September 20, 2009 – Athens

October 6, 2009

Fate is having a good laugh at my expense right now.  Note to self: never say you are over jet lag, at least not without knocking on wood.  Last night, I fell asleep around 9pm, woke up at 11pm and could not fall back to sleep.  N had the same problem.  We forced ourselves to lie quietly with our eyes closed so at least our bodies would rest but our minds stayed awake.  At 4:30am we gave in and started the day.  The hotel had coffee prepared so we drank some and hung out in the lobby while we waited for the rest of the world to waken.

I write from the ferry en route to Santorini.  Actually, we are still in the harbor at Piraeus but will shortly depart.  The ferry leaves at 7:30am so we had to be on the metro by 6am.  Perversely, that was right about the time we felt like we could fall back to sleep.  Figures.

The ferries at Piraeus.  The red one on the left took us to Santorini

The ferries at Piraeus. The red one on the left took us to Santorini

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N and I on the ferry.

Yesterday, after writing in my journal but before being hit with insomnia, we went to the Benaki Museum.  It began as someone’s private collection and has grown as others add to it.  The portion of it we saw is housed in a stately old mansion turned museum.  The collection covered a huge time expanse – from 5000 BC (pots and tools) to nearly modern day.  What they accomplished with gold so long ago amazed me.  The jewelry had intricate detail that had to be done entirely by hand. 

Other notable exhibits included a large collection of icons, traditional Greek costumes and some great water colors of Athens painted in the 19th century.  I really liked those – most of them showed the Acropolis, which looked very similar to how it does now but without the urban sprawl surrounding it.  Plus, the pictures usually showed a group of Greek men dressed in traditional costumes sitting around on rocks.  This tickled my funny bone for some reason.

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Traditional Greek costumes at the Benaki Museum.

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