Athens made me sad. It was once this most amazing city, the home of democracy, philosophy and the arts. The Athenians built the Acropolis and the Agora, images that loomed large in my imagination, after studying Ancient Greece in high school and university.
Sadly, modern Athens is cramped, dirty and, sorry to say, ugly. It’s only saving grace is the ruins, and if it didn’t have those, I can’t imagine why anyone would visit.
Unfortunately as well, the scaffolding curse struck again – this time the Acropolis. And the trip up to the Acropolis is made more unpleasant by the hundreds of hawkers (mainly Indian) following you trying to sell you water, asian umbrellas and tomato toys that go splat. Just what we’ve always wanted.
I will say this in Athens’ favour. The Metro stations are clean and efficient, and they have cool exhibits on the walls, showing the levels of the ancient roads and the drains.