Weekend Adventures in Athens

Thanks to a called off trip to one of the camps to install new network equipment in an effort to fix/improve their WiFi, we ended up with almost the whole weekend off! We were both fairly exhausted and had decent headaches so ended up spending most of Saturday alternating between walks exploring different areas around us and nap/reading breaks in the air conditioned apartment. Tonight is our last night in this apartment, which we’ve called home longer than anywhere else since we moved out of our house in July. It’s been nice to land in one place for a while, have easy access to laundry and to get to know a little neighborhood for a bit. We’re out of the tourist areas a little in a residential area that’s somewhere in the early stages of gentrification complete with tons of cafes, workshops and street art. It’s vibrant with a handful of little squares packed with restaurants, but plenty quiet enough to sleep well. Tomorrow we move around the corner to another apartment managed by the company until we move on from Athens. Not sure yet when that will be.

Sunday we played tourists with another couple that’s been volunteering at one of the center’s we’ve both been working at. Ironically enough, they’re also from the NW (Idaho) and it’s been a blast to get to know them a bit – particularly her as we’ve spent a lot of quality time in the women’s bathroom at the center doing laundry together. They’re traveling for a few months and moving on from Greece next week. If you’re interested in reading about their adventures check out their blog: regretless.life. I’m looking forward to seeing what they write about Athens and volunteering.

We met up at a church offering English translation via headset Sunday morning that turned out to have a British guest speaker. After a quick gyro pita we hoped on the metro south towards the coast then grabbed a taxi to Lake Vouliagmeni. img_20161016_161802047 It’s an interesting little lake just across the road from the coast, nestled up against a rock face that drops into it and creates a handful of apparently quite deep caves that haven’t been fully explored. You can dive, snorkel, sun bathe, eat, swim, etc. It’s fed by a hot spring and has a pile of minerals in it that they claim cures everything from “post stress disorders to gynecological disorders.” It’s also quite full of those funny little fish that show up in “fish spas” around the world and supposedly eat the dead skin off your feet and completely creep me out. Thankfully they don’t nibble on you if you’re moving so I just made sure to always keep moving, which is a better work out anyway right? I’m pretty sure they didn’t get me even once and I’m creeped out just thinking about the people sitting at the edges letting hundreds of them gnaw on their feet!

We came back to town, meandered a bit, grabbed dinner and wine with a rooftop view of the Acropolis and then grabbed a table at the always busy dessert place in our neighborhood, which turned out to be rather an adventure in how much chocolate 4 people can consume in one sitting! We ordered what turned out to be 5 LARGE chocolate themed desserts served around the edges of a metal platter roughly 16-18 inches across with about ½ gallon of odd tree sap flavored ice cream in the middle with pools of chocolate and mounds of whip cream filling in every possible gap between things. Just in case you need proof I’m including a rather poor picture of the monstrous dessert. It was a blast to both play tourist for a day as well as to spend a day hanging out with people! Here’s hoping we cross paths with Jared and Erika again soon – I already miss having her around the laundry room today at the center!14753727_10153779360631736_5750580497116526920_o

Today I was back volunteering at the center and hanging out in the laundry room, but with a few much appreciated breaks to chat with people and a couple good moments of laughter. Now that we’re a bit better rested AND have internet at home again now I should hopefully be back to writing a bit more again and a bit more about the work I’m doing.



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