Standing on the quay at Piraeus waiting to get a cab, I am struck with an internal fear! I need to catch a taxi to the airport and – although I adore Athens, with its mix of cosmopolitan nightlife, modern Greek fusion foods, traditional handicrafts, the best olives and oils and the greatest friends ever – the taxis here fill me with dread!
I am prepared though, wearing a sleeveless Ana Juarez top and carrying two pieces of luggage and my black knitted cape from the Eleni Kyriacou 'Amphipolis Muse’ collection, plus the all-important fan to keep me cool!
My internal taxi fear was confirmed when I finally got to the front of the queue and jumped in a taxi with a driver who refused to roll down the windows or turn on the air-con because of his bad neck. Normally I wouldn't object, but in the sweltering post - Easter traffic of Athens, with a driver that seemed to have forgotten his daily dose of deodorant, it was BAD.
And the taxi horror stories don’t end there – before that on route to a meeting there was the taxi driver whose meter clocked up 4 euros but he charged me 6 due to an imaginary Easter tax. (All my Athenian friends roared with laughter at the cheek of it!)
And finally there was the cabbie who insisted he knew the directions AND even showed us the GPS route on his phone, but somehow managed to take us on a tour of Athens before arriving at the destination, and then charged nearly double the going rate.
Needless to say Athens does have a great metro and tram system so really there is no need to use taxis. But because of the exchange rate I do get tempted to travel in style!