Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | October 10, 2012

Ode to a Grecian Turn: Day Thirteen

Author note: Sorry for the delay in updates.  In upcoming entries, I will be complaining about my Mac cord dying on me.  Well, it wasn’t the cord, it was the fact that my Mac was 5+ years old and the logic board was having issues. Rather than buy a new logic board and hope it fixed the problem, I bought a new laptop, but there were a few days where I was (the horror!) sans computer.  I should be back in business now.

Well, I’m back in Athens and once again upgraded to the Herodian Hotel, so I won’t be able to compare the two sister hotels for you.  On the plus side, I do like this hotel.  I’m on the first floor this time, and the room seems a little smaller than I recall the other one being (though that may just be the layout differences), but it is more than adequate.  More over, it seems to be tucked out of the way and the hallways is pretty quiet.  I was a bit concerned about the two ashtrays in the room, but if this room was smoked in, it definitely was not a recent occurrence, so I’m not fussed about it.  Everything is clean and I feel safe, and those are my two important factors for a hotel.

View in Delphi

The Hotel I stayed at in Delphi (the Amalia) was also very nice.  I gathered from poking about the book in my room that the Amalia is a chain here in Greece.  Certainly that’s the hotel that was used to change buses in Athens yesterday, and I think there’s some sort of partnership between the Amalia and Chat Tours, because they had a list of the tours in the hotel book, and no other companies.  I really liked the hotel and found it easy to get to sleep, and to stay asleep.  In fact, I sleep a good nine hours and seemed to need it. (The Amalia has the best towels I’ve had so far, in case you were wondering, the kind that wrap all the way around you and cover your knees. I don’t know why, but I always find that notable.)

I had the complimentary breakfast in the hotel, and was quite pleased to see it was a buffet with many offerings, including hot eggs and bacon, sausages and potatoes.  I skipped the eggs but did indulge in the bacon, as well as the Greek yogurt and honey on top of granola. After breakfast, I puttered around my hotel room then packed up and checked out, leaving my things at the desk so I could wander into town. I took the opposite direction than I had the day before, but Amalia seemed to be the end point of the little town, so I turned back.  I read outside for a while, then found a cute cafe for a frappe with ice cream. After that, I wandered around a little more, read on a bench for a while, but eventually decided I needed to make my way back to the hotel, not only to meet my new group to go home, but to get out of the sun.  I’ll need to remember to carry my sunscreen in my purse tomorrow, since I’ll be out all day.

The bar on the roof of the Herodian hotel has a beautiful view of the Acropolis at night.

I had a snack back at the Amalia, since I wasn’t hungry enough for lunch after my frappe, then boarded the bus back to Athens with my tour. It’s about a three hour drive.  Even though my stay overnight didn’t afford me any extra time at the ruins, I’m glad I stayed, if only to see another small bit of Greece.  The bus dropped me off at the Philippos, where I was informed that I had been upgraded again, and though it took the Herodian a little while to find my reservation, find it they did, so I dropped my bags in my room and then marched to the museum, since it closes at eight and it was already past six o’clock.

The museum is really just around the corner from my hotel, and I found it easily.  I wish I could post pictures of some of the statues and other carved stone things that were once part of the Acropolis, but I’m afraid photos were not allowed.  What is there is really worthy seeing.  It’s amazing what bits of pottery survived the years, some of it either undamaged or repaired so well it might well have been.  The statues I found most impressive, though sad too. Many of them are quite broken and damaged, not just from time (which I’m sure played a role), but also from being casualties of war.  Some of the things were even burned by the Persians in some of the conflicts with the Athenians.  Still, it is pretty incredible what did endure, from intricately carved pleats and folds in robes on the Kore, to the traces of pigment from the ancient colours used to paint the marble or other stone.  Some statures, even, were almost fully rendered, though I don’t believe any is perfect and some are just pieces, limbs missing bodies, faces missing necks and torsos.

I stayed almost until the museum closed, and it was dark by the time I left.  The way I’d come was closed, but I ended up finding my way back fairly easily, though I did have to walk down an unlit street.  I had dinner at the hotel, this time on the rooftop terrace.  I had wine (only 200 ml this time, much more manageable!) and a grilled eggplant salad with haloumi cheese, then totally overindulged with a brownie and ice cream.  It was a little cold on the roof when I was sitting still and I had to read holding the electric candle close, but it was nice dinner and I’m glad I went there, even if the only table left didn’t really have view of the Acropolis.  Tomorrow, I plan to head there after breakfast, and do some exploring of the Plaka afterward.  Until then!

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