Athens is sadder, but still worth a visit

A Sports journalist from Russia writes a note about his visit in Athens for the friendly match between Greece and Russia.

*By Artur Petrosyan
Works for


I wasnt really worried about anything going to Greece. After experiencing South Africa last summer and some of the craziest districts in the world, I doubt anything can really surprise me now (well, maybe Rio in 2014?) Although my girlfriend did ask me if I could cancel the trip after seeing some riots in Athens on TV. But of course I didnt and went on packing things.

I did expect to see something extreme in Athens but unfortunately or happily I didnt. No protests, no strikes, nothing. I did notice some facts though. There are much more policemen on streets than there were 3 years ago when I went there last time. People seem to be sadder than there were back then. More poor people and thieves. One of them succeeded stealing a bag with all the documents, laptop and camera from a Russian journalist.

There are more prostitutes on streets too. Somewhere in the centre when our taxi stopped at the traffic lights lots of black girls started simply attacking our car and even opening the doors. That reminded me of South Africa. At least these girls were not carrying guns.

As for the Greek national team well, during the 1st half I had a thought that theyll be the weakest team next summer. They were simply not playing. Second to every ball. After the interval they improved but I guess it was due to the fact Russia stopped playing themselves.

And well yeah I do think that Greece and Athens do worth a visit. Its still beautiful and delicious Me? Would definitely return. At least because of the fact Im partly Greek myself.