My family and I spent the first week of the new year in Athens. Being around ruins that still exist after thousands and thousands of years makes one feel not so old.
A few interesting things to know if you are planning on visiting Athens for the first time:
- In most places, you cannot flush your toilet paper. It must go in the trash can. (Tip, stay in a modern-ish hotel or wait to go to the bathroom at a huge, modern museum – like we did!)
- Almost every street is lined with orange trees! They are full of seeds, but you can still eat them. Free breakfast or juice!
- These people really like sesame seeds.
- Don’t bother rushing for your camera to get a photo of the small 11th century Byzantine church. There will be another one in two blocks…. and then another one after two more blocks… and so on.
- You can get a special Greek wine made from pine resin called Retsina. It’s allright.
- Stray cats EVERYWHERE! On the flip side… no rats!
Athens was a really nice city, super friendly people, good food and lots to see. I’d definitely recommend it as a fun city trip. Maybe not in the summer when it’s overcrowded, but the winter was perfect (though we happened to arrive on the one week of the year it was actually cold).
We are taking the kids to Paris today! It will be their first time there. I’ve been trying to prepare them for the past few weeks with movies about Paris. I’m not sure if they really learned anything from the movies I picked. The reactions went a bit like this:
Hunchback of Notre Dame – Ended up in my son trying to walk like a hunchback for a week.
A Cat in Paris – Kids in deep discussion about if one could actually jump from rooftop to rooftop… well maybe if you were in shape… maybe if you had special shoes….
Hugo – Mainly just interested in the automatron. How to work it, how to build it. Didn’t seem to notice Paris or the history of movies in the film.
The Aristocats – Always just concerned about that one scene where the piano crashes through the floor. “They’ll get in trouble!”
Oh well…. They’ll just have to discover Paris on their own.