First impression of Athens

I arrived in Athens at midday as planned. Grabbed my suitcase. Yes, I gave in and bought a suitcase. So here I am traveling with my backpack and suitcase. Not the best, but I’ll manage for the next three weeks. There are many options to get into the city center, but I decided to take the bus, as it was the least complicated option with so many luggage. I still had to take the metro after that. Few stops and it was my turn to get off. I was thinking the escalator would be going up. Of course not, so had to carry up around 60 steps with my 20 kg suitcase and 10 kg backpack. Finally get outside and I have no clue where I’m suppose to go. There is a map, everything is in Cyrillic, but seems to be different here than in Bulgaria and I am going around town saying merci to everyone. Another difference, they say NE for yes as it’s the opposite in Bulgaria. Anyways, I was trying to figure out where to head when I decided to ask a policeman. He was more than nice and went beyond duty to help me. After asking many people and nobody seem to know where my hostel or the street was, he checked on his mobile as he had Internet connection. Talk about being nice! Managed to find the place finally. Got a hostel room to myself (not many tourists this time of year) for 8€ a night.

In the evening, I decided to walk around town and see the Acropolis by night. So I strolling by myself and was feeling sad about leaving Bulgaria when I see a lady step on this boy’s cup. All the pennies go flying all over the place. The woman stops gives the boy a disdain look and keeps going. I was so shocked by this behavior. I just couldn’t believe she didn’t help him to pick up his change. Not only that, but the look she gave him. I felt so sorry for the boy; he looked lost and actually used to this kind of look I suppose. What a misery. I helped him pick up his change and put a 1€ coin I had in my pocket. I usually don’t give money to beggars by principle, but in this situation, I felt I needed to help him out. I must admit this disturbed me quite a lot. I don’t really like to see people being treated this way, homeless, gypsies or whatever. We are ALL human beings and deserve respect. Later on, I was walking back to the hostel when I saw a man doing a number 2 in the street. He was trying to be as discreet as possible, but well, not doing a good job of it. That’s another thing that disturbed me, I didn’t even see that in India.

Back at the hostel, I then slept for 11 hours. It was good to catch up on my sleep.

Today, I had arranged to meet with Danilo, a Brazilian couchsurfer at 11am at the metro station. We wanted to go to Salamina Island, but soon realized all the ferries were docked in port as they was a major strike. We watched the thousands of Greeks protesting calmly I must say. We then decided to go for a walk. Went inside a few Orthodox Church, chilled in a park and then ended up at the Harbor and then some beach. We basically walked for 8 hours stopping along the way for some amazing good food. I ate and ate and ate. Catching up on my sleep and eating, that’s what I call a good vacation. I wanted to go to Santorini, but it’s a long way and there is no ferry on the day I want to come back. Seems a little bit pointless to head so far for just 2 days. I think I will change my plans and go to Naxos instead, it’s only 4 hours ferry and I can stay 4 days.

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