I'm in Greece! Though after a long and sleepless journey (thanks to a miserable head cold), it felt like it could have been anywhere. I was met at my sweet, little hotel in Glyfada (a suburb) by the owners, who after taking one look at the bags under my eyes and the kleenex pouring out of my pockets, ordered me to bed. After throwing my luggage to the floor, falling dead asleep in a steaming hot bath and crawling into bed, the world was soon made right again.
I woke up with a bit more spring in my step, fewer kleenex in my pockets and walked downstairs for coffee. The owners were in the breakfast room and smiled at me so big, their eyes closed into the shape of crescent moons. "Ah, you are normal again! I can see it in your eyes!," they sang to me. It seems two Greek coffees equals one American, so as I started in on my third cup, I simultaneously chuckled and sighed as I read "Trump" in the headlines of the morning paper. He's unescapable.
I tried my best to make the most of my 24 hours on the mainland, mostly taken up by securing a Greek SIM card, and followed by taking the 50 minute tram ride into the city to seek out ancient ruins. I found Hadrian's Arch and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, but as I headed towards the Acropolis it began to snow, and after I lost the feeling in my toes and my lips turned as blue as the Greek flag, I settled for a hot chocolate and a distant view of the Acropolis instead.
After two months of waiting and preparing, t's still surprisingly impossible to believe I'm here in the flesh and blood.
Tomorrow I fly to Lesvos, drive to Skala Sikamineas and have my orientation meeting with Lighthouse Relief, which is precisely why I won't be awake to watch the ball drop, so I'm counting on you all to do some partying for me.
Happy New Year one and all, from Athens! I have a really good feeling about 2016.