Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day 50: Asleep in Athens

Boy, did jet lag get us this time!

We both arrived in Athens yesterday super tired. We'd slept on both legs of the flight, but only a little bit each time. The flight from Boston to Munich is 6 1/2 hours, and we probably only got about 3 hours there. Then we dozed off and on on the 2 hour flight here. So we arrived needing sleep yet our body clocks were still set to US East Coast time, meaning it was time to get up even though we were tired. Well, that's jet lag.

This is Athens, where the street cafes are still serving well past midnight, so we decide to catch a nap and hit the town later. Typical of jet lag, we slept like the dead, woke feeling even more tired and had to force ourselves to shower and get out of the room.

Won't tell you how terrible the service was at the cafe the hotel recommended. Well, yes I will. They took our order fairly quickly, brought it very slowly, never took a second drink order, we had to ask for the rest of the order, they asked where we were sitting. And to that question I told them we were at the other table, since there were only two tables at the time.

Back to the room around midnight, had an amber alert and before she can drink it, LK announces she's tired and going to bed. I followed half an hour later, and we both slept til 4:30. Wide awake, we discussed what to do at that hour and decided lying in bed reading was as good as anything. We woke up again at 9:30.

Now by this time we have slept many more hours than either of us usually does, but it doesn't help. We drag ourselves out of bed, catch the last half hour of the hotel's complimentary breakfast and walk the two blocks to the Antiquities Museum at the base of the Parthenon.

No, that's not accurate. We shuffled there, both of us complaining that we were still sooooo tired. Anyhow, we checked out this beautiful museum.

It's full of all sorts of things that are 3 - 5,000 years old. The very first thing you see are these vases from 3,500 BC. There are hundreds of them.

They look great, the designs are still bright and there's only a slight bit of damage on just a few of them.

I can't help but think that the Greeks have held on to these for centuries, while our cleaning lady has managed to destroy several of ours in just a few years.

There is a statue of Dionysos from the Parthenon pediment (it's the one at the top of this post) with a sign explaining that he was the god of vegetation, wine, intoxication and ecstatic dancing. It also added that he was the Greek's favorite god, but I think we would have guessed that anyhow.

The statue looked as fit and buff as if he just walked out of the gym, assuming guys with no feet or hands worked out. Given his reputation for drinking too much, I figured the lesson to be learned from his physique is that either I should just eat vegetables, or dance ecstatically after I get drunk. Or maybe both. I may give it a try when we get home. If I lose weight, I can get rich publishing "Lose Weight the Dionysian Way". Maybe Larry King will interview me.

Anyhow, the fatigue from the jet lag killed our inclination to check out every last exhibit in the museum and we left after a wander around the top floors. Inspired by Dionysos, we ended up at a streetside cafe for a beer and peanuts. The temperatures are up in the 90s and I was thirsty. The waitress asked if we wanted a small or large beer, and I laughed. It turns out the large beer is more or less a small keg with handles. After finishing that, we are now back in the room.

We're both a bit weary and thinking of another lie-down. I don't know if it's jet lag anymore. It could be the heat. It certainly could be the beer. But either way, I think the ecstatic dancing is going to be put on hold. LK fell asleep while I was writing this.

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