Drinking with the Gods

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Drinking with the Gods

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Drinking with the Gods
By Emmanuel Marshall - rawsafari.comPosted on 22nd of October 2016

“You want to see the Parthenon?  I know the right way to do it!”
Maria is a very emphatic person. Greek Australian. That's emphasis x2.
She grew up in Melbourne, but Maria's been living in Athens for a few years now - between hitchhiking excursions, that is.
We get on the Metro and ride to a station near the Acropolis. Through a folksy marketplace, down a laneway, and into a little restaurant with posters all over the walls and display cases full of beautiful ceramics.
From the roof dining area there’s a beautiful view of the Acropolis. We take in the vista for a few minutes, but there's no food service on the roof so we head back down to the second floor to try some yummy snacks.
I can't remember the names of any of the dishes but they were amazing. Especially this little platter of pickles, eggplant dip and breadsticks.
Fortified with food, we set out to climb the hill below the Parthenon. It's a perfect day for a jaunt like this.  It's sunny and warm and not too hot. It's the off season so there's hardly any tourists. Maria points out what good timing it is to be here in October.
“In the summer” she tells me, “you can't move up here. It's a bloody shit fight”.
She may have been living in Greece for a while but she hasn't lost her Aussie vocab’.
From the hilltop the view of Athens is 360. I've fallen for this city pretty hard. There's this crazy contrast of old and new. The ancient and sublime right next to the modern and utilitarian.
The top of a hill overlooking Athens also turned out to be a great place to crack an IPA. I'm sure I'm not the first Aussie tourist to figure that out.
We take a look around the Acropolis Museum. A lot of the sculptures from the Parthenon were pinched by the British but what they didn't sneak away with is beautifully displayed.  The Caryatids are especially gorgeous. The museum has left a spot for the missing one on the dais, awaiting the day when the British Museum decides to let her come home.
Thank you so much Maria, for showing me around your adopted city. I couldn't have had a better guide.  You helped me hitchhike to Bulgaria, and now you've educated me on how to enjoy Athens. That's two I owe you!
Thanks also Innis & Gunn for supplying the refreshments!

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