Well, here I am eating breakfast and reading International New York Times in Syntagma Square (centre of Athens) and thinking about what I would say on my blog about 2 months in Greece!!
SO, HERE IT GOES! Parts of Athens are beautiful and some parts are very tough; there is lots of unemployment, lots of African Immigration (mostly Nigerian) and why the Government is allowing this, I have no idea.
There are no jobs for the Greeks, let alone anyone else and so crime has increased. When I was here in Greece many years ago people were happy and joyful but attitudes about tourists and one another, not great! Having said that, when you are out in the evening the cafe’s are still full of people enjoying themselves.
There is a large police presence in the city , all kinds of police on motorcycles, behind riot shields, in large blue busses full of riot gear, Male and female – both are extremely good looking; the guys all look like they belong on cover of Esquire and the women; gorgeous, with great figures but all stand around on their mobiles, iPhones talking and smoking cigarettes.
The hotels are full for the summer with piles of Japanese tourists, but you won’t find a tourist office anywhere. The tourist sites are all very well done.The 5 star hotel in town is expensive, I am told rack rate is $400 -$600US a night and breakfast at the hotel is 36 Euros for buffet.
I visited 5 Islands, all very beautiful and unique and I really enjoyed the ferry rides, my longest was 8 hours and I travelled business class, which was very civilized.
The Government is taxing everyone, and is perceived as being incompetent, very old guard and corrupt.
As per usual, the people I met and spent time with make my Nomadic Life special.
- Rosamund (Australian) – has lived here for many years and worked for Italian Embassy.
- Carol (UK) – Publishing Business and Writer.
- Maria (USA) – owned hotel on Rhodes Island.
(The 3 above women, adopted me, or so I say)
- Anthony Strano – Teacher at BK Centre , writer of many books, and one of the best Spiritual leaders /teacher I have ever met, he spends a lot of time travelling the world, but his base is Athens.(He will be visiting Toronto in August)
- Ruth (Vancouver, Canada) – Who lives on Island of Syros and is working on creating Botanical Garden for the Island with number of friends
- Susan (UK) – Private School teacher in Athens, Fulbright Students from states
- Fotis (Greek) – Former Davis Cup Tennis Champion
- Geoffrey (UK) – fun loving and loves Greece
My activities included concerts, movies, dinners, going to the beach, lectures and meetings. They have very cool outdoor cinema’s here all over the city, usually overlooking some great site e.g. Acropolis (Last night we saw French movie with Greek subtitles, both languages didn’t work for me) but I knew the story, so not all a waste!
Most countries have Archaeological societies here, that have many lectures and receptions, and are very interesting with speakers from all over the world and I also met with the Canadian Embassy.
I am in discussion with a very large private school about helping them become an International School; I really like the CEO Catherine so we shall see! But the Government doesn’t make it easy. Greece, all in all was extremely educating and an excellent experience! Being on this side of the world, you get a very different perspective of how it operates.
Canada is perceived as being a very nice country that people know nothing about! Except the recent police killing in Moncton which made lead story on BBC before the G7 summit and I have seen nothing on Mayor Ford which is a relief; in Spain he was a big deal. The news commentary on TV is much more direct, especially German TV, and being here has taught me a lot about the EU.
My friends here have been very supportive of Betty’s Mountain Top idea and they think it should be on Greek Island, because 9 months of the year the weather is great!
I now go back to Canada! For 3 months, but will be travelling and I still love the adventure! Have no idea where all of this will lead me, but no worries.