Monday, August 02, 2004Abstractboy is now at the end of his travels. He is now settled into his new London residence and though he is yet to find employment for the rest of the summer, everything else seems to be going smoothly. So it is really time for this to stop being a travel log and resume its earlier role as a channel of opinion on new music, lahndahn, popular culture, interesting sociological trends and whatever else takes the fancy of Abstractboy. But we have a few little loose ends to tie up.
Athens. Athens was great. Abstractboy did have some preconceptions on what to expect from Athens. Every traveller that he and ben had met on their travels had mentioned the Olympics, how dirty and smoggy it is, and how it is best not to spend more than a few days there. They were wrong. All of them. Or maybe Abstractboy saw a side of Athens that the average backpacker did not see. ‘High Class Athens” as the locals call it. Abstractboy stayed in the uber affluent suburb of Kifissia, where there are wide palm treed avenues, open top cars, Louis Vuitton and Gucci boutiques, and lots and lots of posers. It felt like what you would imagine Beverly Hills to be like – vacuous, expensively stylish, but satisfying in a shallow way. They attended exclusive beach parties, ate in lovely tavernas, drunk in the yacht club and even managed a day of lounging around on the beach of Marathon (26 miles from Athens incidentally). But aside from that they saw the Parthenon which was just awe inspiring. It may be in a slightly weathered state, but to think that it has been there since 400BC is just truly amazing. Abstractboy has taken a large interest in everything Ancient-Greek for 10 years, and to finally see the symbolic glory of the ancient civilisation was almost life-affirming.
The more slow-paced and relaxing stay in Athens was the perfect way to end the perfectly planned trip. Looking back on the whole thing, Abstractboy is filled with a sense of pride at having pulled it all off – to have seen so much, experienced the unimaginable, and survived every obstacle and jumped every fence on the track. A guide to successful inter-railing is in the pipeline and will be available in all good bookstores before you start planning your next trip. Yessur!