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01 June 2006

Driving into Athens by Night

Big roads, strange place

Wednesday evening I had left Athens to meet with some people from HelMUG in Porto Rafti, on the other side of Attica. We came back the same night. Sitting outside near the seaside, the evening had become chilly with humidity, my clothes damp and cold. We climbed into the car, rolled the windows up and turned the heating on to defog the windows, quite the statement in a city that is hot even in Spring. Then we drove back into Athens at night time...

Driving from Porto Rafti back into Athens from the super modern toll road "Attiki Odos". This place didn't look like Athens at all, a big road, almost empty at half past one in the morning. It did not even look like Greece at all.

I remember driving into Athens many times, for many years. I would be riding in my 2CV (first many times in the beige 2CV4 with the french plates, later in the red 2CV6). No matter if it was day or night, it was always a special spectacle. Driving over the little hills, looking out over the top each time to catch that first glimpse of the sprawl of the big city. The sight where you see the concrete jungle stretch out till every horizon, climbing up every hill.

There always was that feeling of getting sucked in, coming from the country roads, moving almost quick (hey, it's a 2CV), then getting slowly, slowly surrounded by more and more traffic, up to the final point of arrival in Athens. Which, if by car, means to be glued into the stop and go routine that goes by the name "traffic" in Athens.

No such thing on that evening. Instead a modern, empty road, symbol of the new Greece. Cold, clinical, only recognizable as Greece by the occasional neon sign with Greek characters. But to not be stuck in traffic for once is nice experience here. Try the same trick in the morning or - heaven forbid - come back to Athens on Sunday evening and you reach completely new levels of being stuck, on that big and shiny new road.

Posted by betabug at 09:04 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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Re: Driving into Athens by Night

I can almost imagine you inside a 2CV with one hand at the steering wheel and the other outside of the car :-)

Posted by: Rodolfo Gouveia at June 01,2006 15:06
Re: Driving into Athens by Night

You bet! With the roof rolled up and the wind in my hair.

Have a look at my 2CV pictures, I'm not at the wheel, but in one picture I'm sitting on the hood of the red 2CV :-)

Posted by: betabug at June 01,2006 15:20
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