Saturday, August 22, 2009

International Day

We began the day with lunch at T.G.I. Friday's in northern Athens. There's something a bit jarring about eating a burger and fries in a restaurant filled with Americana but not hearing a word of English spoken among other patrons.

We then went to the mall to watch Inglourious Basterds, of which almost half is unfortunately in French or German. Although I could understand most of the German (Hitler screaming at Nazi officers usually doesn't require translation anyway), but the French (with Greek subtitles) was entirely incomprehensible for me. The English and German portions were interesting enough, in my opinion (despite Brad Pitt's bizarre and rather distracting attempt at a Southern accent), to warrant a second viewing in the U.S. with English subtitles. 

After the movie, we took a cab to Lycabettus, the highest hill in Athens, for dinner with Manolis' family. We rode a funicular to the top, where we had an outdoor table with a stunning view at the restaurant Orizontes. The grilled fish, prepared simply in the traditional Greek style with lemon juice and olive oil, was particularly superb. Three hours, several courses, and many pounds later, we returned home for an epic game of Spades (Themistocles is an excellent partner).

The next morning, after a final frappé at the airport, I boarded my plane to return to the States, wrapping up an amazing four days in Athens.