Not all who wander are lost.
What a long, strange, and fateful journey it's been, and the trip has barely truly begun! Our flight out of LAX was delayed, so we wandered the Tom Bradley International Terminal- a strange limbo between worlds which I imagine wouldn't differ much from a galactic transfer station- for over 5 hours. Ironically, we were flying Air India to Greece, and it only added to our sense of disorientation having beautiful people in saris serving us dinner at 1am. At least when they were herding us like cattle through not one, but three, security check points, onto a bus and down some unsettlingly dim corridors, because it was Air India, one could say we were "holy" cows.
Unsurprisingly, because of the delay, in Frankfurt we missed our connecting flight to Athens. Re-booking for the first flight out in the morning was easy- finding an Air India representative to give us hotel vouchers was not. Fortunately, we soon joined forces with some other Air India victims, including a young woman from Berlin who had a big enough voice for all of us (and a better grasp of German, obviously). The whole fiasco turned out to be a Divine blessing in the end, winning us a free night's hotel stay, dinner, and breakfast, and the moment we glimpsed the revolving glass doors into the lobby we knew it would probably be our most high-end accommodations of the trip.
Sitting in the very back of the plane the next day (Marlon was a dozen rows ahead of me- we'd gotten literally the last 2 seats on the flight), I experienced jarring turbulence descending into Athens. It was as if Zeus himself had come out to greet us, and he fancied harassing us an amusing way to introduce himself, and test our character.
Speaking of holy cows, Athens: WOW. As Marlon so wonderfully put it, "fuuuuunkee." Leave it to us to choose to start the trip in the most crowded, polluted, intimidating, and overall culturally shocking city on the itinerary! After the taxi cab ride from the airport (during which it became apparent that Athenians have no fear of death, particularly the motorcyclists that outnumber the cars, the pigeons, and the streets themselves), all we could do was hole ourselves up in our closet at Hostel Aphrodite and scrawl manically in our journals for 2 hours.
Hostel Aphrodite is named for the Greek goddess of love and beauty, though you have to pay close attention to see either of these things. For instance, reception somehow lost our reservation, so instead of the double we'd anticipated, we were put in a twin with bunk beds, and on the main floor- not exactly a romantic ideal. (Our reaction was to curl up together on one narrow bunk, however, which says real love indeed.)
Naturally, what initially attracted us to Hostel Aphrodite is now what repels us! Anticipating flying in at 1am, it met our most important contingency: open 24 hours. Of course, after the overnite in Frankfurt this became null, and with Greece's answer to Ricky Martin making the walls themselves gyrate until 4am last night, the true meaning of "open 24 hours" became clear. (Fortunately, this morning we were able to move to a double upstairs, and we anticipate dramatically more pleasant sleeping conditions for our last night here.)
Despite the daunting distance evidenced by our map, Marlon and I set off for the Acropolis this morning with nothing but vague metro directions from reception and a couple of peaches purchased at the local market. The more we traversed the city and experienced small successes, however, the more confident we became. By the time we were actually negotiating the famous ruins atop the limestone hill, we were in our groove. (We have yet to attempt Greek pronunciation to an actual Greek's face, but give us time.)
Anyhow, I'm sure everyone in the immediate vicinity would appreciate it if I would go take a shower. Tomorrow it is on to Delphi, and then to the islands! Despite the victory we feel we've had over it, we look very much forward to getting out of the city and out to the ocean, and raw earth, and CLEAN air, and other elemental comforts.
Vibrational alchemist, writer, artistic mystic, pack mama and spiritual adventurer living in The Goodland - Goleta, CA. Creator of Lioness Energetics.
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