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Athens Hilton



Bear patiently, my heart - for you have suffered heavier things.

the Academy

Yasou (Hello)

Last updated June 2002
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These are the highlights of our 2001 trip to Greece.

Airport Transfers

After a very long flight, we wanted our arrival to be stress free. We wanted someone to be waiting for us when we arrived. Someone who would speak to us in English, to help us with our luggage, and to take us directly to our hotel without any hassle. That person turned out to be Nicholas. Our plane was delayed, but he was still there waiting on us. We not only used him for our transfers (pre arranged over the Internet), but also for a one-day sightseeing tour to Delphi. If you are in a group of three or more people, it is cheaper to use Nicholas than to go on the guided tour buses, and more fun since he will be more flexible. It was as if we had our own chauffeur for 10 hours.
If you are in Athens and need a car at your disposal, Nicholas is at your service and he doesn't smoke. I recommend him for sightseeing, guided tours, excursions, and transfers. For more info, visit his website
Oh yes...Nicholas has a brand new Mercedes Wagon!

First Impressions

We have arrived for our long awaited trip to Greece, home of Homer, the Gods, and a cast of characters too numerous to list and many with names too difficult to pronounce. However, as we made our way out of the Athens airport towards our hotel, I think to myself "Is this the long awaited moment we have been waiting for?" The noisy traffic and the graffiti on most of the buildings are not what we were expecting. No men in skirts and pom-pommed shoes were walking the streets of Athens. Just a big sprawling, congested, noisy, chaotic, hazy city.
Sounds awful right? Well, you will find all of this, but Athens was a fun place. You don't have to be counting the minutes until your flight back to the good old USA, not for a couple of days anyway. You can have a great time in this city. It just looks like hell at first glance.

Greek Money

We arrived with very little Greek currency. We knew that Nicholas would accept US dollars for our transfer, and it was very easy to exchange our money in Athens. However, the hotel exchange rate was high, so change your money at a bank at the airport or in Athens.
While we were there, about 400 drachma equaled one US Dollar. Many of the menus had Euro listed, the official currency of the European Community and by 2002 the drachma after several thousand years will no longer exist.

It's Greek To Me

** My worry about not being understood in Greece was unproved. Everywhere we went, people spoke English and for dining out, you only had to ask, and a menu in English would be provided.
** Driving in Greece is simply scary. Thank goodness, we did not have to drive ourselves anywhere. Stop signs are treated like yield signs. Lanes don't mean very much, and there are so many scooters and motorcycles everywhere that they tend to fill in any gaps between cars. Seat belts appear to be purely decorative. I'm amazed I never saw an accident during my entire stay, but along the roadsides on our drive to Delphi, it's very common to come across little shrines that look like miniature churches and each containing various icons. These shrines are put at accident sites whether the people involved survived or not and are maintained by local people.
** I noticed that the locals seemed to wear long pants or skirts. You can pick out the tourists because they are the ones wearing shorts.
** OH, and the cats. They are everywhere!