So I have had limited internet access and thus have been a bit delayed with my posts, but after having been in Greece for almost a week now I think I owe it to you to make the extra effort. Not to mention I have been dying to get my initial Athens experience off my chest. So here goes!
My first day in Athens I followed the hotel’s directions from the airport to their location, which was pretty easy and straight forward. Even though the Greeks not only have a different language but alphabet also, there were quite a few concessions for English speakers. Plus the metro system is fairly well organized and easy to navigate, so no problem there. However, when I got off at my stop and began to ascend upwards on the escalator towards the street, I was pretty sure that somewhere between the Airport and metro ride I had been transported to a place that was entirely different than the stamped location in my passport. This after all was not the Athens I had imagined or dreamt about.
I was certain I had been teleported to a 5thworld country (yes I made that up). Not to be rude or anything but the area that the hotel was in was totally shady, I mean had I any interest in prostitution or dealing heroine I probably would have fit right in. So needless to say I didn’t pause in the streets to take any photos really. I was so happy to have flown in early in the day because there is no way I would have been caught dead (or maybe I would have been) on those streets at night. So as soon as I got to the hotel I pretty much retired for the day until my cousin arrived the next morning from Florida. She by the way, when asking for directions, was told by a local that it wasn’t such a good area. You think!! They must have forgotten to add that on the hotel’s homepage. Nonetheless, I took it all in stride and walked as if I knew where I was going and looked forward to my visit to acropolis and the surrounding area.
Okay so, we get to acropolis on my day two and the area is a bit touristy but I am super stoked to be somewhere I can freely walk around the streets and not worry that I may become a witness to any illegal activity. We walk around go up on a stone hill by the acropolis to take photos and started chatting with some other Australian travelers. This was it, back to normal travel mode. Until I sat on the top of the hill to take in the view with my cousin and just chit chat when out of the blue this guy in a small group of about three or four others, grabs my bag and is trying to hand it off to one of his buddies. I was completely shocked and taken aback! I grab his arm and sternly tell him that it was mine and proceed to take it back from him. He looks at me, hands it back over and apologizes as if he had no idea it wasn’t his. Imagine, we are in an area with other people in broad daylight I was so absolutely stunned at the audacity of this guy. I couldn’t stop staring at him in awe at what he had just attempted to do. He then quickly apologizes again and moved to another area. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs on that hill under the spotlight of the unrelenting Greek sun, pointing at him so that everyone knew what he had done! Total buzz kill. That moment stuck to me all day like gum on the bottom of your shoe that you can’t seem to scrape off completely.
I was safe however, had everything with me and was calmed back down by the short, balding but charming Greek waiter on my walk back and his shower of compliments. Oh, yeah and the fact that I was leaving for Mykonos in the morning.