Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pickpockets ruin our first day in Athens

After arriving in Athens airport we decided to take the metro into town. This proved to be the wrong decision, a taxi would have been much better. The train was fairly quiet for the first part of the ride but as we drew nearer to Athens it became very crowded, complete with gypsy children and teenagers wandering through the carriages but oddly enough not playing any music.

When we reached our station someone stood in front of the nearest door claiming that it wasn't working and directing us further down the carriage. This was all a ploy to keep us on the train surrounded by people, two of whom were pickpockets. As we got to the next stop I found my wallet missing and Seamus looked down to see that both sections of his supposedly theft proof Pac-safe bag had been opened. When we got off the train at the next station I  knew my wallet with credit cards and considerable cash were gone. Fortunately Seamus hadn't had anything stolen. I am usually very careful with my hand always on top of my purse but my lapse while dragging the luggage cost me. We were targeted but only know that two or more involved.

After a short taxi ride we arrived at our hotel and spent the next hour and more trying to get through to credit and debit card companies. A collect call to our bank on the cellphone cost €180. So much for that really annoying, "Please stay on the line."

The hotel staff directed us to a nearby quiet bistro that had all the food in pots. You just picked what you wanted. I had a lovely melt-in- your-mouth veal and zucchini stew with roast potatoes while Seamus had a tomato stuffed with pork. The accompanying local wine went down very well. It was a nice way to end a “diem horribilem” or perhaps in Greek, “φρικτή ημέρα.”

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