April 26 - Arrive in Athens
Please visit April 26 slideshow
The flight to Athens from Samos took only 45 minutes. Even in that short period of time, the crew was able to serve us a snack and drinks.
When we picked up our bags, we said good-bye to Tom and Leslie (they were waiting for their daughter to arrive on another flight) and walked to the Metro station. We bought our tickets for 6 Euros and walked downstairs to the boarding platform. The weather was cool and windy which made the wait for the train very chilly. Once we got on, it became much warmer. The ride into Athens was uneventful although the train got more crowded as we approached the center of Athens. We had a little trouble finding our boarding platform for our transfer to another train, but all signs and announcements were in both Greek and English which helped a lot. We got off the train at the Akropoli station and wandered through the old city streets until we found our hotel. Although we had a map and were able to walk directly to our hotel, the street signs were all in Greek with the strange Greek alphabet. (Being close to the frat and sorority in Berkeley with their Greek inscriptions helped).
Our room is on the fourth floor of the Herodian Hotel and has a good view of the Acropolis. The room is very comfortable with its king-sized bed and a fully equipped bathroom. (If it has tissues, it is very good. If it has wash cloths, it is even better).
By this time, it was after 5:00, so we checked our email, cleaned up and went on our search for a dinner restaurant. The streets in the old section of town called the Plaka wind around and are narrow and narrower. They are lined with quaint houses, old buildings, ruins, shops and restaurants. We were looking for Taverna Tou Psara which was highly recommended in Trip Advisor as a top choice. We got slightly lost (partly because the sign on the taverna was in Greek with a small English sub-title) but by doing so, we saw many local people getting ready for the Greek Orthodox Easter celebration.
Our dinner was pretty good. We started with a Greek salad with tasty tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, capers, etc. For a main course Ann had lamb souvlaki while I had grilled calamari. We shared a half-carafe of red wine. When we were finishing our meal, we looked out the window and saw an Easter eve procession coming down the steps outside of the restaurant. Most were carrying candles. It was very colorful.
It was now nearing 9:00 and people were starting to fill up the restaurants. Late meals seem to be the standard in Greece. We walked back to our hotel and got to sleep at 10:30.