The second part of the route is full of historical places and wonderful food
Day two began with a trip to the Olympic Stadium. Now, it is obviously not the first Olympic Stadium ever, BUT, I felt like being in Greece where the Olympic Games originated, it was a symbolic thing to see. It was little more than a track with stadium seats and a big statue across the street. Regardless, in my mind I heard the Rocky theme song!
From there we continued on to see the Greek Palace. We were lucky to see the changing of the guard. I pause to mention that the traditional guard uniforms are rather interesting. They wear a type of navy blue jacket and kilt combination with white tights and pointed shoes with pom poms on the end. They also wear a jaunty red hat. It was interesting considering how different the uniform is from anything you might see in Spain or in the States.
We then continued to a small park near the palace which also held the National Gardens. Being as we were there in early April, there wasn┬┤t much in the way of flowers, but it was a nice area to walk around.
We walked back toward the hotel on one of the main streets of Athens passing by the Parliament Building, the Academy of Arts, a University building, and what looked to be the national library. By this time we were ready for lunch and found a place to try an authentic Greek Gyro (pronounced yee-ro). It came with pita bread, tomato, onion, a special sort of sauce like mustard and tasty chicken. For dessert we tried some ice cream from a stand in the main square of Athens. It was no different from ice cream in Spain, which means, of course, that it was quite tasty.
That afternoon we rested before setting out to see the town at night! We wound up in a rather touristy area (Plaka) for dinner, and were seduced by one of the many men along the street calling to us about their fine food and good prices. The place we found had outdoor seating and small heating units, so we took advantage and had a seat. We tried another Greek dish called mousaka. It is basically Greek lasagna with layers of mashed eggplant, lamb and b├ęchamel sauce. In a word, it is delicious!
After we ate we stopped at a bar in the area which was known for its ouzo. The bar had barrels and bottles along the wall, so I suppose that if you knew about ouzo you could have had a field day. My friends and I had no idea, however, and enjoyed testing the traditional drink while meeting some other travelers at the long table. We met a group from Albania and another group from Italy. The close seats and long tables made for a friendly environment that invited you to get to know new people. It was a fun night, but we had decided to go to an island the next day, so we headed home a bit early