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Many Greece travel guides warn of the danger of pick-pockets in the city of Athens especially in the crowded areas such as on the trains, buses, metro stations, airport, seaport, squares, tourist sites or crowded market places. However we did not come across any incident during our stay in Athens or perhaps we were lucky not to meet one.
Nevertheless it is still better to prevent pick-pocketing by not carrying your backpacks behind your back or putting your wallet in your back pocket. Ladies should not carry expensive handbags as they can easily be snatched by moving motorcyclists. You can leave your passport, identity card or any important documents at hotel's safe deposit boxes and bring along just the photocopies. Most hotels in Athens provide safe deposit boxes in the rooms. You should also bring along with you just one credit card and just enough money to spend for the day.
Written Apr 2, 2012
Dangers People: Bouncher
Date: At the night Monday 27 July 2008 to Tuesday 28 July 2008
The 20-year-old Doujon Zammit, was left in a coma after suffering horrific head injuries in a fight with nightclub bouncers on the island of Mykonos.
There are no words to describe this terrible tragedy.
rest in peace Doujon
Updated Jul 23, 2010
When my daughter was young she would beg us to let her go on a "banana" ride or a "doughnut", those inflatables that are pulled along by speed boat. We always refused saying they are dangerous and she always sulked afterwards. Now that she is an adult while on holiday in Greece she said that she would take our son (then aged 8) on a "sofa" ride and she would make sure he was okay.
Yep, you guessed it! At the fastest point he lost his grip and was catapulted backwards over the back of the inflatable "sofa" and into the sea. We were lucky he sustained no injuries other than shock and fright. I went ballastic and told my daughter THAT was the reason we never let her go on those stupid rides.
I shouldn't have given in and that's my tip. No matter how much your kids nag you and how much you feel bad about spoiling their fun these things are VERY dangerous for young kids.
Written Jun 16, 2009
Recently while planning a trip to Greece I booked two excursions on line through a trusted travel agency. I used a protected and insured credit card to pay for the transaction and everything seemed to have gone well. The following day I received a second email, billing me for the tours. On this billing all of the prices were exactly the same as the correct billing but each pickup time was 30 minutes later than the orginal. Feeling a scam comming on I called the New York office of the travel company and learned that this is a somewhat regular occurance. Someone has been feeding booking information to bogus travel agencies who have bilked unsuspecting travelers out of thousands of dollars.
Be careful, always check with your agent to ensure that you are not double billed.
Updated Apr 8, 2009
Most people and especially tourists, do not think of Greece as a country with poisonous animals. Perhaps this is because, most of the poisonous creatures in Greece are rarely seen. This, fortunately for most, is just as well kept that way. It remains a fact that these poisonous creatures do exist in Greece and far better to be warned than sorry.
In the 30 years I have been in Greece, the sighting of the Ochia, was the first and only sighting of a poisonous snake that I was aware of. I've seen live snakes before, but believe me, I never stayed around long enough to even think of identifying whether it was poisonous or not! I've never seen a scorpion and the spiders...well, I saw some huge hanging spiders on the island of Kea that were unidentified at the time! Neverthless, I like to think that I have no desire to go off hunting for these creatures. As my Grandmother used to say, 'Best to leave sleeping dogs (spiders, snakes and scorpions) Lie! I'll second that!
Of course, the snake is beneficial in many ways. It eats the insects and mice that are far more invasive pests. So, if we can, just leave the snakes in peace to do what they were put here for; to keep nature's environment in perfect balance.
Updated Apr 5, 2009
Snake venom poisoning is a medical emergency requiring immediate attention. Bites from poisonous European snakes can lead to local tissue damage and systemic symptoms. Vipera ammodytes accounts for the most envenomation in Greece.
The demographic and epidemiological characteristics, clinical symptoms and signs, laboratory findings, treatment, and outcome of 147 consecutive victims of V. ammodytes admitted to our hospital from 1988 to 2003 were reviewed and analyzed.
