[B]Athens can be dangerous[/B]
Trip Start Jan 01, 2014
432Trip End Dec 31, 2014
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I enjoy meeting people of other countries, and have done so in many around the world while walking alone.
DO NOT WALK ALONE IN ATHENS.
A well-dressed man approached me while on a solo walking tour near the Plaka, and he started talking to me in heavily-accented English. He said he can take me to a restaurant that serves the best gyros in Athens, and we walked around for at least two hours when he took me to a bar in a somewhat quiet street. My warning bells were ringing, but I continued to let him lead me to the bar. We sat at the deep end of the bar, and I ordered a local beer, the man some fruit drink, and the bar maid came over and asked if it was okay if she joined us. I said "okay." She drink some white wine.
Before I finished the beer, a husky guy walks over to our table and presented me with the bill; 330 Euros.(about US$445). I told him there was no way I was going to pay that for three drinks. He brings over the menu and shows me the prices; $10 for my beer, and $10 for the other guy's drink, and $310 Euros for the wine. I tried to walk out, but he pushed me back into my chair. I stood up, and pushed him back, He kept demanding the money, and I told him I didn't have 330 Euros, because I was leaving tomorrow for home. He asked me how much Euro I had in my wallet, but I refused to tell him how much I had. He pushed me, and demanded the money, and I just told him I wasn't going to pay 330 Euros. The other guy says, he'll pay half, because he didn't want any trouble. He was in on the scam, of coarse!
Our Tour Director told us that all the places we visited on this tour was safe, and not one incident of pick-pocket has ever been reported in his ten years of tour directing. Only in Athens did he warn us about safety, and some times keeping your wallet in the front pocket is not always safe. This was my fifth visit to Athens (and my last).
After some more pushing and shoving, I opened my wallet and said I had 20 Euros. He took that, and let me go. I got off cheap, because I had over US$200 in my wallet in addition to my credit cards.
I will not let this one incident spoil my love for travel, and to meet people of other countries, but felt it important to warn everybody not to travel alone, because you can become a target for these unscrupulous bad people. Fortunately, they are few in this world.
Now, please enjoy my travel blog on this tour of Zagreb and the Dalmatian Coast. I will need to download my pictures, edit them, and write my blog. Give me a few days to prepare my first blog on Zagreb where our tour began.