[hey. these apartments have trees growing out of them].
i like America, and i think that as a country, we do many things well.
yogurt, however, is not one of them.
this morning, i spooned a giant heap of authentic tart Greek yogurt (which they call “στραγγιστό γιαούρτι”) into a bowl, sprinkled banana chip muesli on top, added two halved peaches for good measure, and almost jumped up and down while i ate it.
it was so good, i can’t even put into words the experience.
that was by the far the best thing that happened all day. oh, and this phone booth.
no, i’m kidding. the best thing was the pigeons:
they were posted up in front of all the political buildings and very acclimated to humans. not one of them startled when people walked by, which led me to walk gingerly, lest i step upon one of them.
aside from that, the marble building were quite impressive.
this building was heavily guarded by intimidating, good-looking, and profoundly armed gentlemen who rotate every hour, on the hour. some tourists stood close by them to get a picture. i decided against that, as i would likely be the one person that they decided this was no longer welcomed. after all, i DID set off an alarm in an airport.
i’m quite fond of the Greek flag. the tour guide described it as, “the colors of the water and the sky, with a cross for religious beliefs.”
below is the site of the first Olympic games, in 1896.
my sister Lynette [hi net! love you] told me that she didn’t want me to come back from my trip with a whole bunch of pretty pictures that anybody could’ve found simply by typing “Greece” into Google. she wanted me to be in a few, to show that i was there.
so here i am.
also, there are dogs everywhere. i guess they used to be feral and the city of Athens, rather than getting rid of them, decided to treat them well. so they are happy and calm and sleep in the sun or follow you around. i liked them.
the temple of Zeus:
one of the pillars fell down, and the city debated whether to get rid of it. they decided to keep it because it was demonstration of vulnerability. and just because something isn’t perfect, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be seen.
i was talking with Alp, our tour guide. he’s originally from Turkey but now resides in Los Angeles. his full name is Alpsarslan, which means “warrior lion.” i liked that!
while we talked, i realized that i could see both myself and the temple ruins in his sunglasses, and that made me really excited.
so ridiculous, i know.
i also climbed up to the Acropolis, which is located in central Athens atop a large hill. the pathway that sloped its way to the top is paved with marble tiles. people visit from all over the world and trek this, which has caused the walkway to be worn smooth, so it’s quite slippery.
[this is not an ad, but i would be remiss not to shoutout my Chacos. i didn’t slip once].
gorgeous, stately, and heavily trafficked, the Acropolis boasts the remains of Athens’ once powerfully philosophical epicenter.
it has panoramic views of the entire city, and the water off in the distance. i sat on the ledge and stared for several long moments, simply believing that i was in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
oh, and this is Mars Hill:
[it’s a giant gray rock]
but what happened on that rock is significant, and it’s written about in the Bible: Acts chapter 17.
in fact, this plaque quotes Acts 17 as written in the original Greek. it’s drilled into the side of the rock.
here are a few more beautiful things that i saw today:
a museum featuring historical sculpture, and a tiny cathedral halfway up a hill.
i have dozens more pictures i’d love to post, however the internet here is slow, and it’s getting quite late.