Monday, 20 August 2012

Dont panic I'm just a man on a bicycle

Athens, I have arrived, not an army to defeat you as so many have done in your 7000 years of history, but as a traveller with two wheels not a cart pulled by horses but the simple bicycle with my own form of horse power, my legs and my lungs.  Entering the city like all cities I've been through takes some doing, and of course with all of it in the Greek alphabet it makes asking directions great fun. The outskirts of the city is like most cities a bit worn and battered but then so is the Acropolis. I passed some of the Olympic stadiums that were built for the games in 2004 and it doesn't look like they've been used since then with smashed windows  graffiti and litter dumped everywhere, I don't know if that's got much to do with the crisis here but i hope London doesn't go the same way. I found myself a cheap hotel room with air conditioning 23€ that with the 23% vat and took my unladen bike for a tour of the city. Athens two words chaotic and exhilarating, and not a bike in site strange for a city but not surprising with the way the drivers hit the accelerator  here while the police two to a motorbike watch on targeting by the looks of it immigrants with no papers.To get to see inside the big monuments you have to pay  and the tourists were in some big lines with their cameras poised in the 38c heat the thing is these monuments are so big you get a better view from the outside and that is what i did. I spent the next few hours touring then headed for the sea, i guess Ive seen so much land and cities the sea is calling so much to me at the moment. a half hours ride and I'm at the clear blue sea I'm like a little boy with his bucket and spade i chain the bike up and go skinny dipping  its allowed in Greece on the beaches I'm a little concerned of the shock of my bronzed arms face and legs against the pale white rest of my torso so i head for a quiet rock swim and with mrlion we walked into the , no shivers warm intoxicating sea bliss. after a dry out in the sun the evening came and i headed to a rugged outcrop that overlooked the Acropolis and the city, amazing views, and inhabited by my fellow tourists, the rocks we were siting on were so smooth from the gazers you had to be careful of your step. There was a gang of pickpockets, bag snatchers working this area so  easy to see the only view they were watching was that that contained valuables, in a couple of the photos you can see them. I had to tell a couple of tourists that the were about to get their bag stolen much to the annoyance of the on looking  thieves.
 So i will have a few days here and enjoy my journeys end, i have to return so i can go again, its been brutal, exhilarating crazy wild and emotional and something i hope you all get a chance to do. The trip was done on a budget of 3500 and out of that came my bike costs, I've been away for  3 months travelled into 16 countries and cultures and cycled a few miles. My eyes and mind have seen so much good and bad sadness and joy  and as they say I have had the time of my life i only hope one day you will get that time too, live life thanks for Reading, now how the hell do i get back from here?