|Look at the colour of that sea! This was taken from the deck as we were approaching Piraeus.|
|Syrian refugee families sitting along with their new Greek friends at the cafe on the top deck of the Blue Star.|
|Cleaning the boat in Piraeus.|
|Among the low rise modern hotels and office buildings in central Athens there are many neglected and abandoned neo-classical buildings. A pigeon has taken over this one in the Plaka.|
|That wooden contraption has been rigged to prevent bits of falling masonry from hitting pedestrians below.|
|This one was evidently lovingly restored and then abandoned more recently.|
|There are lots of tiny lanes and pedestrian ways to explore.|
|Fresh produce for sale near the entrance to the flea market.|
|If you look carefully that is indeed the Acropolis in the background.|
|Ancient churches, 19th century neo-classical buildings, antiquities and modern shopping brands make a patchwork of contrasts in central Chorio.|
|The monument commemorating the battle of Thermophylae, which we passed on the way to Meteora. Pity about the power pylons.|
|The battlefield. At the time this was a bottle neck between the mountains and the sea but the shore has silted up over the centuries and it is now well inland.|
The banks reopened today, providing a limited service. There are still restrictions in place for Greek bank account holders and it is not possible to send money abroad due to the capital controls. We are also limited to a maximum withdrawal of 420 euros per week (60 euros per day) but at least we don't have to take it out in 7 trips to the ATM! Foreign tourists are not affected as they have cards linked to foreign bank accounts and can withdraw up to their regular card limits. The only tourists who are suffering are the Greek ones, alas, as with all the banking restrictions they cannot withdraw enough money from their accounts to cover their holidays, which is very sad. While Symi is managing fine as we have two banks, both with ATMs, some of the smaller and more remote islands which don't have banks or ATMs and are more dependent on internal Greek tourism are really battling to function as they have no means of accessing cash at all.
There is plenty of stuff in the shops and so far no one has reported any shortages although there are some delays in building materials, spare parts and appliances that are not produced in Greece and not routinely kept in stock. No doubt various systems will evolve eventually to solve all these problems.
Have a good week.