Pireas might not be a gateway to Athens - day 34

Pireas Travel Blog

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One of the demonstrations clanging its way around the port

Since we've been in Athens before, even though it was almost 20 years ago, we thought we could navigate our way from Pireas into Athenswithout using an organized tour.  We were wrong.  It took us over an hour of steady walking to realize that we'd gone by two perfectly good Metro stations which was strange since we were trying to go to a Metro station.  After backtracking to the station we wanted and getting on the train, we settled in for a comfy ride into the heart of Athens.  Wrong again.  A man stood in the middle of the train and either gave instructions on what was going to happen next in the journey or made an impassioned plea for support for the demonstrations which would take place later in the day.

On of two Metro stations we walked past without recognizing what it was.
  Since he spoke in Greek, I don't know which was the case but other passengers on the train wouldn't make eye contact with the guy and a few gave him money.  Very strange.  Even stranger was that the train emptied out at the next stop (with us following) and all passengers walked one block and boarded a bus.  We went with the crowd.  After a 15 block bus ride and several stops where more passengers squeezed in, we all got off walked 3 blocks and got on another train.  By now I had no idea what was going on  and was very happy to see that this train, at least, was stopping at Monastiraki Square.  That was where we were trying to go in the first place.  The whole day was similarly off kilter.

By the way, we did later watch demonstrations along the dock from our veranda on board.  I heard (again the "or so I was told" caveat that the cruise lines were required to use a certain percentage of union dock hands and that another cruise line in port hadn't. Supposedly those passengers were blocked from reentering their ship by the demonstration.  Sounds unlikely, but we did see several protest marches during our day here and the Greek Government is imposing wage cuts to deal with the debt crisis so anything is possible.  The mood on the street varied between cranky and surly.

I found out later there were riots in the streets starting the next day and someone was killed in a downtown Athens branch of the Bank of Greece. 

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One of the demonstrations clanging…
One of the demonstrations clangin…
On of two Metro stations we walked…
On of two Metro stations we walke…
the Princendam as a graphic study
the Princendam as a graphic study
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My husband wandering through Pire…
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Ancient ruins crop up everywhere …
Pireas
photo by: huibdos