Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Taste of Athens and Three Bathrooms

First things first.

The Doha, Qatar, airport ladies'
restroom in the Qatar Premium Terminal:

The sink is not particularly functional. You can't control the water flow [or the temperature, either] to wash your hands - you have to wave a hand under the special fountain faucet - then it trickles slowly out in the most minute little stream [think someone using an eye-dropper to release water] and doesn't go where it is supposed to go - like in the drain. Always clean though - there is a full-time attendant there to clean up after each person's use. Imported labor. Wonder what the attendants get paid per month?

I should have taken more photos of the lounges at the Premium Terminal of Qatar [which is my favorite airline - and does an exceptional job - except, of course, for the one trip from he11! where we were surrounded by a baby, a toddler and two young children and cursed with a flight attendant who hated me from the moment we took off until we landed and who I hope will never be allowed to fly again after the eight-page letter I sent to the airline...]. It is a beautiful terminal building. Business Class lounge is just slightly different than the First Class lounge - and dayum if I didn't have SIX HOURS there yesterday and did not take a single picture! Oh, well. I'll get them the next trip - for which we already have our tickets...

A couple of random pictures taken in
Athens at the Acropolis, this one because I liked the columns:

And this, because as is typical for us, we never visit a country to see "ruins" that are not being restored - happened in Jordan, happened in Singapore, happened in Italy - can't think of a single trip we've taken where many of our photos in far-off locations do not have either some historical building or site which is covered in scaffolding, like this:

Most of the important pictures of "ruins" are on the "new" camera - the one I don't know how to use. "Ruins" is in quotes for a reason. DH is not particularly thrilled that we MUST go to see ALL of the "ruins," which is what he calls them. "You've seen one amphitheater, you've seen them all." Says, DH. When I say, "Honey, we're going to see the Acropolis," he says, "Oh, great. More 'ruins.'" We saw a lot - and I mean a lot - of "ruins" on this trip!

I wanted my camera to have the photos of the stuff you don't see in picture books or encyclopedias. Like this dog [there were several of them]:

Just lolling about on the marble steps which lead to the top of the Acropolis. Never bothering to get out of the way - all the tourists could just walk around them. Some have collars. Many do not. Some have tags on their ears. Many do not. A lot of them do not seem to belong to anyone in particular. I will say this for the dogs in Athens - they all appeared to be fairly well nourished. And, that is a good thing.

Walking away from the Acropolis "ruin
s" we came upon a few things... Like this "Toilets" on the outskirts of a park. I did not go in - photos from the outside are going to have to suffice:

There were scooters and motorcycles galore. All over the city - like the preferred mode of transportation. Thought this three-wheeled one was interesting - it has two wheels in the front and only one in the back:

Time for refreshment - and a sit - before continuing on. We stopped at a really pretty little outdoor [indoor, as well] cafe and had beverages [the photo has been cropped for obvious reasons; DH does not want to be a star on my blog and I have promised him he never will be]:

Because I am now making a point to do so - I had to get a photo of the facilities. To get to them you had to go down the narrowest little circular staircase I think I've ever been up or down - and unfortunately I have nothing in the photo as a point of reference to see how narrow it really was:

The bathroom was older and only so-so clean:

We left the cafe after an hour or so and continued our walking tour of Athens where we saw a group of policemen huddled together - and these dogs - just laying on the sidewalk:

[It was warm in Athens - not unbearably hot - and certainly not nearly as hot as it gets here. Most of the dogs we saw were all in nap position - so perhaps it was too hot for them.]

After I snapped the dog I went and asked the police
men what was going on across the street... There were all sorts of news-station trucks outside and reporters with cameras and microphones. Of course I had to know what was happening. Typical tourist, don't 'cha know. Had no clue we were directly in front of the Prime Minister's Residence where Guards were marching back and forth doing their jobs protecting the Residence:

Nothing says full-out protection like a Guard in a short, fully-pleated skirt, wearing white tights and clogs adorned with big pom-poms. It was really quite interesting to watch [better pictures on the "new" camera of this particular ceremony - the two Guards marching back and forth - shooting their legs up at an angle and then straight out in front of them - like a Rockettes kick or something]:

The two Guards - one stationed on each side of the entrance - continued their methodical marching while the Prime Minister spoke to a bunch of reporters about something:

That was much of our first full day in Athens... More tomorrow.


  1. Your pics are awesome, I can't wait for the rest!

    I'm sure the marble was very cool on the dogs bodies, that's one way to cool off.

  2. Nice, but I experienced the same issues with water pressure in Greece. It's a problem there but I thought they'd have fixed that since I haven't been there in over 20 yrs.


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