, a dessert restaurant recommended by the hotel guide and enjoyed a plate of freshly fried doughnuts with hot honey (loukoumades). Delicious!

Freshly fried doughnuts with hot honey at Krinos

At 4PM, we finally got into our room, exhausted, sweaty, and after way too much unprotected UV light exposure to my skin. Due to limited availability, our room was upgraded to a bigger room. When we opened the door, we saw a board room that can host a 8-person meeting, right next to the bedroom. Here, I thought about the non-profit organization that I lead, for which we always struggle to find places to hold monthly meetings. To all our chapter volunteers, this was when I missed you the most. What a waste of this meeting room without you being here!

(see picture below)

In Greece, people eat dinner at around 9:30 PM. We took a long nap and left for the seafront in Piraeus. We had a fancy dinner, with a good mix of tourists and locals, on the deck next to the boats, under a full moon in perfect weather.

Right before bedtime, Albert couldn’t find the camera’s battery charger that he was supposed to bring. So we ended our first night in Athens worrying about the camera, and I had a feeling we would spend much of tomorrow morning looking for the specific charger in downtown Athens where all the roads and signs look the same to me.

Added later: Albert woke up at 3am and couldn’t fall asleep until 5am that night, and so I didn’t sleep well at all either. He shouldn’t have had that cup of (very dense and raw tasting) Greek coffee before midnight. An important lesson learned!


Jennifer said...

You should really enjoy your time there. Stop using computer and internet!

Tze-YIn said...

Dear Alice

Wonderland Alice said...


You were absolutely right. I saw your comment while I was in Santorini thinking about what to blog, and then you reminded to just enjoy the vacation. Thank you!

Those dead dogs are really everywhere! very hard not to share it here. Glad you enjoyed my blog. I miss you!