Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Motorcycle Mania in Athens and more...

June 30, 2012 (Saturday)
Greece/Turkey Trip

Today, we slept in and then had a nice breakfast at the Attalos hotel.  Of course, still no luggage... on with our day -- we walked down the block and bought some fresh fruit to take with us on today's adventure.
A whole block of fruit/vegetable stands with people making their daily purchases.
We headed out into Athens traffic and knew right away that anyone who drove a motorcycle was absolutely crazy… it was as if "they" had “NO” traffic laws!!  They were like ants going everywhere!!  There would be 1 or 2 and sometimes 3 people on a cycle… and they were of all ages.  Some are little old ladies riding on back of little old ladies;  girls, guys one and all, and some ladies were in dresses too!

While sitting at a traffic light in line, the motorcycles would just drive between the lanes of traffic as if there were another lane there… but in reality most streets were so crowded that you couldn’t open your door without hitting a car in the lane next to you. In fact many of the cars had their mirrors knocked off!   The cyclists were not picky on which side of your car they passed you on either… sometimes they would pass us on both sides… AT THE SAME TIME!  I know you think I am exaggerating, but I am not!  Some of them wore helmets and then some of them didn’t have a brain enough to do so.
Add caption
Looking at the picture above, you can see the cycle with the red/white trunk… they passed between the two yellow taxis!!!!  I kid you not! …and that was only after they had passed us on the left and then cut in front of us!  The cycle to the right passed us on the right at the same time… unreal!!  You can also see the cycle on the far left right next to our front fender-- he is passing between us and the car on his right!  I’m telling you, they don’t have a brain.

Anyway, we decided we wanted to drive and see the Acropolis before we traveled north through the mountains to see the landscape and a few ruins at Delphi and then end up in Meteora by the day’s end.  So with “Mrs. GPS”, which I will say was one of the best decisions we made getting her when we rented our car!!!  We began our navigation to the Acropolis, following the map and directions provided we made our way to the left lane and had our blinker on to turn left, when out of the blue one of the cyclist’s came flying up behind us as we began to turn… Dennis could see what was happening and rather than turning he went on ahead a bit trying to avoid an accident… but to no avail– Wham, Mr. Crazy Cyclist ran right into our back bumper.  Dennis said he looked and could see the cycle flying up… and I am sure “Mr. Cycle Man’s” intention was to pass on the left (keeping in mind we were in the far left lane)… but instead he ended up crashing right into our back bumper once he saw we were turning!!   

Thank goodness he wasn’t hurt bad… maybe bunged his knee up a little and “scratched” the front fender on his cycle where he hit our bumper.  But, he managed to pick his cycle up and proceed to tell us he was calling the police because we were going to pay for his fender.  I looked at him and said, “hey, you ran into the back of us!”  He continued to state it was our fault that we didn’t have our signal on.  I knew I couldn’t argue with a crazy person and we weren’t in any hurry; we had a shady ledge to sit on, so we would just wait for Mr. Policeman!  In fact, couldn’t wait for him to get here!

Having no telephone, I walked to a nearby business and called Avis to tell them what happened… they said, “not to worry, we have full insurance!”  They also commented, “of course he’s trying to blame you, but not to worry, it is not your fault!”  I’m thinking okay, let’s just go!

There was not much conversation while we sat and waited on the police, but he had several buddies come and go and after about 2.5 hours his insurance man finally came… but we had yet to see the police – other than the 25 of them that just drove by in traffic, but not one of them attempted to stop.   I thought it was stupid he wanted the police there anyway – his fender was barely damaged
Hey Buddy, rub it out and move on!  It was your fault!
We had purchased our own insurance in case of this very thing, so we really didn't want to mess with him paying for anything, but we waited for that policeman he wanted, that never showed up!

After a while his insurance guy showed up and took a bit of information speaking basically no English… but he certainly understood when I told him I had called Avis and they told me not to worry that it was his fault and that we would just wait for the police!  He soon determined that he had all the information he needed and told us to go.  I bet he wanted us to go! … he didn’t’ want to pay for the rental car!

So with that “behind” us we went on our way, only to arrive at the Acropolis at 3:10 p.m. and finding out they closed at 3 p.m. on Saturdays.  We could only laugh!  We still managed to take a few pictures, but decided we would return to see it again when we could actually walk through it.
You can see those iron gates holding us back   :-(
I have to laugh when I look at the shorts I’m wearing… I bought them because we had no luggage… they are almost a “skort” but, in fact they are actually men’s swim trunks!  Lee, just more of my creativity!  I bought them because I could wash and dry them fast :-D  I’m not much of a shopper while traveling and the shorts work great!  I can laundry each evening by hand and they are dry and fresh for the next day!

Dennis and I have already had many laughs on this trip.   It is these trips that create memories!  It is  the first trip for us to lose our luggage, I think it is the first time for us to miss a connection, certainly it is the first time for us to be dropped from a flight, and the first time to have a wreck on vacation!  But with all that said and done -- we really are having fun!  You just have to take things in stride and sometimes, yes I do have my melt downs first, but then we do what we have to do and make the best of it.  The world offers so much for us to see and do and good things come from the inconveniences or bumps in our roads traveled!

Having no luck being able to walk through The Acropolis, we ventured over and climbed to the top of Areopagus Hill and what a view we had!  Here is a link that tells much more about Areopagus Hill, but couple things in short... this is documented to be where Apostle Paul gave one of his sermons; and Ares was supposed to have been tried here by the Gods for the murder of Poseidon's son, Alirrothios.   As you can see most every trip provides a history lesson.

View from Areopagus Hill (near the Acropolis)
You could see for miles.  Note there are ruins towards the bottom mid left and you can see the buildings and houses that fill the entire valley and it was extremely windy on top of that hill, I didn’t venture too close to the edge of the rocks. 

Oh, and that was a fun climb in flip-flops, sure do miss my tennis shoes!  Come on luggage, show up!!

Continued:  Drive to Delphi, Greece

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...