In late February, 2005, Jackie and I flew to Athens to see my dad, brother, and sister-in-law. While we were there, we
rented a Hertz car (yup that Korean thing is our Hertz vehicle) and drove down to the Peloponnese peninsula for six
days. Driving in Greece is quite an experience. The Greeks have a vision impediment so that they can not see double
lines, speed limits, or caution signs. On two lane roads with double lines, the double line is used for passing and often
they are more creative. At one point there were three cars abreast on a two lane highway coming at me--I went as far on
the right shoulder as possible. The Greeks are fearless. How else does one explain that they have the highest highway
fatality rate and smoking rate of any European country?
A few tips on travel in Greece:
- Greece is not cheap. Prices are as high or higher than the US. There has been some inflation in recent years and
the US dollar has fallen in the last four years. It took 90 cents to buy a Euro four years ago, one dollar two years
ago, and as of early March 2005 it takes a $1.34 to buy a Euro. In the off season, 40 Euros ($55) in the small
towns was about as good as it got for a simple room. A simple meal for two ran about 23 Euros (or $31).
- With some guts, it is fairly easy to get around Greece in your own car, but do not drive in Athens. There is a toll
road from the airport that circles the city making it easy to avoid Athens. Greeks are very friendly and helpful
when you encounter them outside their cars. So far as I am concerned, Athens only merits a day or two in the
inner city. And watch your wallet in Athens--the pick pockets are very good. I know from experience.
- Go in the off season. Our air fare was less than half the summer rate. Almost any part of Greece can reach 100
degrees in the summer. Most of all, there were no crowds in March and archaeological sites and museums were
free on Sunday. It does rain in the winter--more than in Port Angeles and the weather is cool but not unpleasant
even if the Greeks are dressed with winter coats and scarves.
Here are links to pages on our Greece trip.
Our Greece Trip