Saturday, September 20, 2014

Up close and personal with Lady Gaga at the Grande Bretagne in Athens

Lunch at Tudor Hall
of the King George Hotel in Athens,
living a Travelife.
In the grand scheme of things, today in Athens was supposed to be a relatively uneventful day in my never-endingly eventful Travelife. 

We had climbed mountains to visit monasteries, walked through one of the most important tomb discoveries of the 20th century, spent the afternoon with the governor of Crete, and enjoyed the most beautiful sunset in the world.

Living a Travelife, of course.

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AN UNSCHEDULED SHOPPING STOP

So, Athens, at the end of this trip to Greece, is supposed to be all chill-out and uneventful -- if there is such a thing as "uneventful" in my never-endingly eventful Travelife.

On our way to visit a museum in Athens after breakfast, however, Pavlos, our driver in Athens, had taken us to Kolonnaki, which is one of the most fashionable districts of the city.

He actually did this without asking, thinking I would very much like to go shopping before a morning of art and culture.


NO SPACE IN MY LUGGAGE
FOR KOLONNAKI



I've always liked Kolonnaki for its nice boutiques and stylish cafes, although I purposely avoided going here on this particular visit to Athens because my luggage is completely stuffed and there isn't even space for an extra olive inside it.

Well, when we stopped here, I ended up going into a couple of local designers' boutiques, of course.

The staircase of the Grande Bretagne in Athens

THE PLACE I CAN'T RESIST

But the game changer was really the pharmacy that I ended up going into just before getting back into the car.

I have to confess now that my one very big vice whenever I visit Greece is to stock up on health and beauty products.

I discovered Korres on a trip to Greece a long time ago,
way before it became a cult brand.

I think Greece has some of the best health and beauty products in the world, especially if you like natural products.

So a Greek pharmacy is like a kid's candy store to me, and I'm always finding something new and interesting to buy. Half of my luggage on this trip is all health and skincare products.

More on this later.


LUNCH IN ATHENS' FINEST RESTAURANT

We finished our shopping and museum visit just in time for lunch at Tudor Hall, which is the rooftop restaurant of the King George Hotel of Athens, a member of the Luxury Collection group.

This is perhaps Athens' top fine dining institution, and they serve excellent food.


So here we had such a long and lazy lunch, with so much delicious food and lots of French champagne, that I proposed scrapping our plans to walk up to the Acropolis in the late afternoon.

WALKING UP THE ACROPOLIS




I'd done the Acropolis hike about five or six times already in my life, and the thought of going up that mountain again today after quite a lot of glasses of champagne was not particularly attractive.

But, in the end, the idea of walking off all the calories of lunch won out so we decided to do the Acropolis hike after all.

Crowds waiting for Lady Gaga in Athens
But as we were all dressed very nicely for lunch, we had to change to walking gear back at our hotel.

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LADY GAGA AND ME
AT THE GRAND BRETAGNE HOTEL IN ATHENS

Just as I was in the lobby of our hotel, the Grand Bretagne, however, Lady Gaga walks out of the elevator to get into a black van for the airport.

This photo was taken with my iPad

I knew she was in Athens for a concert and that she was staying at the same hotel. I think we were even sharing the same floor at the Grande Bretagne.

However, I didn't expect to bump into her in such an up close and personal way.

This photo was taken with my iPad
GOING GAGA FOR LADY GAGA

There were hundreds of screaming and energetic fans outside, but inside the Grand Bretagne, it was just a handful of people and lots of peace and quiet.

So when Lady Gaga walked past me in the lobby, I was even able to take a very close portrait of her with my iPad.

This photo was taken with my iPad
Then I followed her entourage out the door just in time to see her do a couple of brilliant marketing antics before her adoring fans. 

She sure can move a crowd.

And to think I thought today was going to be just another typical day in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


This photo was taken with my iPad


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