First-time traffic to Athens usually whine about the same three matters: a perceived high number of stray dogs; the service given by Greek cab drivers; and, the traffic. But with just a small background wisdom and information, these things can only be regarded since a few of the many characteristics that contribute to the uniqueness with this amazing city.
Stray cats and dogs
The maxicab of stray animals wandering around the city could surprise visitors to Athens, who home may only utilized to seeing creatures accompanied by an individual owner. I have run into a couple of different people who actually can’t stand to find your pet cat or dog alone in the road because they believe”it has to be unhappy” and might rather get it put to sleep by a vet. This seems a little extreme and anyone who believes this surely can’t be a real animal lover. Ofcourse one of the reasons why you can find many of those dogs on the street is they will have been abandoned, but this happens in every city. The term”ramble” has connotations of a creature that’s malnourished and in poor health, but it is quite rare to discover critters in this condition in Athens. Stray creatures, even though with out a”home”, in many cases are taken care of by various people and for that reason live much more than they would – this contributes to the increased visibility of stray animals in the city. For instance, from the coastal suburb of Glyfada, quite a number of stores along the most popular primary shopping street have adopted a stray dog. The team provide food and water daily and subsequently the dogs feel a devotion towards these and often sit in front of the store all day , lazing around at sunlight, some times even completely blocking the store entrance so that customers have to step ! Through informal networks of animal fans in many neighbourhoods, strays often find their way to new homes – most people I know have never bought a pet, but instead simply wait for a stray cat or dog to drift in their group of friends and acquaintances. There clearly was a considerable outcry among the city’s population if there were still rumoured plans to round up stray dogs in Athens and put them to sleep. What happened at the end was that many were piled, but instead were given any necessary veterinary care, and subsequently published. If you reside in Athens and also you would like a dog or cat, as opposed to buying one, just put the word around and a grateful pet buddy will find it’s way to your door in no time.
Visitors into the city sometimes complain about cab drivers. It can sometimes be difficult to discover a cab because cab drivers are quite picky about if they have been well prepared to take you personally – your destination should suit them as well as your self. Once you are looking at the street waiting for a taxi, they will reduce their rate and you’re required to shout your destination . Should they enjoy the noise of it, they will stop the taxi so that you can get in; if notthey will gesture to you personally in the negative (see my article on Greek hand and facial expressions or maybe you overlook it!) And speed up again. Something else which bothers people, particularly people to Athens, is that once you have found a taxi and are on the path to your destination, then the motorist will sometimes look for and accept on additional passengers heading in exactly the exact same direction. If you take advantage of this practice and become into an already occupied cab, simply take note of the meter reading whenever you obtain in. You’ll cover the driver the gap between the amount on the meter when you get in and the last amount displayed at the conclusion of your journey. For example, if the meter reads Euros whenever you buy in and 10 Euros at the conclusion of one’s journey, you owe the motorist 6 Euros. These two unorthodox techniques aren’t legally allowed and may appear as a bit of a jolt to some, however they must be found from the context of that which it actually costs to utilize a cab. Since the introduction of the Euro, the expense of residing in Athens has rocketed, but utilizing a cab is among those few things that have not increased in price. Taxis continue to be so cheap that a far bigger proportion of this city’s population utilize them to go about their everyday business than in other European capitals, such as London, where taxis tend to be prohibitively costly for use by the majority of people on non-essential travels. If taxi drivers do exactly what they could to earn a living (short of ripping off you ofcourse ) what harm would it perform? Your motorist or your fellow passengers might even have an exciting tale to tell, to while away your travel.
Yes there is a traffic problem at Athens, but most funding cities have one nowadays. It seems that the challenge will get worse before it gets even better. By some estimates, the amount of cars in Athens is placed to grow by some 40% by 2010. There are some measures in place to try to attack the issue, in stereotypical Greek style, folks bend the rules. For example, you can only travel into the middle of Athens by car on alternate week , determined by if your car licence plate ends in an odd and even number. However, lots of men and women avoid this by buying another car or by holding on an older car, whereas they would otherwise have delivered it to the scrap heap. Public transport is advancing though. The metro system introduced a few years past is excellent and there are plans to extend it. The brand new tram system applied only before the Olympics, seems to have overcome its teething troubles and is now becoming a viable and agreeable way of transport. Until radical traffic management policies are set up, don’t let that spoil your time in the city. Just put a little consideration in to when and the best way to travel as a way to avoid any important delays to your travel.