First time traffic to Athens usually whine about the exact same three things: a perceived lot of stray dogs; the service provided by Greek taxi drivers; as well as the traffic. But with just a small background wisdom and information, these things can simply be regarded since a few of the many characteristics that add to the uniqueness with the great city.
Stray dogs and cats
The maxicab of stray animals wandering across the city can surprise visitors to Athens, who home may just utilized to seeing critters followed closely by a human owner. I’ve run into one or two people who actually cannot endure to find a dog or cat alone in the road because they believe”it has to be miserable” and would rather get it put to sleep with a vet. This seems a little extreme and anyone who thinks this surely cannot be described as a real animal lover. Obviously one of the reasons why you will find many of those dogs on the street is they will have been abandoned, but that happens in most city. The phrase”ramble” has connotations of an animal that is malnourished and in poor health, but it’s quite rare to encounter critters in this condition at Athens. Stray animals, although with out a”home”, are often taken care of by many people and so live a lot longer than they would – that contributes to the higher visibility of stray animals in the city. By way of example, in the coastal suburb of Glyfada, quite several stores over the most popular primary shopping street’ve adopted a stray dog. The team provide water and food every day and consequently the dogs feel a devotion towards these and sit in front of the store all day long, lazing around in the sun, some times even completely blocking the shop entry so that clients have to step ! Through informal networks of animal lovers in most neighbourhoods, strays often obtain their way to new homes – many people I know have not purchased a puppy, but instead just wait for a stray dog or cat to wander into their group of friends and acquaintances. There was a significant outcry among the city’s population if there were no rumoured plans to round up stray dogs in Athens and put them to sleep. What happened at the end was that lots were piled, but instead were given any necessary veterinary care, and subsequently published. If you live in Athens and you also would like a dog or cat, instead of buying one, simply put the word around and a grateful pet buddy will find it’s way to your door very quickly.
Visitors to the city sometimes complain about taxi drivers. It can at times be tricky to find a cab because taxi drivers are rather picky about whether they have been prepared to take you personally – your destination needs to satisfy them as well as yourself. Whenever you are looking at the street searching for a taxi, they will reduce their speed and you’re expected to yell your destination . If they enjoy the sound of this, they will block the cab so that you can be in; if not, they may gesture to you in the negative (see my article about how Greek facial and hand gestures or you might overlook it!) And accelerate again. Something else that disturbs people, particularly people to Athens, is that once you have found a taxi and are on your path to your destination, the driver will sometimes look for and take on other passengers heading in exactly the exact same direction. If you take advantage of this exercise and become into an already occupied cab, just make a note of the meter reading whenever you obtain in. You will pay the driver the gap between the total amount on the meter once you be in and the final amount shown at the end of one’s travels. By way of example, if the meter reads Euros when you buy in and 10 Euros at the end of one’s journey, you owe the driver 6 Euros. Both of these unorthodox techniques aren’t legally allowed and could arrive as a tiny shock for some, nevertheless they must be understood from the context of what it actually costs to make use of a cab. Since the introduction of the Euro, the expense of living in Athens has rocketed, however, employing a cab is among the few things which have not increased in price. Taxis remain so cheap that a much bigger percentage of this city’s populace utilize them to really go about their daily business than in other European capitals, such as London, where taxis tend to be prohibitively costly for use by most people on nonessential journeys. So if taxi drivers do exactly what they could to produce an income (short of ripping off you ofcourse ) what harm can it do?
Yes there is a traffic problem at Athens, however, most capital cities have one today. It seems that the issue is going to worsen before it will get even better. By some estimates, the amount of cars from Athens is defined to increase by some 40 percent by 2010. There are a few measures in place to try to tackle the issue, however in stereotypical Greek style, people bend the guidelines. For example, you can only travel in the centre of Athens by car alternate week days, depending on if your car licence plate ends in an odd and even number. But many folks get around this by buying another car or by holding onto an older car, where as they’d otherwise have shipped it to the garbage heap. Public transport is advancing though. The metro system introduced a couple of years ago is exceptional and there are plans to expand it. The new tram system applied only before the Olympics, appears to have overcome its teething difficulties and is currently becoming a viable and agreeable way of transport. Until radical traffic management policies have been set up, don’t let this spoil your time and effort at the town. Just place a little consideration in to when and the best way to travel in order to avert any substantial delays to your travel.