Europe Day 15 – Athens, Beach, Protests

by Troy Grosfield
June 9th, 2010
Mediterranean Shoreline

Mediterranean Shoreline

It has been pretty hard to find wifi around Athens so far.  There are internet cafes around, but most don’t have wireless.   I started wandering around in search of wifi.  I had a map that showed an RSS symbol that signified it was a wifi hot spot area. I couldn’t see any wireless signs so I just turned on the wifi on my phone to see if I could pick up a signal.  I saw an athenswifi signal so I tried to connect.  I was directed to a page that shows a message talking about how Athens is experimenting with making certain busy parts of Athens wifi hotspots.  Turns out they have free wireless is certain city squares that anyone can pickup. It’s a fantastic idea and something I hope a lot of cities catch on to.

We took the tram and went down to the beach today. Unfortunately it decided to rain. So we grabbed a few beers at one of the local bars. The view of the shoreline is great. We can see all the way down the coast and as you look across the Mediterranean you can see the other Greek islands.


Athens Protests

Athens Protests

Today was the first day we’ve seen the protests against the government. We heard earlier in the day that a 24 hour protest had been planned for today. A large group of people gathered outside the national library not far from where we were staying. They were chanting things and throwing paper signs in the streets. There were police everywhere.

Even the locals don’t think the city is safe. We got in a conversation with the hotel bartender and manager who even seemed uneasy when talking about their city. They said that when they get the chance they head out of town (Athens) because of all the crime and for how dirty Athens has become.

This city really seems on edge. Being out at night doesn’t feel safe. On the way back from dinner tonight a fight nearly broke out right in front of us where two men started swinging at each other. There are police in the streets fully geared with protective shields. Everyone seems to be standing around waiting for something to happen. While trying to fall asleep you can hear chants from the protestors in the distance.

Great Food

Local Restaurant with Great Kabobs

Local Restaurant with Great Kabobs

On a lighter note, the food here is very good!   You’ll see many small restaurants with open grills with the chef making some delicious pork kabobs.  The food portions are much larger than they were in Rome and much cheaper.  It’s nice to get back to the American sized portions! :)

We like the went to this same restaurant pictured for the last 3 days.  That’s how much we liked the Kabobs.  They have a friendly patio where you can sit down and eat outside, but watch out for the birds because they are all around your feet trying to get scraps from the tables.

Inside the restaurant was also interesting.  This is their idea of a fast food restaurant.  They have standing room only tables and no chairs to be seen.  Most people are just swinging by to grab a quick bite and don’t by standing.

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