Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Pompom Guards

Photo: Changing of the guard at parliament house.

Day 40: Athens

It turned out being a quiet night in Athens – at least in our neighbourhood. The street below our window was the site of an arrest or two, but nothing serious from what we could see from our room.
We had a bit of a sleep in today, then a walk to the Acropolis. It was really busy, but fascinating to see. In some areas there was maintenance and repairs happening and in other areas there was active archeology digs. I was going to make a joke about it still being a worksite after 4000 years, but then we were talking to a shop keeper who told us that some people have actually asked her when it was going to be finished – and they were serious.
After the Acropolis we had a coffee break at the best bakery ever, then down to Monastiraki Square to check out the shops. We then went up to parliament house just in time to catch the changing of the pompom toed guards. Strange! After that we headed round the corner of parliament house to where a line of riot police were protecting a side entrance. As we stood there, the police all put helmets on and were looking like something serious was about to happen. A few seconds later hundreds of motorbikes passed the end of the street, making lots of noise, lots of flag waving, horn beeping and gesturing at the police. Luckily, the bikes continued without turning into the street where the police (and us) were.
We just happened to walk past the oldest public school in Athens. To our surprise, the kids school (Cambewarra Public, established 1860 ) is older than the oldest public school in Athens (1875)!
In the afternoon we rearranged bags so that we don’t need to take all our bags to Santorini. Tomorrow we have an early start for the long boat trip.

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