Saturday, July 12, 2003

12 July 2003 – 7:15 AM GMT+2

OK. Hopefully I can catch up before we need to get outta here.

After the Agora we headed across the way to some museums, but not before hitting Athens's apparently famous flea market. There were many stores (obviously), seemingly placed in zones of type of merchandise. We started in the housewares division (with some electronics mixed in with the furniture dealers) where we searched for an extension cord so we could plug our outlet adaptor into the recessed socket, in order to recharge Greg's Game Boy Advance SP. Then we went through to the wearables, with a heavy emphasis on tourist merchandise, Olympic stuff, and band shirts from System of a Down, Slipknot, and Linkin Park. Those kids today with their music. Then to the traditional souvenirs, then to the jewelry. All, of course, had a heavy sprinkling of their touristy shops within their loosely defined boundaries. I can't imagine getting particularly good deals here, but the goods seemed to be of a higher quality than the bazaars I've seen, but they had little food outside of the standard Coke fridge. Depending on the place, too, there was much less buy-buy-buy from the owners (although this was occasionally the case).

But by this time people were starting to get hungry. After a half-hour at an Internet cafe while mom shopped futilely for a nice inexpensive icon, we headed over to the Benaki Museum's cafe to eat lunch. Of course, while there, we discovered they were out of chicken sandwiches, bumming out Greg and apparently shocking Mom when he ordered a salad—without meat! I can't blame him though—his mild allergy to pork could have made those pig-based dishes making up the remainder of the menu slightly unpleasant.

L'art des Cyclades (musée national d'archéologie, Athènes)
L'art des Cyclades (musée national d'archéologie, Athènes)
By dalbera on Flickr
After lunch we left the Benaki Museum to hit the lovely (kinda) museum of Cycladic Art. This museum was fours floors (+ lobby) (+ a new wing) of art from the Cyclades, and some other stuff. The 4th floor had old pots plus a non-operational A/V program. The 3rd had very out-of-place modern art from Greeks & Italians. The 2nd floor had more pots with a smattering of urns, while the 1st had the nose people (editor's note: drawing replaced by photo at right)—no definition in the face of the statues aside from the nose. The 0th floor had the gift shop and café, through which we went to get to the new wing of the building. There they had a special exhibit (?) on the things of sea-faring civilizations. Included were pots (of course), some coins, some neat clay tablets with Linear A on them, and some marbleized wood. They also had a plug with which Greg tested his 3-way prong adapter for Greece that he got in the flea market to alleviate the Game Bay situation, as well as some very comfortable-looking couches that were apparently only for staff and on which we could not sit.

Then having finished the Cyclades, we went back to the Benaki. But now breakfast calls; I'll try to finish this up in the car.