This riot wasn’t here earlier
I started Thursday off by getting into the office two hours earlier than usual in order to handle a number of things before I bailed to the airport. Luckily I was able to get out of there right on time and get a nice seat to Athens that afternoon. I ended up having one of the best seat buddies probably ever. Kelly is a young flight attendant who is pretty awesome. It turns out that she probably had a crazier schedule than me to start the weekend off; coming into Atlanta from South America (she was working the flight), connecting to New York, jumping on the flight to Athens and then she had a final leg to Bulargia I believe. As for myself, once I touched down I sleepily made my way to Athens’ city center via the metro.
I came out of the subway right at 11am and was just a few blocks from the gallery. They are located right off the main square that has a big road and huge government building or palace. At Gagosian I saw the pieces in the nice little space and then started my walk about the city. I don’t know Greek and I’d never been to Greece, so one of my favorite things to do is get a little lost. I ended up seeing all kinds of people, ruins and great views from different locations. There was also evidence of the riots that took place just a few days earlier.
Eventually I circled back towards the main square because the woman at the gallery suggested a local spot for me to try some good non-tourist Greek dishes. However, as I got closer to the center I noticed traffic, then the road blocked and eventually a number of dudes in armor. Ahhhh, yes this riot wasn’t here earlier. A crowd of young Athenians had gathered to shout at the police and government. Myself and a number of others watched while also documenting the scene. As I finally decided to make my way around the protest somehow I heard a shout and the police rushed the crowd. People scattered, I jumped back and tried to put distance between me and the guilty party. I just wanted to make it to lunch and out of Athens alive. After a little tear gas in the eye and asking some official looking military dude how to get around the event, he pointed and said “go that way, and be careful.”
A little bit of history had been experienced, I made it to a great meal and then the airport. My conclusions are that Aegean Airways has some awesome service (they provide a meal for a two hours flight!) and the Greeks may be having a little financial trouble due to how many shoes they purchase. Seriously, I have never seen so many different shops and vendors selling one type of product in a city!