A Travellerspoint blog

Day 1

The Longest Day

overcast 15 °C

There's something to be said for getting to Athens in only 2 legs - it does get a big chunk of the trip over & done with, with a 17.5 hour flight to Doha, Qatar. And on that note, Qatar Airways' reputation is very well deserved, with good food - and plenty of it - great service with a smile and a reasonable amount of leg room. I was lucky enough to find the window seat next to me wasn't booked after all, so I could get a little less uncomfortable & grab some zzz's. Even on the 7.5 hour layover in Doha, I managed a couple of hours' sleep.

We had to board a bus to get from the plane to the terminal at Doha, so that gave us a taste of the temperature there at midnight - all I can say is, it was absolutely stifling! The flight out of Doha at 7:15am gave us a view of the work that's going on there, reclaiming "land" (read: sand) in creative ways, a la Dubai. But everything's just so... sandy looking, with little or no colours, and even the air is brown, presumably caused by the fine sand never quite settling.

The flight over the Middle East showed just how varied the desert can be. You think sand is just that, but the colours do vary, and the terrain changes. You can see how different it was as we flew.

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Where the Suez Canal empties into the Red Sea is gorgeous!
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The pilot flew to Cairo then hung a right, heading for Athens. The difference between the desert and the Nile delta was like night & day, and then came that first view of the Mediterranean.

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Now that brought a smile to my face!

As we got closer to Greece, the clouds increased, and we touched down in the rain - yes, rain!

As you fly into Athens, you can see why much of the world's olive production comes from here:
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Took the metro from the airport & made it to my hotel before 2pm. I don't think I've been so happy to have a shower in my life!

Although the rain stopped before I left the airport, it's been a pretty grey afternoon, and a bit chilly to boot. Went for a bit of a wander & look what's at the end of my street!
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That's the outside of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, AKA the Herodeon, that lies at the base of the Acropolis.

The Parthenon is, as usual, under repair / renovation, but it's still instantly recognisable at the top of the cliff.
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It was too late in the day to go in and be able to spend a decent amount of time there, so I'll go back tomorrow morning. Hopefully the weather will have improved by then.

Lucky me, I've already been invited for a vino by a (greasy) little Italian/Greek man, who liked the fact I was wearing blue - and his sister lives in Christchurch. Turned him down of course, saying I was meeting friends soon & he went on his way - phew!

Had a quick, tasty dinner of lamb with freshly made pita bread & tzatziki, and won't be far from bed now. Catch you tomorrow!

Posted by judesbucketlist 20:51 Archived in Greece Tagged greece ruins athens parthenon acropolis qatar herodeon

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Comments

Are those CROP CIRCLES?! :) And is that a new record for an on-the-ground pick-up attempt?
Classic!

From Jude: Haha actually, yes they are crop circles - actual circles of crops. I had to do a wee Google for my own curiosiity, but it's an irrigation project in Saudi & some are up to 3km diameter. It's called centre pivot irrigation & they've been doing it for many years - I've seen it on documentaries, now I think about it. As for Casanova, I'm sure he's even quicker sometimes!

by liane-aroha

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