July 2008:The plane we got last night from Bucharest, through Vienna was delayed and we landed at 12:00am, hopped in a cab and arrived at the Aristoteles Hotel in Omonia Square at 1:00am. Athens was empty and, when I told the driver that I was here twice before, darted back that the Greece of today is way different from the Greece of the past because people do not afford going out because of the Euro. This is something that I got used to hear in Europe, everywhere I went but this was out of the blue and it was the first of the many conversations I had with people in the Greece and one of their preferred subject of conversation. He was saying that before people were out almost all week and now barely twice a week. Hard to believe, still.Athens built a new highway for the Olympics in 2004 from the new airport to the city, about 40 Km away that makes the ride into the city a breeze, well late into the night. Taxi cost E45 to center city that includes the tip and an airport and night surcharge. During the night the ride takes 25 minutes. During the day is way faster and relatively cheaper to take the train, that runs from the airport directly in the Athens subway system, It costs about E6/person or E10/couple. But no matter what you take from the airport, you will continuously see a jungle of concrete ugly buildings. It is hard to say that Athens is a nice city. The hotel was OK for $100/night and went to sleep right away and got up at 5:30am to be sure that we can make the ferries of 7:35am. This was actually the plan in advance, because from Omonia to Piraeus is about 30 minutes by train that leaves right from the square.