Final full day in Athens

8:30 AM is when the National Archeological Museum opens, and that’s what time it was when I stepped inside waving the 6 Euro QR code on my phone. I waltzed through entire galleries with only the docents still sleepily hunched over cell phones to keep me and the 4,000- year-old works of art company. I dropped into the interior ground floor courtyard cafe for a coffee and pastry when the crowds started to build, but even then, skirting the tour groups allowed for unencumbered pursuing, which is aided by the sheer mass of and volume of exhibits. Some galleries were closed, I assume because the museum is on reduced hours for the winter, but even still, I spent over three hours and left because I was gorged, not because I read every plaque. From the museum, where I had arrived via clean cheap and easy subway, I walked to the open air site of Kerameikos, photos of which are above. I also took a video, below. In addition to the open air walkabout, there’s a small but superb museum. From there I walked back to my hotel on pedestrian promenades the circle the Acropolis on the far side, most of which is through green parkland, lots of it fenced by green wrought iron so it is not trodden into pulverized red Earth like other areas of Athens. I hadn’t worn my hat and the sun came out so I was glad for the shady bits as I felt my scalp shriek from unaccustomed contact with the sun. I bought two oranges and some sunscreen and retreated to my hotel for a quick nap. Oh along the way I ate food including the most amazing pastry. I have no idea what it’s called but I thought I ordered a baclava. Anyways, my post-nap afternoon walkabout was more urban. I decided to look at shops which just gets overwhelming because there is one tiny cute narrow pedestrianized alleyway jammed with small stores selling either typical tourist dreck or genuinely locally made arts and crafts after another. The outdoor flea market with stall after stall of genuinely old stuff was the best. I didn’t buy anything, but I was sorely tempted by the tiny stringed instrument that looked like a mini bazuki. I then continued into Psyrri, again with the maze of narrow streets but with fewer stores, fewer tourists, and way more bars and eateries that are so ridiculously hip that I couldn’t bear it, so I once again looped back to my hotel where I enjoyed oregano potato chips and a tin of beer watching the day fade through blues and pinks to twilight and reading a few chapters of Simon Critchley’s book on Greek tragedy.