Pireaus

Rather then fight traffic and lose an hour each way, I elected to stay local today. Pireaus is a city. Bustling with business, chandlers, and people. It is an interesting combination of old and new. A lot of money has gone into upgrades in the last few years. Sidewalks, large glass-steel-marble buildings most of which unfortunately have empty eyed shop space looking for tenants. We docked at Terminal B which is about 1 km around the central harbor from downtown. I passed beautiful Greek Orthodox churches on the way along with parks, luggage and watch shops.

While making pass along a side street i stumbled upon two needlework shops with a side line in worsted weight bright acrylic yarns. But their threads, beads and notions were top of the line. In the same area it was a combination of old and new. Narrow shops with goods displayed in front, like shops clustered. Herbs, spices, dishes, hardware, cookware. There was a small shop for it overseen by bored young family member, middle aged aggressive family or smiling toothless elder. I wandered through a couple of amazing toy stores. Given the amount of child costume “stuff ” the equivalent of Fasching/Mardi Gras must exist inside the Greek Orthodox as well. Jumbo was amazing; four flours starting with toys and costumes through paper products, part supply, household goods & cleaning product ending with gardening. No catnip seeds. I looked.

This is really Greece. Not remote villages catering to tourist and putting on dance shows but the kind of city where people live and work. Older men sitting in cafes with their coffee and cigarettes, fish markets, stores for the necessities of life and business. Young people riding their motorcycles and mopeds helmetless through the street while everyone jaywalks. Not the high end Harley, BMW crew in full leathers and helmets mind you irrespective of country on their license plates. Apparently money does connect to brains in some cases. Along the harbor and across from all the ferries are the port agents, travel agents. Ferry offices and ticket sales interspersed with cafes and the inevitable “men’s” clubs.

If I was going to spend a day here and didn’t want tired feet at the end I would take the HoHo Bus. Two loops each over an hour and extremely inexpensive.

Oh, and in case you forgot yours, there is a young man selling towels outside the train station.

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