Our bike building session last night was an uneventful affair, right up until the moment I realized that we were missing our bike lock chain. We searched through all our luggage only to realize that neither of us remembered packing it. A quick chat with my dad at home verified. The chain never got on the plane with us. Knowing we couldn’t really go anywhere without a way to lock up the bikes, we added a chain to our list of errands for today. We boarded the metro by 7:00 AM, hoping to sight see without the crowds or the heat. On the way, we met this little kitty cat, the first of probably a dozen. The feral population here is huge, and we’ve seen plenty of people feeding whole herds of felines.
Our first stop was the Temple of Olympian Zeus, where we were the very first people on the site. We were amazed to note that the temple construction began in the 6th century BC, and pillars are still standing. In our own hometown, homes that are 100 years old are considered old so I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the longevity of these structures.
Soon, we were wandering around the National Garden, basking in the coolness of the morning shade. We eventually stumbled on a playground where we crammed in a brief workout before setting off. We aren’t sure how long it will be before we see a pull-up bar again!
Then we headed over to the National Archaeological Museum to check out all the stuff that has been found in the ancient sites over the years. The intricate marble carvings were incredible and the views from the museum were also spectacular. To understand the history of the Acropolis made its continued existence all the more compelling.
Once we’d done enough wandering, it was time to get serious about our errands. The first bike shop we tried carried an assortment of chains that were nowhere near long enough for two bicycles, and our subsequent trips to some scooter stores also came up blank. Strangely, it wasn’t until we revisited the flea market from yesterday that we found just what we needed.
With our most urgent errand done, we headed back to get some work and laundry done during the hot part of the afternoon. En route, we picked up our first gyros of the trip. With absolutely no Greek skills, we pointed at the menu and hoped for the best, ultimately ending up with sandwiches that were straight up three times more than I can eat in one sitting, but so so tasty. We didn’t need any dinner after a meal like that!
I also completely ran out of time to get my hair cut before we left, so my other errand was to get my ever growing mullet trimmed back down to its former pixie length. I meandered a couple of blocks from the apartment and stepped into the first open salon where I was quizzed with bewilderment while my mop of hair got trimmed down. The lady couldn’t figure out what on earth a tourist was doing so far into the residential part of Athens for a haircut. When I tried to explain that our rental unit was nearby, she seemed even more confused- didn’t we want to stay downtown? I tried to explain the easy metro access, chill location, and inexpensive nature of staying a ways away, but I think I just sounded crazy. The cut left me looking a little more like my brothers than I had hoped, but it’ll fill in with time?