Monday, March 30, 2009

Lykavittos (MARCH 30, 2009)

Hello again! Last night I was feeling better, so I walked down to Varnava square, where almost everything was closed, but I found a bakery where I got this bread thing containing cheese and bacon, and it was delicious. I went to sleep after starting my Odyssey reading and later woke up so I could meet the group at the Athens Centre. From there, Helma led the group through the traffic toward Likavittos hill/Mt. Lykabettos. Along the way we acquired a stray dog that became a mascot of sorts. Henceforth I shall refer to him as Stavros. Stavros was probably following us for a few reasons, whether he just wanted to cross the streets safely, wanted human company, was running from the police and military who seemed to be out in full force today, or was just going the same way we were and probably wondered why we were following him. Anyhow, we walked through Kolonaki, the posh Athenian neighborhood, and soon made it to the base of the hill/mountain. Our destination was the monastery at the top, and Helma urged us to take whatever route went up, of course with her lagging to the rear of the group and laughing at those charging ahead, wasting energy they would miss on those last few flights of stairs. We made our way up trails, wooden and stone steps, switchbacks, and paved roads (turns out there were taxis at the top as well as a train that brought people less young and bucksome as our lot apparently). When we finally reached the top, I was on my last leg (i could feel each one leave me as we climbed) and promptly sat down on the nearest stone bench to catch my breath. I was not alone, as most of the group was wiped out. Even Stavros was panting as he laid down near me. The view from the top, the highest point in the city, was impressive, and would have been much more impressive if the clouds hadn't rolled in during the night. Paul said on a clear day you can see the islands in the Saronic gulf, which would be pretty awesome, but I took some pictures of the view so you, reader, could see what I saw, from the Acropolis, to the Stadium near where I live, to the University and Mt. Hymettus. I think, since I went there on the first day of my classes, I will return on the last, to see the view before I leave, but also to see how fit I am after 3 months of walking a city of hills. After the view was enjoyed, we walked down (so much more pleasant) and slowly made our way back to Mets (the "home" neighborhood). After a much-needed shower, I went off to get lunch at the gyros place in Varnava square. Afterwards, I talked to Katt duringher break, and then went to classes. In Greek we got some background on Xenophon and started sight-reading The Constitution of the Athenians (not actually by him, but whatever). Then we had our discussion/seminar with Helma, where she had trouble remembering names and doled out the traditional first-day-of-class test on Richard "Hard" Stoneman's Traveller's History of Athens. Wasn't too bad. Helma then gave us an overview of the first three weeks of the course, and let us on our way. And this, reader, is where I meet you in real time, so, until next time...


  1. Isn't it funny how these pictures are beautiful, but no where close to as what your eyes truly saw? AWESOME VIEW!!

  2. Totally! It was just amazing!