After about two weeks in Athens, things are good. The city is much larger than I had first realized, full of traffic, electric buses, and people. The city has a metro system which makes it very easy to get around even while my bicycle is in the shop with a broken rear hub.
My experience here has been defined in large part by www.couchsurfing.org. I went to a picnic organized by the local Athens Couch Surfing community at which I met people who have been hosting me in their apartments during my time here.
I stayed for five days with two sisters, Elena and Anna, and am now staying with a man named Antonio who offered me a place to stay for a week until my friend Jenine gets here at the end of May. I bridged the 3-day gap between these two hosts at the Easy Access hostel near Omonia square, where I also met great people.
My time in Athens continues to involved quite a bit of running around on errands to get visas, repair my bike, and to make a DVD compilation of the footage that I have on my camcorder. Although at times, there is not much to do about visas and repairs other than wait. My primary goal here is to make the DVD compilation which will then be used to seek donations through YouTube and by sending the disc to TV stations, drug companies, etc.
A highlights of my visit so far was the opportunity to present a slide show about Seize The World to the Athens Friends of the Bicycle club. The club, which is based on organizing bicycle tours around Greece, and on building a community for cyclists, allowed me to present slides and information about Seize The World last Tuesday at one of their weekly meetings. It was great to have the chance to speak with one cyclist who was, herself, epileptic. Before meeting the Friends of the Bicycle, I did not know that there were clubs that organized extended bicycle tours. Pretty cool. Thanks to Lydia from Friends of the Bicycle for organizing the show, getting a laptop and projector lined up, and welcoming me into the community!
Although I have been in Athens for two weeks now, I have not, at any moment, felt as though time were dragging, or as though my time here were a waste. It has been easy to make new friends in Athens, and the various projects I am working on here have gone a bit too long without getting done (Visas, repairs, video), which makes the time very worthwhile. I am glad that this layover happened to occur in Athens, because it is a great city, no matter what all of the locals might tell you. That said, I am excited for everything to come together, and to set out once more on the road to Turkey. The route to Turkey is likely going to stop on a few islands in Greece, including Crete, before arriving in either Istanbul or Izmir. From there, I will continue east (and south) along the road to Asia.