When I was waiting for the changing of the guards ceremony to start, I saw a line-up of tourists (I won't say of what country) just hanging around the guards (who by the way can't move) to take a picture.
I did hope that the guards just smack those tourists!! (Oh I'm bad)
Unique Suggestions: Go see the changing of the guards...but don't wait to take a picture with the poor guard.
Fun Alternatives: NO alternative... don't do it!!!
Okay...Okay, I know I did put it in a must see activity but to me the changing of the gards can be the both. First of all, it's full of tourists. Second, you don't have space to see the ceremony altought you play american football to tackle some tourists (with a camcorder, two cameras, and a sound mic!!!).
Unique Suggestions: Maybe don't plan your day around the changing of the guards.
Fun Alternatives: Like you maybe know, there's a changing of the guards everyday!!! And I say everyday...why all tourist go on sunday??? Because it's the big thing!!
Pigeons will not fly to you for free.
But dodgy photographers are keen to help you: they will pour a handful of corns on your head and will take a photo with Polaroid for a quite solid amount.
Fun Alternatives: Vilnius solves the problem of pigeons in a such way: all the time the tape-recorder plays a scream of hawk, which frightens pigeons to the death.
Athens would rather frighten little kids than let to frighten pigeons:)
The museum itself is NOT a trap. But it's important to know that it's *closed* until right before the Olympic Games, which can save a lot of time in walking there unaware of the situation. It's the only major Athens attraction that requires a long walk to reach, and it can be quite disappointing to finally make it to Athens and find out you cannot go there.
It was after Christmas and still there were Santas (many of them) on the street waiting for tourist to take pictures with their donkeys or setting.
It was charming for me to see because I missed Christmas there, but they certainly do celebrate the season.
I LOVED IT!
Fun Alternatives: I would not miss this event in Athens.
I really enjoyed it as all the stores were closed, so this was my entertainment.
Every city has its tacky and cheesy gift shops, that's a fact of life. Here in Athens, with all of its lovely old churches however, you have the added threat of Tacky and Cheesy Religious Icons. Some sacred images are fine of course, but NOT these weird, eerie glowing neon green ones!!!
When in a restaurant in Greece, don't order bread, they automatically put it on your table as if it were free and then charge you for it.
They are almost no buses on Sunday. It's very difficult to find fax services and they are expensive.
Local beers are more expensive than imported beers. Also return your bottle and get money for it.
If you want to buy some Greek souvenirs, don't buy them on Acropolis - go down to PLAKA, the area attached to Acropolis. Everything is cheaper there. Our guide did not warn us about it, so we overpaid.
Olympia, it is a hard way to go there from Athens.
It is harder than a Triathlon. Why? Because it takes about 6 hours by train which is called 'Express'. In addition, it is only an hour to take a look around! Time schedule is 8:49-14:50 to Olympia and 15:52-22:10 to Athens.
Okay this one looks like a trap certainly. This is where we kept our backpack during day time, the drug guy was inside playing his injection technic, I was brought here by two backpack friends later they introduce me to this drug guy, very skinny, sick looking but hey, what a trap, enjoy.
ATHENS gets as hot as hell at times, I had a delicious frozen fruit drink for about 4 English pounds from a stall outside the Acropolis. Good but way overpriced. Bring some water/ soft drinks with you.
In the summer, buying bottles of mineral water or small miserable cups of slush (flavoured crushed ice; similiar to Slurpee in 7-11), can be a killer. Prices of such are terribly hiked up near tourist attractions. But as tourists, where else can we get cold refreshments??
Look out for the Ouzo; you get very drunk of it ;-)))
Whenever you see in a little island a street stall selling sponges, buy them there. Don't wait till the last day in Athens, they use to be more expensive and worse quality
Shops are closed on Monday afternoon, Wednesday afternoon, Saturday afternoon and Sunday for the whole day!!
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