Beach day

True to her word Emily was up for an earlier start – not the 6:30 that she had originally proposed but early enough to have us out the door around 8:00. For once we were gone before Majella. I had eaten the couple of peaches remaining from my purchase of the previous day before leaving but Emily was looking forward to breakfast on the go.

We headed down to the Monastiraki station where we bought and validated our 24 h tickets. Trams for the beach at Edem departed from Syntagma which was just one station along the Metro. When we emerged into Plateia Syntagma I spotted overhead lines below the square and, thinking they must be for the trams, headed off in that direction. The wires were for the trolley bus but we discovered a McDonalds where Emily was happy to eat a McMuffin and I had a coffee. I consulted the map and we headed back up to the tram terminus at the top of the square where we caught the T2 tram to Edem beach. When we boarded the tram was almost empty but it filled quickly and there was barely standing room by the time we were half way to the beach.

When we alighted at Edem Beach, Emily’s first comment was about the lack of waves. It wasn’t long before she noticed the coarseness of the sand and the presence of a considerable number of rocks and pebbles. It wasn’t the sort of beach that she was accustomed to but that didn’t seem to reduce its attractions for the locals who were already gathering to enjoy the sun and water. Emily headed for the water but found it too cool for her liking. Fifteen minutes later she was rinsing off the last of the sand from her feet and we were headed back to the tram.

By 11:00 we were back at the hotel, having accomplished our major objective for the day a good hour ahead of Emily’s schedule which had called for her to be back in time to catch her friends for a chat on MSN at 12:00 (7:00 pm AEST). We spent a couple of hours relaxing and using the Internet connection before I decided it might be time to have some lunch.

When we walked out of the hotel to look for lunch Emily had a secondary objective of checking out shoes in a shop she had seen on Sunday evening. We walked down to the square where we bought a couple of nectarines for each of us. We ate them as we walked through the market area. I would have been content with the nectarines for lunch but Emily was still hungry and expressed a desire for hot potato chips. As we strolled up the hill along a street we hadn’t visited previously we came across a little giros place that also had chips. We each had a pork giros and Emily had chips to top it off. We strolled further up the hill and then down a cross street. I was surprised to find that we had come far enough to exit opposite Hadrian’s arch which was just beyond where we had been at Syntagma in the morning. I grabbed some photos of the arch and the temple of Zeus because I wasn’t sure we would get back there. We rode the metro from Syntagma back to Monastiraki.

We arrived back at the hotel sometime after 3:00 to find Majella just returned and waiting for us. We had a short rest before heading out to explore Athinas street above the hotel. We walked up through the market area where the fruit stalls were still active but most of the fish and meat on the other side of the road had closed for the day. Emily found what seemed to be a wholesale jewelry store and took the opportunity to pick up some gifts for friends. We went as far as Plateia Omonoia where Emily and I had taken a wrong turn the previous day. There we turned around and headed back down the street, stopping at a supermarket to pick up some food for dinner which we dropped off at the hotel before continuing on in search of Emily’s shoe shop from Sunday afternoon. We found it quite near the hotel but then had to visit some others further away for comparison shopping. We eventually returned and Emily bought 2 pairs of shoes at the discounted price.

Dinner was a simple affair based on what we had picked up from the supermarket. Majella and I had a small ouzo aperitif while Emily stuck with orange juice. I followed that with a beer and we had some Greek chardonnay with the food, which comprised fresh crusty bread, ham, cheese and potato salad we had bought at the supermarket.

After dinner we were up for another minor adventure so we headed back to the metro station at Monastikari and  rode two stations up the line to Viktoria. From there we walked down to Plateia Omonoia. Emily entertained herself along the way by visiting every shoe shop that we encountered. There must have been at least 10 of them and I was all shoed out by the time we reached Omonoia and caught the metro back to Monastiraki. Majella insisted on checking the entertainment in the square so we took that exit out of the station and spent a little time listening to the musicians in the square before going back to our room.