Today is our final day in Athens, so we decided to take things a bit easier before packing up and moving on tomorrow. We got flat whites and shared a croissant at the cafe below our Airbnb, and then headed over to the Cycladic Museum. By this point in our travels, we’ve seen so many museums that I was a bit hesitant to visit yet another. However, I am a fan of Cycladic art, so we decided to check it out.
I’m glad we went to the museum because this might be my favorite museum we’ve visited. The layout of the exhibits was very interesting, there were no crowds, and we got student admission prices. Also, there were a few modern exhibitions which provided a nice change of pace. TripAdvisor reviews told us that this was a smaller museum that only takes 1-2 hours, but we easily spent almost 3 hours taking in everything. (The biggest thing we’ve learned on this trip is that reviews and recommendations are most likely wrong, or at least very different from our experiences)
After repeatedly telling myself that I don’t really need that 2 foot Cycladic sculpture from the gift store, I eventually resolved my cognitive dissonance enough to leave the museum in search of the Mastiha Shop. Mastic is a type of tree that grows in Chios, Greece, the island that my family is from. These trees produce a resin, which has a pine-like flavor, and is used in medicine and foods throughout the world. The resin is thought to aid digestion, and the Mastiha Shop sells all types of mastic products: chewing gum, candies, chews, chocolate, spreads, oils, and the thing that we really came for, liquor.
We picked out a small bottle of mastiki liquor and some gum, but couldn’t buy any of the other products because they were all made in a faculty that processes peanuts (at least they had a good labeling system). Then we headed back to our Airbnb and stopped at a small cafe along the way for a 2 euro gyro lunch. After lunch we went back to the Airbnb to do laundry and get ready for our travels tomorrow. One interesting thing is that it finally feels normal to pack up our stuff every few days and go to a new place. I think we both miss home, but we’re also loving this trip and it’s nice that it’s not challenging to stay on the move. It also occurred to us that it no longer feels strange being outside of America. For those of you who have travelled to a different country for a long period of time, have you also felt this way?
In the evening we ate dinner at a family restaurant around the corner from our Airbnb. The food was great, and after dinner we decided to call it an early night because tomorrow we have a long bus journey to Nafplio.