Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Syntagma! Syntagma! Athens, Greece, Saturday, 26 December 2009 9:55pm

There was another call for a doctor on the flight to Athens. I didn't see what was going on, but I saw the flight attendant go by with the medical kit. I wonder if there was something on my transatlantic flight too, and I just missed it because I was asleep.

Greece Overwing

There was no passport control in Athens, since we were coming from Paris. I'm going to be disappointed if all I have to show for this trip in my passport is a half-hearted stamp from France. Maybe I'll cross back into Greece from Turkey to get the stamp.

We took the Metro from the airport into the center. A few stops along, a couple got on with their two daughters and sat near me. The little girls seemed to be having fun practicing their reading skills on the "Next Stop" sign (which was handy for me because I need to get better at reading the Greek alphabet. Having been a math student helps, but it's still pretty slow to sound things out). They got more and more excited when we got close to our destination (they happened to be going to the same place we were). When the stop came, they were cheering "Syntagma! Syntagma!" We found out why as we exited the Metro station.

Syntagma Square

It turns out that Syntagma Square is currently a walk-through christmas fair and trinket market. The first thing we saw as we left the Metro were balloon vendors with clouds of fancy balloons. There were people in Santa and reindeer costumes, vendors selling roasted chestnuts, carols playing on the PA system, balloon animals, and pony rides! Too bad Mo didn't come along on this trip. The central area of the city seems covered with flashing christmas lights and snowflake decorations, and lots of people are wearing fancy fur coats, even though it's t-shirt weather out.