I didn’t even know the Greeks had Mardi Gras. I just wanted to check out the Sunday flea market in Monastiraki Square, so I set out on a balmy winter morning, weaving my way through the ancient streets of Athens. It was all going smoothly…until I ran into the masked men. They blocked the small street. They wore black masks. And thick pungent sheep skins. And loud bells around their waists. And 6-foot tall coned hats decorated like pinatas. Wait, what the hell is going on?
We’re in the final stretch now as the crowd careens towards Monastiraki Square. There are 400+ people clogged into the tiny Plaka streets. With every step we gobble up a confused tourist or two (ah, reminds me of me an hour ago) who join our ranks instead of going against the grain. A smart move considering it’s physically impossible to go in the other direction.