Thursday, October 22, 2015

Our Day In Athens, Greece

Today is Tuesday, Sept 29th and we have arrived in the Greek port city of  Piraeus.
We had purchased transfer tickets to take a shuttle bus from the dock area in Piraeus to Athens, where we would be on our own to discover the city independently.
After arriving in Athens we headed towards the Acropolis which was sitting high up on a hill overlooking the city. We decided not to take the trek up there and instead headed to the Plaka. The Plaka is the oldest historical neighborhood in Athens.
The Plaka is mainly a pedestrian only area but we found many taxis and motorbikes going here and there so we had to be careful walking around as the streets are rather narrow.
We did a little shopping while in the Plaka and then had lunch at one of the cafes where the shuttle bus had dropped us off.
After eating we decided just to hang out at the bus pickup area.
While there we observed many female hawkers working the area. We must have been asked a dozen times if we wanted to buy this "finely hand made" tablecloth. It did not matter how many times you told these women "no" they kept at it. There was a whole group of these women working this particularly dense tourist area. These folks were like vultures. These women would actually push this large cloth item into your hands to feel the quality. These hawkers did make a few sales by putting pressure on the weaker tourist that were there. Each of these hawkers had a large bag that they were carrying over their shoulder. If they were lucky enough to make a sale the hawker would just reach into the bag she was carrying and pull out another identical item as the one that just sold. The bags were packed full of the "hand made" tablecloths, which were all the same color but they came in different sizes.
There was a large police presence in the area but that did not deter these hawkers nor did the police seem the least be interested in the selling practices of these hawkers.
We were very glad to get on our bus and return back to our ship. I was not impressed with Athens at all and I think that getting rid of these hawkers that thrive on "attacking and pressuring" the tourist to make a sale, would help change my overall perception of this city.
Athens in not a place that I would want to return to.
Upon returning back to our ship we relaxed a bit before dinner.
After dinner we went to the Stardust Theater to watch a show. After the show we went to the Garden Cafe and had a little desert before heading back to our cabin for the night.
Below are a few of the photographs that I took while in Athens:
Early morning in Piraeus






 Ornate embellishments on top of the architecture
 Early morning shopping in the Plaka before the huge crowds arrived


 Brettos Bar is the #1 rated bar in Athens by Trip Advisor 
  This fine gentleman was sitting out on a quiet street playing his accordion and softly singing. He was gracious enough to allow me to photograph him. We left him a nice donation for being so kind and just being himself. 





We found this cool wooden Pinocchio like wooden doll that had articulated arms and legs. She was sitting on a bench in front of a gift store



A real neat old wooden door

The old wooden door was attached to this old abandoned house. It had lots of character. Unfortunately there were several cars parked right in front of this building which was right on the street

 An ornate balcony on the abandoned house


 Another old building with character
 Street art
 A public fountain in Athens
 Below are more photos of the port in Piraeus. It was a really busy port with ships going in and out constantly












Tomorrow we are in Kusadasi, Turkey

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