Greetings from Greece! Today we arrived in at the Achaia Beach Hotel in Patras where we have free wireless! So much has happened since my last post (Greece: Day 1&2). On Day 3 (Thursday) we woke up at the Amalia Hotel Napflio and went as a team to the local track. We went for a breathtaking run along the coast. At one point we were running on a marble path nested between the water and the side of the Palamidi Fortress. It was a scene out of a movie! After the run we returned to the hotel and left for the Amalia Hotel Athens shortly thereafter. On our way into the city we saw the city of tents in the square in front of Parliament and colorful protest signs everywhere. The best one was definitely a sign bright blue in color containing a picture of the Prime Minister and the caption “Goldman Sachs: Employee of the Decade.” After checking-in at the hotel we ate a delicious lunch before leaving for a tour of the Acropolis. The site was amazing! I loved seeing the Parthenon. After the tour we went to dinner at a traditional Greek tavern in the plaka. We were served some traditional Greek dishes such as moussaka, stuffed grape leaves and feta while we were entertained by performers dancing on stage. The night ended with a stroll around the plaka.
On Day 4 (Friday) we travelled to the 2004 Olympic Stadium. Although, we were unable to use the track it was awesome to see it. After viewing the Olympic Stadium we travelled to another track close to the beach where we did a workout. We had been given bag lunches before we left the hotel that morning and they were interesting to say the least: 2 pieces of bread with the smallest slice of ham I have ever seen and a slice of cheese, 2 hard boiled eggs, a whole tomato, an orange and an apple. We got a good laugh out of that lunch that is for sure!! We spent the afternoon at a beach club and returned to the hotel for dinner. After dinner we climbed to the top of the Acropolis to see the city lights.
On Day 5 (Saturday) we woke up bright and early (6:30am) for a one day cruise of the Saronic Gulf Islands. The cruise left from the Piraeus pier at around 8. Our first stop and my favorite was Hydra. After touring the town and visiting a few shops we walked up the hill into the residential area. Emilio, our hilarious and awesome 24/7 tour guide, had told us that the island was known for its cliff jumping. We found some other members of the team cliff jumping when we walked up the hill and quickly joined in. My Junior Guard skills came in handy! It was EPIC (see above)! I think we would have been happy staying at Hydra for the rest of the trip. Our next stop was Piros, a small island where we strolled and shopped. The third and biggest island we visited was called Aegina. On Aegina we visited the beach and went for a great run along the coast. After returning to Piraeus we had an amazing waterfront dinner at a local yacht club. It was definitely the best yet. We ended the day by checking out the sights and sounds on the rooftop viewing deck of our hotel.
On Day 6 (Sunday) we went for a run around town before leaving Amalia Hotel Athens for Delphi. The views were breathtaking! We visited the site of the Oracle of Delphi and the Delphi museum. The city is also home to an ancient track stadium which we toured. After the tour we had an interesting lunch (goat) at a tavern on the side of a mountain. Dessert was good!! At around 7pm we arrived in Patras at the Achaia Beach Hotel. We squeezed in a quick run before dinner at 8:30pm. The dinner was slanted towards American tastes which was definitely a nice break. But don’t get me wrong, it has been so exciting trying new things and adapting to Greek cultural customs (lunch at 2pm, dinner at 9pm among numerous others!). Tomorrow is sure to be another fun-filled day! We will be touring Olympia!