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--------Trip to continental Greece 1987

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map of Ceuta I went to Greece in the summer of 1987. I took a plane from Madrid, we did a stop in Belgrad and Zagreb the two old cities of the ex-Yugoslavia. The plane was full and the stewardesses were extremely nice and pretty. They even taught me to say hello “kfalla” in Serb. It sounded like that anyway.

In my plane there were three German girls who were going to spend some time on a Greek Island. We started chatting in German and English. (I had taken two months of German at the UofA.) They asked me, if they could come with me to Athens so we could share the cab and hotel expenses.

I did not refuse. When we arrived at the airport we just took any taxi. We did not do our homework to check and barter. We did not ask for the fare price. The trip was supposed to be a thirty kilometers ride. Few kms into the trip there was huge set of numbers on the dashboard counter, there were zeros everywhere. I thought by then that I owed more than a thousand dollars, I am exaggerating, but it was more that I thought that it should be and we freaked out. Actually at half-point he told me that we owed him $75.00 US. Once we were in Athens we said we would not pay that much, which was a huge, inflated some of money especially for a student. We stopped the car and I took his plate number and said we were going to phone the tourist police that’s when the guy went berserk. He ripped and threw the $40.00 dollars on the ground and he jumped on it. Obviously people are scared of the tourist police. Use it. ( I am not sure if it still exists in 2007)

The girls were not expecting that much adventure the first few hours into their holiday. They seemed a bit upset that I had put them through this.

The next day we went to the Acropolis. Before getting there we saw some old relics such as a giant olive jar (?)it could have easily fitted in there. There was also a well-preserved antique coffin. I pretended that I was dead inside. My German friend took a great picture.

1987 ticket to enter the Acropolis
The Acropolis is, definitively, the main and glorious symbol of Athens. I bought a pile of old Greek money on my way there. There were many shops that tried to sell you gadgets and new relics of the past. You go through a gate and you reach the Parthenon which rules over the city, the most famous monument of ancient Greece. We took a picture on the edge of the cliff with Athens as a background.

It was a very hot day so I bought some fresh juice. A glass cost me close to five dollars.

By the Acropolis we had a beautiful view over Athens, which was quite polluted . Below, you can see the Odeon of Herod Atticus.

The next day the girls were leaving to an island; they already had their hotel and I would be leaving to Istanbul. I did not have enough time to go to the islands and I said goodbye to them since I was going to take the train heading north.

At the acrocpolis with a German girl
I stayed in Athens a second day. It was so confusing to walk downtown and not be able to understand the language. They have a different alphabet and many signs were in Greek only.

I also had a field trip to the city of Piraeus, Greece’s main port. I had a meal of shish kebab or some fast food like donair. But I was very happy because for the first time I got to enjoy the sea.

The next day I made my way to Thessalonica also known as Salonica. It was a very large mainly modern looking town of close to 800 000 people. I visited it but did not waste any time there. I wanted mainly to see what the beaches look like so I made my way to a small village where there was some kind of celebration. Some people had drunk too much, one woman was showing her breasts to people. The beaches there were ok but not great.

The next day I hopped into the train and I made my way to the border between Greece and Turkey. Unfortunately, I fell asleep. I thought if I slept officers at the border would wake me up to ask my passport. One thing that was unknown to me is that the train was not going into Turkey, maybe because of the strained political relationship between both countries. Once it reached the border it started to turn again towards central Greece. I was woken up by a brute. He looked at my ticket and they decided that I was far away from the place I was supposed to disembark so they took my baggage and in the middle of nowhere threw everything out on the grass just like a bunch of garbage ...and voila .

I ended up in a tiny village and I found my way to the border. I had to hitchhike. I was finally in Turkey. I met this Irish gentleman and we went to Istanbul together.

Inside a giant jar in Athens near the Acropolis
Inside a giant jar in Athens near the Acropolis

Inside a tomb in Athens
Inside a tomb in Athens

The next pictures were borrowed courteusy of Webshots

The Parthenon on the Acropolis, Athens, Greece
The Parthenon on the Acropolis, Athens, Greece

Pasalimani (Zea Marina), Piraeus (Athens' naval base in the 5th c. BC)
Pasalimani (Zea Marina), Piraeus (Athens' naval base in the 5th c. BC)

Typical scenery of Northern Greece when I took the train

Greece - View over the city - Thessaloniki 3.4
Greece - View over the city - Thessaloniki 3.4

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