Snake venom poisoning in Greece. Experiences with 147 cases
Article Published in European Journal of Internal Medicine:
Christos Y. Frangidesa, Vasilios Koulourasa, Sophia N. KounicCorresponding Author Informationemail address, Gerasimos V. Tzortzatosb, Athanasios Nikolaoua, John Pneumaticosa, Christos Pierrakeasb, Constantinos Niarchosb, Nicholas G. Kounisc, Constantinos M. Koutsojannisc
The most common symptoms and signs included fang marks (100%), pain (100%), swelling (98.64%), ecchymosis (60.54%), tachycardia (32.65%), fainting or dizziness (29.93%), fever (23.13%), enlargement of regional lymph nodes (17.69%), nausea (16.33%), hypotension (13.61%), and vomiting (12.93%). The main complications were reduced range of motion, thrombophlebitis, local hemorrhagic blister formation, skin bleeding, rhabdomyolysis, reduced sensation, acute renal failure, necrosis with tissue loss, carpal tunnel syndrome, compartment syndrome, Kounis syndrome, and digit amputation.
A V. ammodytes bite is a potentially serious event that requires immediate hospital care. Yet, the majority of victims can be treated successfully with conservative methods. No deaths occurred in our series.
Written Apr 4, 2009
When walking in the hills, especially during the first month of Spring, be very careful and on the look out for the famous Poisonous Snake of Greece ....THE OCHIA! It's bite can be fatal and there are few, if any antidotes available in pharmacies and hospitals in Greece!!!
I took this photo at the Monastery of Agios Pavlos in Plaka above Lavrion on 3rd April, 2009. The Nun there, who was clearing the overgrowth in their garden told me that this was the second snake they had killed in the past week. She also told me that this snake must be killed by smashing the head, or else the snake does not die, even if it is cut into two pieces, and that it will 'regenerate' just as an earthworm does when it is cut!
The Ochia is a long, thin snake and is well camouflaged. It likes to sun itself on the rocks in the Spring time. If you have the misfortune of being bitten, your best bet is to find a Veterinarian, who may more likely have an antidote than even a hospital! This is because hunters more often have their hunting dogs bitten by these snakes than do local people. The Greeks do not climb up on the hillsides and rocks in the Spring time for this reason.
The Ochia is found in all areas of Greece, but especially on the hills sides and mountains, in brush and thick foliage.
Written Apr 4, 2009
Signposting where I drove around the Pelopennese, in Athens, and on the islands of Santorini and Crete was fairly intermittent or sporadic in its helpfulness to tourist attractions or directions - maybe one signpost to tantalise you then no further signs to continue the whole route, or the signpost would be ambiguosly placed as to which direction was meant - or in these photos every single directional sign at this roundabout in the little village of Kosmas, on the Leonidhi to Yeraki through road, was in Greek! I drove round the roundabout a few times while trying to decide which was the most logical road to try!
Signposting on freeways indicating your turn off was found to be quite worryingly and time consumingly ambiguous!
If you are in need of arriving at a place with an important arrival time such as trying to reach a site before closing time or trying to get to an airport for a flight then make sure extra time is allowed for hiccups in finding your way!
Updated Jan 19, 2009
When we were in Delphi, Jayne and I were shopping when we saw this wonderful old man on a donkey who was singing and seemed so happy. It was one of those "moments" that don't happen very often; "a great photo op".
I just had to have a picture of him. I always take pictures of the elderly old men in all the countries I travel. (Who knows why!)
Well, that was a big mistake. Once I took the picture, the singing and the smiling ceased, and the yelling commenced!
He was so angry that he threatened me with the stick that he was carrying. I was so frightened.
Next time, I'll ask.
Updated Dec 18, 2008
I recently travelled from Athens to Malta. The airport procedure in Athens was going well up until I reached the security x-ray screen at the boarding gate B07 to my flight. Having travelled extensively and clearing many of these security screens, I though that it would be safe to put my wallet and money belt through the x-ray. There was no-one behind me at this point. I went through the screen, but noticed that the conveyer belt has been turned off, I waited for a few minutes and finally my bag and wallet came through. There was no explanation for the hold-up.
When I arrived in Malta, I found that 100 Euro was missing from my wallet. There were a few smaller notes left. The money was definitely there before I went through to board my flight as I had checked. Only explanation - the security guard must've opened my wallet at the screening area and removed the money. I subsequently contacted Athens Airport and greek police but have not had a reply. I'm not surprised. I suspect that they could be running a scam.
My advice to you is not to be so trusting and complacent at these screens. Keep you money and docs either locked in a bag on on your body. This incident was a disgrace and left me feeling very uneasy.
Written Oct 18, 2008
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