Well one of our first stops after the standard bus tour around Athens was the Athens Designer Outlet Mall, which we were actually hanging out for. Not for the designer clothes, as you can see I am not really into popular fashion, but I had been told that there is a camera store there and I will finally be able to replace the camera we had stolen way back in Rome. We had decided not to splash out and get another DSLR, but to get a compact camera with a good lens and if it was possible, one that takes panorama photos. We ended up bargaining with the guy and getting a little Samsung, with panorama, a few free cards and a little pouch for it. I also managed to replace my day pack that had busted its straps a week earlier, so it was a successful outing.
As all tourist do when they arrive in Athens is head up to The Acropolis and Contiki are no different. It is definitely the place to see in Athens and is worth the look. From up there on top of the mountain you can not help but imagine what it would of been like back in Ancient Greek times. This giant building in sparkling white stone perched high up in the sky’s, looking over the town below, it really would of been a sight to
see and show of strength and power. The day was super hot, not uncommon for Greece and as we had slowly been accustomed to, the Acropolis was covered in
scaffolding. I can understand that these ancient structures need some repairs to keep them for generations and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but you always hear some annoying tourist complaining about the unsightly scaffolding.
That night we had our farewell dinner for the departing portion of the tour the “Southern Trek”. It was an emotional dinner as we had grown very close to the entire crew over the last 21 days together. It is quite amazing how quickly you grow relationships with strangers when you pretty much spend all day ever day in each others pockets We all had mixed emotions, we were excited to meet the new crew and eager to get to know them but saying good bye to our new life long friends was unexpectantly hard.
In the morning the new crew members started to turn up and we all started to get to know them. We had decided that we would play a practical joke on the newbies, in an attempt to break the ice. We had Nathan pretend to have Tourette’s syndrome and would yell out MUM at the top of his lungs just randomly. We had this full storyline behind it and even had a few of the newbies fooled for awhile.
We were soon back in the coach and heading north towards Kavala we got to see the mythical Mt Olympus, Greece’s highest peak. We stopped at the famous Thermopylae, the location of where just 300 Spartan Soldiers held off the invading Persian Army’s masses of thousands. The next day we were about to visit the one place that I really wanted to see and such a special and emotional place for all the Aussie’s that make the pilgrimage, Gallipoli. I didn’t know how to prepare myself and was lost in my thoughts, the entire build up got the better of me and i was just waiting to see it myself.
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