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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Sindagma Square & National Garden

Aloha Everyone,

After enjoying a leisurely buffet breakfast at our hotel, the two of us walked to Sindagma Square (Constitution Square). This most important square in Athens is located in front of the 19th century Old Royal Palace, now the home of the Greek Parliament.  

The Greek Presidential Guards are called Evzones. They are handpicked and must meet required minimum height, be in excellent physical and mental condition. Their traditional uniforms including clogs with pompons were impressive but appeared heavy and uncomfortable. Today during the 11:00 am Changing of the Guards, J.J. and I counted about 60 people watching the hourly ceremony.

Just around the corner is the National Garden. While J.J. relaxed on a bench surrounded by trees and songbirds, I went on a brisk walk within the park. Historical sites within the garden include old cemeteries, an aqueduct, as well as parts of the Valerian Fortification Wall from circa 260 A.D.

The two of us walked to Monastriaki, the Old Town market district for lunch. Greek cuisines which many Westerners know as the Mediterranean diet are varied, tasty and healthy! And to me, they are filling and heavy on my stomach. I will devote separate future blogs on main dishes and desserts.

After two less physically active days, J.J. and I were able to achieve our respective daily walking goals. While he decided on a ham & cheese sandwich, I chose roasted chestnuts and grilled corn over a charcoal fire for our light dinner. Comfortably settled in our hotel room, we caught up on reading about — what else, the Coronavirus. We are concerned of our friends in Italy since there’s been no communication from them.

Aloha -- Cathi