Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Impressions from Athens.. (24 - 5 - 2009)

Before leaving Sweden, i put in my mind to record my impressions in Greece.. having high expectations from Athens and Greece itself.. as the cradle of democracy and an open book for history and philosophy.  But things started to go wrong from the minute i arrived in the Airport in Athens. Coming from a relatively cold region with day temperature of 15 degrees in Sweden.. i was literally shocked by the unbelievably hot weather in Athens.. of 35 degrees and high humidity, which made everything else more in slow motion.. and made the people around me puffing in discomfort every few minutes. 

I gathered by broken suitcase.. which the "gentle" danish hands broke, and found my way to the info center to get some info about how to get to the central station and things weren't simple there either..

You can literally feel how the mentality changes once you go from north to south.. and if you go souther to our arabic countires, things get even worse. Ma 3alena, the nice lady explained to me how man trians i should switch in order to reach my destination - my hotel. It was 12 noon.. and i was melting.. but within 1 hour i got to a deserted city.. because the worst combination ever - hot weather and Sunday!

The hotel wasn't that good.. and surprisingly the receptionist was extremely unfriendly! although i used my Jordanian passport to identify myself as the one who made the reservations, but i guess he noticed my birth place - Macedonia ... and thats the only justification i can think of for his very bad attitude.. 2olna bardo ma 3alena.. maybe the heat is making him that unfriendly..! 

i got into my room.. and probably the only best thing in it was the Air conditioning..! God bless those ACs.. it brought me back to life.. and cheered me up.. combined with a nice shower.. i was ready to give it a try and still not judge on Athens as the worst city i've ever visited..

We (me and my friend who also shared my miserable experience) deided when the sun calmed down.. to go and see the Acropolis.. as time wasn't waiting for us.. and the next day both of us will find his way. We took the metro , which was surprisingly in good shape compared to the Old train station we arrived at. We got off Sintagma square, and things started to get better.. we looked up a place to grab a sandwich and then walked through the Athenian streets to the Acropolis. 

There it was fun, i mean.. i felt the arabic or better said the oriental feeling of the city.. of people's behavior of the buildings.. and their facades and balconies. People were having coffee.. or beer.. ladies were talking and laughing.. People were really enjoying those precious moments of having a chat with someone over a coffee. 

The streets were shining with antiquity... and with busy life.. we found our way to the Acropolis.. and climbed the hill. The view from up there was breathetaking.. i guess the Acropolis was the best thing i've experienced in Athens.  You can see the entire city from there.. overviewing the white houses.. and thick green forests scattered here and there around the city and ofcourse the most famous blue Sea in the background - the symbol of Greece. 

The Acropolis itself.. wasn't a massive building.. but a witness of the Greek glory in that era.. You can feel how glorious were those moments and places.. where one of the strongest school of philosophy was established and developed. Its impressive how precise and sophisticated the ancient greeks were compared to the rest of the nations at that time. Although they didn't florish much further, but their legacy is certainly something humanity is still appreciating and learning. 

After 2 hours or exploring every single detail of the Acropolis.. we decided to go back and sleep.. coz we were already exhausted... We stopped by Syntagma Square again.. and decided to follow the advice of our greek professor, and pass by Kolonaki.. a nice wealthy area in Athens.. were a lot of diplomatic representatives are located.. and ofcourse a lot of cafes and restaurants. We had some drinks there.. and rested a bit under the warm moonlight of Athens, and then went back to our hotel. 

Things weren't that bad after all.. after my first impression of the city in the morning.. but they should certainly warn people to be patient before judging the city.. hehe

The next day , early in the morning.. i continued my trip .. from Athens.. towards Thessaloniki and Macedonia - my next destination.. the country were the sun never sets. Will see you folks from there..  :) 

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