Leaving the glowy greenness of Glyfada behind, I embarked on a day’s solo adventuring around Athens, with my cousins busy at work or uni until tonight (when we had a yoga and wine night planned!). The train line was easy enough to navigate – one line this way, the other coming back, and the bulkiness of tourist backpacks and foreign tongues alighting at Acropolis station. I followed the crowds to the base of the majestic rock where The Parthenon stands tall, watching over everything that happens in the ancient city below…
Despite having been to the Parthenon twice before, the majesty and magic of the ancient world never loses its lure. From the very top, the entirety of Athens spills below – yellowness washes the entire scene. What I hadn’t been banking on, however, was the wash of rain that was coming overhead, and soon a rush of tourists took flight towards the city, leaving the Acropolis site alone again.
As luck would have it, the storm lasted all of 10 minutes! But I was already well on my way towards the nearest train station other than Acropolis station, passing rows and rows of gypsies and their wares.
I’m quite spontaneous on holiday, and so I randomly caught a train, not knowing the direction or the destination. It was sticky and packed. Beside me, a priest stood also on his journey, but that was not to the taste of several elderly women seated comfortably on the train. I couldn’t believe the scene unfolding: one Yiayia prodded this teen with headphones in, telling her in Greek to stand up for the Papa (Priest). The girl ignored her, and the Priest moved to tell the old woman not to worry, but the woman wasn’t having any of it. She absolutely roasted this young girl, who seemed not to have a care in the world. I’m pretty sure I remember the words “lazy” and “disrespectful” being thrown around.
With all the commotion, I hardly realised where we were. Suddenly the train thinned out, the crowds gone. I realised quickly that I should’ve gotten off where everyone else did, so a few stops down I did get off, eager to retrace my steps a little. But not first without some wandering…
The place can only be described as a wasteland. There was nothing about. After a few wrong turns in a wide tunnel, I even lost the train station. There was nobody about, and I’ll be honest with you when I say I got a liiiiiiittle bit nervous at this point. I made my way up some random stairs and realised that there really was nothing here. From the other side of an over-the-road bridge I saw a tram, however, and instead of trying to just get on a train back towards Glyfada, I decided a change of transport would be nice – I shouldn’t waste this adventure, after all, right?
I really wish I remembered the name of the places I went to this day, because the tram ride back towards Syntagma Square was amazing. I hopped off the tram a couple of stops from that deserted creepy area and in front of me was the bright blue Mediterranean! Imagine that, a beach just outside Athens!
The rest of that day was spent lazing by the water, the pebbles hot on my feet and the sun reinvigorating my spirit. I was totally and completely lost, but felt safer than ever.
Athens, what a treat you are! xx