What a day!! - we arise quite early and hit the streets. Straight down to Karameikos where we wander for an hour or so. Very few people there except one tour group and several lizards basking in the sun. Very hot too - around 31c and of course, Karameikos sits beneath street level so very little air.
We then stroll back up Ermou; "look at that bloke" says Caroline and we watch this guy quite shamelessly walking towards us scratching hid nuts down the front of his shorts as if the world depends upon it. He has quite a self-satisfied smile on his face as he passes us......
OK - we take Athinias and look around the various markets for an hour or so. One guy is chopping up the largest fish I've ever seen and his stall has several enormous swordfishes and a shark's head but no sign of the shark's body. The fruit market is beautiful, stalls groaning under the weight of sun-ripened produce the likes of which we never see in the UK. Caged birds and a small aquarium full of hamsters, one of which has the largest pair of balls I've ever seen in my life. Caz giggles as we walk by, maybe he's related to the bloke on Ermou??
WE take some lunch at Baraiktaris and watch the world pass us by on Monastiraki SQuare which has had all it's renovation completed, including an authentic ancient McDonalds.
We look up and I see the familiar faces of Yiassas and Phil. "Thought we'd find you here" says Phil and we chat for a few mins before they continue their walk to the hotel, having agreed to meet later.
Caz and I wander around AQdrianou, past the shops full of tourist tat but it's a pleasant way to while away a couple of hours.
We head back to the hotel for an hour's kip before meeting Yiassas and Phil in the hotel lobby whereupon we head for Akropoli metro station to meet Gas at 7.30pm. WE take a seat and it's not long before Gas strides towrads us at 25 mph, his usual walking speed. "Handshakes, hellos and hugs" are exchanged then our group expands as ick, Spyros, Spartan Zoe, Nikolette, Traveller-Jan and Diane join us for the march to the restaurant.
Gas needs to change his name from GAS to GPS as we wander aimlessly around Plaka trying to find the restaurant but ebentually we find it and there is a huge long table set on the pavement for 20 people with mpoeds and taxis whizzing past our shoulders.
The food starts to arrive, and carries on arriving, and then still more. I can't recall some of what was there but we have fish, tzatziki, salads, meatballs, dolmades and so much more, all washed down with copious amounts of the very palatable house red.
Name call - Cameragirl and her daughter, Greekbrit, Panosath, Nikolette, Spartan Zoe, Diane, Traveller-Jan, Nick, Spyros, Gas, Thalia, Yiassas, Phil, Erik, Mitsa, Jim, Caz and me. If I have left anyone out then my apologies but I'm still half, pissed from last night and scarcely recall walking back to the hotel let alone who was in attendance!!
What a great evening, no-one gets run over, gifts are exchanged, a thousand photos are taken, some of which should be good earners in the blackmail stakes (no names, no pack drill), donkeys are photographed in extremely compromising positions and everyone laughs their heads off.
Thanks to everyone involved in organising a fantastic evening, the bill for the headache tablets is in the post.