Good Morning, Athens!

It's been almost a decade since I was backpacking through here. Admittedly, I've soldout and traded the youth hostel for a hotel room. The view from my room can't be beat, though. Hurray for Starwood Points (thanks, Scott Kidder!).

Mother Armenia: Like the Statue of Liberty, only with a big sword

My dad and I got stuck with a dreary day in Yerevan, so we made the most of it by visiting the massive Mother Armenia (Mayr Hayastan) statute -- there's museum in her pedestal! -- and the surrounding grounds of an amusement park in the process of setting up for the summer season.  The statue used to be of Stalin, looming over Yerevan, so you can imagine how thrilled locals were to topple that menacing Georgian and replace him with Lady Armenia in 1967. Sadly continuing his legacy of murder, the process of taking down the Man of Steel killed a pair of men.