It is a warm, sunny Saturday in Athens. Jenine arrived two days ago, and we are going to be leaving Athens (finally, though sadly as I have made some new friends here) tomorrow morning. I went out to meet Jenine at the airport here, a 40 minute bus ride from downtown, where she emerged from baggage claim toting a bike box. We walked all of the gear back onto the return bus, and found ourselves standing, 40 mins. later, in downtown at 1a.m. about a mile from the hostel. We had the amazing good luck to meet a cab driver who was willing to load the box into the trunk of the cab and drive the two of us as well as the bike to our hotel.
This afternoon we visit the Acropolis, perhaps the Temple of Zeus, or perhaps an art museum, of which there are several in Athens. Yesterday Jenine and I visited the Archaeology Museum whose most exciting displays are Kouros statues from 2800 years ago. These are human men standing straight up, arms at their sides, broad chests, staring ahead. They have beaded/braided hair that resembles the Predator. It is interesting on this trip to see things from time to time that I recognize from text books, post cards, refrigerator magnets, etc. The Kouros statues featured prominently in a freshman class in college about Art History.
Beginning tomorrow, Jenine and I will resume the Seize The World tour on our bikes. The route will take us south to the island of Crete before moving NE to Turkey – likely Izmir or Istanbul – at which point Jenine will depart for England to visit family, and I will continue SE toward Cairo, and then move E into Asia.
While in Athens, I had the opportunity to tell the story of Seize The World to a few people. On my second or third night in town, I was allowed to give a slide show presentation about the ride to the Athens Friends of the Bicycle club in Thisio – a district near the Acropolis. Five days ago, I gave another presentation to a youth group composed of university students, and young people who are in Athens to learn about Non Government Organizations and to learn about how the EU Parliament works. I met people from Italy, Finland, the U.K. There were others as well, though I did not learn where they were from. Big thanks to my friends Giorgia and Margherita for organizing the show and making it happen!
Yesterday, I met with a reporter from Vima, (BHMA), one of Athens’ newspapers. She is writing a story about Seize The World that will run in the Sunday paper in the coming weeks. A photographer also met me three days ago to take a few pictures of me with the bicycle to accompany the story. I will update you here when the story is published. It is great to be able to spread the word about Seize The World in Greece. This story was made possible with help from my first couch surfing host, Elena, who put me in touch with a reporter.
So, Athens has been a great place for me and for Seize The World. I have made new friends, some very close, who I will be excited to stay in touch with, and who were amazing hosts and company while I was here. This was largely a result of getting into the couchsurfing community here, but also a matter of chance as was the case at the hostel where I stayed upon arrival.
I am excited to get back on the bike, and start seeing the road again after this layover in Athens. I will keep you posted with updates about travel, submitting news stories (next step: video to news in the U.S…. Almost ready to go!), and other events. Thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting Seize The World!