Yes, that IS a big gun in his pocket…………..
………..and that IS a cordless drill in his hand. These guys don’t mess - illegally parked on the dock? NO PROBLEMS!! You WILL get a ticket! But before you do they remove your number plates and replace them with (I assume) “glow in the dark” blank substitutes which means you will be pulled up by every and any policeman in the whole of Europe ‘cos you ain’t got no number plates.
The ticket tells you how to get your plates back and exactly how much it’s going to cost you, whick I reckon is a pretty good system.
This was one of those impromptu set of photos, where I saw what the guys were doing, grabbed the small camera, and clicked off a few shots, trying to be as discreet as possible. The big guy saw me taking the photos and having finished his removal of the number plates (rear and front), pointed at me and called me over.
Feigning innocence, I looked behind me just in case there was someone else he was pointing at, but it seemed to be me. OK Gov, it’s a fair cop, as I remembered the case a few years ago of the Greek police arresting and jailing the British “plane spotters” - no point in even attempting to do a runner.
I put my hands-up, said Hi and went up to the guy, and he asked me what I was doing taking pictures of him. Brain in gear, I explained that I hadn’t intended taking the photos but that I was so impressed with the way that they were dealing with things that I thought it would make an excellent little “photo-reportage” about how efficient the Dock Police are, and that I intended to use the photos for a web page.
The guy sort of softened, though how much he actually understood of what I was saying I don’t know, but what he did do was insist that I delete the photos in front of him (OK I deleted the last 2) and then advised me that if I wanted to take photos of them working I would have to have written permission from his office.
Number below is local number for Athens Tourist Police, but don't expect them to help if you find yourself in this situation!!
I caught a taxi from Athens to Piraeus and as Id missed my ferry had to go work out what my re-routing plans were going to be and buy a ticket - the taxi driver knew all the ferrries timetables and what Id missed and what my options were but I had to go buy a ticket - he dropped me at a ticket agency - it seems you also need to know where to buy your tickets from for which destinations
ie its affected by which companies deal with what destinations and routes!
So allow time for that.
Getting to the 1030 pm night ferry the agent was adamant there was a bus from behind the agency to the terminal I needed to get to and therefore it would take only a few minutes - Terminal 1 from memory - and after roaming around to see the sights of Piraeus while it was still daylight (and internet cafe when it was dark) and then getting back to say my goodbyes and thank yous to her I headed off to the bus stop - and waited and waited
- until a sense of worry that it looked like there was no bus - and no taxis obvious - a derelict looking man came along and said there was no bus
- and I was heading it seemed like walking for miles - then darker and darker and it was getting later and later - I was running out of time - Terminal 1 was not where it was meant to be either! The road took a detour off around some cafes and what seemed to be the next terminal looked way away a lot further.....I was running and packing it by then - thankfully a taxi did come along and knew too that I had only minutes left! and helped by sending another taxi along to me and we tore off - that was about 2 or 3 euro - but another exhausting and stressful half an hour to add to the day in Athens!!
So this is tip is to allow enough time for the terminals being quite a distance away - and a lack of transport to get to them!
though there is meant to be shuttle buses!