The Daily Diary of a Wandering Restaurateur
May 19 - The Soggy Road to Athens

The occasional light rain showers of yesterday evening turned into a full-fledged downpour during the night. We awoke at 5:15 to find water all over the floor of the room. It had blown in under the doors to the terrace, through the windows (fortunately not through the roof) and a good part of our gear -- including Margene's makeup -- was soaked! Everyone else had a similar problem. So we started mopping, the Krumps started packing and we let them out the door into the rain just before 6am to catch their cab to the ferry.

Meanwhile, we sopped up the water, hung things over an electric radiator to dry, made coffee, cleaned up the kitchen, finished packing and took care of all those housekeeping chores that always come at the end of a stay. By 10am we had run out of projects. We were all packed and ready, the beds were stripped, the dishes washed and the housekeepers still had not arrived (after telling us we should be ready to leave by 9:00.) we turned out the lights, closed the door and hauled all our gear up the steps and over to Spiros' Taverna to wait for the cab that was coming at noon to take us to the airport. The heavy rain had stopped but the sky was still dark and threatening with occasional light showers.

The airport was a zoo but the flight left more or less on time for the short hop to Athens. It was raining lightly as we climbed the stairs to the plane (no jetways here!) and raining when we arrived in Athens. It rained most of the way into the city but thankfully let up by the time we got to our hotel.

The Hotel Attalos came well-recommended and it really is a good deal for the money -- clean, reasonably-priced and well-located. However, our first impression of the area -- indeed of most of Athens itself -- was rather Eastern Bloc-like. We quickly discovered that there was a lot of activity happening just out of sight.

Surprising Athens

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