Merle didn’t manage to get any days off while I was there, so I joined her for the trip into town, with a plan to wander. I looked around while we waited for the bus.
“Look how close we are to the mountains here,” she said. There was a park at the end of the street and the mountains loomed over the trees, no more than five kilometres away. “You can walk all the way from here into the mountains, but I haven’t done that yet.”
I had no strong expectations of what Athens would be like, so I wasn’t surprised. I was more interested in the building in the other direction. It was completely concrete – a monotonous grey – but its ‘igloo city’ structure of domes identified it as an orthodox church. I spent the time until the bus arrived trying to fathom how most of the world failed to build attractive buildings given complete freedom over the materials and colours used, yet the Greeks managed to give a plain concrete building all the fun of children’s playground equipment.
Once on the bus, Merle snuggled close and gave me a commentary of the journey. “I tried to draw the path the bus takes on a map the first time I took it, but it was too dark and wet so I couldn’t, but it wanders all over the place. The best way to remember where I live is to look at the number of the bus stop. The higher the number, the further away you are from the station. My stop is number 19.” It’s a very convenient system for tourists, as long as it’s charted properly. The stop number is no help if you […]