In a total contrast to the laid back cool of Zurich is the hustle bustle and heat of Athens. It’s off season so things are not quite so chaotic, I can only imagine how busy it must be a month earlier in the height of summer. Still there are a lot of cruise boat passengers around as their original cruise destinations of North Africa have now been substituted for Greece and the Greek Islands instead.
I am staying in Plaka, an old neighbourhood at the foot of the Acropolis. It’s walking distance to Ermou, Athinas and Mitropoulos streets, where the main body of shops are located, and already I am the proud owner of a handmade pair of greek sandals and a fedora hat, justified as I can wear both in Mexico – now I need to figure out how to transport them there…
While sitting in a plaka café drinking an espresso freddo today, and right before I accidentally smashed a shot glass on the stone floor, I made the executive decision to just visit the Greek island of Milos, leaving myself open from there to either island hop to Sifnos and/or Serifos, or just stay on Milos for the whole 10 days. Right now, all I want to do is sleep in, sunbathe and eat local foods.
Yesterday I visited Syntagma Square and discovered a protest march complete with police stationed down side-streets with riot gear, just in case it turned violent. Teachers from across Athens were marching to protest the lack of jobs and low pay.
And today while I was walking up to the Acropolis as part of a ‘ruins and markets tour’ with my local guide, he looked out across the city and mentioned he saw a cloud of what looked like tear gas. I asked why he thought it was tear gas and not just plain old smoke and he replied that seeing smoke in the central city was less common.