Because of the heavy traffic in Athens they only allow cars with odd numbered plates on odd days and even on even days (in theory--since I found out about this I have been checking license plates and let's just say that it is not the best way to determine wether it is an odd or even day.) This doesn't apply in August since most people are out of town and there is very little traffic. There are also exceptions for diplomats and I'm sure there are others that I am not aware of.
Actually all traffic in Athens has been down. I have heard estimates that traffic in the city is down 30% due to the high cost of gas and everything else and the lack of jobs and money so there was talk of doing away with the odd/even days when traffic got back to normal in September. Well, it's September and they didn't do away with the restriction and I have to say that that's fine with .me because traffic still seems pretty bad.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
The other day at the grocery store I asked for several chicken breasts. The butcher gave me an odd look and said, "You know those have bone in them." The truth is that I prefer boneless chicken breasts so maybe I was giving off some kind of vibe but are you saying that I don't look like the kind of girl who can cut the chicken off the bones? and if I don't is this a compliment?
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The stated point of this blog (yes, there is a point and it is stated. Look on the right under the picture of me) is to show what it's like to live in Athens. That means that I get to vent about daily frustrations.
So recently I have been dealing with the water heater under the sink. It is very nice to have a seperate heater that is just for hot water for the kitchen sink. Until, of course, it starts leaking. It first started leaking on 1 May, mayday, which is a holiday here. As you can see from the picture above, there's no room for a pan underneath so we were sopping the mess up with towels. The Embassy came out to look on Thursday (they didn't have any openings in the schedule on Wednesday) but since it is standard equipment in Greek houses it is the landlord's responsibility. Landlord came out on Friday the 4th and told me that we had tripped the pressure valve, probably because we leave the tank on all the time. Apparently you are supposed to turn it on 10 minutes before you need hot water and then turn it back off when you are done. I started to sputter about nobody telling me and he said it was alright his wife does the same thing. Oh, did I mention that Aaron was out of the country for training while this was going on?
The repair lasted until Saturday when it started leaking even worse. The Embassy sent a plumber out and he disconnected the tank (no hot water in the kitchen but at least no leak). The landlord brought his plumber out yesterday. Turns out these little tanks cost 100 euro and are only expected to last 5 years--if they are maintained every year. However, there really isn't much to maintain and it's expensive so our landlord lets it go and hopes to get 3 years out of the tanks. The plumber also explained that the houses in the hills above us need more pressure to get water up to them so they (the people controlling the water pressure) turn up the pressure which means that it is coming through our pipes at higher than the pressure it should be which causes the pressure valve to leak (yeah, I didn't even say I thought it was me not turning off the power) so if there continues to be a problem they will come back and put in a pipe to bleed the extra off.
So I am now cautiously optimistic that I will not have to mop any more water from under the sink and I know more about Greek under sink water heaters than I ever thought I would.
If you only have time to see one museum in Athens I would recommend the National Archaeological Museum. They have artifacts from historical sites throughout Greece. For us it was fun to tell the kids ok, this is from whatever site, do you remember when we went there? What else did we see? For the most part they have the museum divided into different rooms for different sites so it's also interesting to see the similarities and differences as you move from room to room.
When we were there they had a special exhibit of items from a shipwreck off Antikythera which they had dated to the 2nd quarter of the first century BC. The man's head above is one of the artifacts recovered from the ship.
replica of a chariot from Thermopyles. (Since we had just recently been to Thermopyle.)
This time we made it up to the Temple of Aphaia which we hadn't made it to on our first trip.
(here's the link to the post about the first visit Aegina--an Epic Journey and Aegina--Ayia Marina's beach and here for the excellent restaurant that we went to again Restaurant Kiriakis)
The soldier statue is from the center of the pediment of the temple and the crouching figure was the figure near the end which gives some scale of how huge the pediments were.
A short way from Meteora on the road back to Athens, if you watch very carefully, you will see a sign to a cave. We had been warned to watch for it and told that not many people know about it but it is worth seeing. Unfortunately, it was closed (yeah, I know how do you close a cave? Well, apparently you drag big gates in front of it.) But from what we could see through the gates it did look interesting and it's worth driving up and seeing if it's open if you are in the area. Interestingly, it also has one of the nicest wheelchair lifts I have seen in Greece.
According to the sign on the gate this is the Prehistoric Theopetra cave and it's excavation is one of the most important in Greece because it covered the period from the Middle Palaeolithic to the Final Neolithic-Chalcolithic period (130,000 years before present to about 4,000 years B.C.)
|View of the valley from Theopetra Cave|
Monday, May 7, 2012
It's a lovely little village and definately a good place to spend a night or two--especially so that you can spread out all of the stair walking that you have to do to get to the monasteries. Below are pictures from several of the monasteries although there are a lot of areas that you can't take pictures of so these don't give a very good representation of all there is to see. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the monistary from James Bond For Your Eyes Only.
Also, we got mixed stories about women having to wear skirts. Yes, you have to wear a skirt (and covered arms) but they have skirts at the entrance that you can tie over your clothes.
|Yes those are skulls|
Soup pot and bread oven from the old kitchen
It was really wet and kind of cold but everyone's still smiling.