2010 Update:

Athens is suffering now from an influx of immigrants, both legal and not, and the poor handling of them by the government. The new metro extensions are a joy, the new tram is slow, but both have given people some alternatives. The new airport puts Athens in the big leagues, but it is far out of town. Graffiti is everywhere.

2003 Update:

Athens is undergoing some significant upgrades to its infrastructure. This was not entirely provoked by the Olympic Games coming in 2004, but it certainly set a deadline for getting the upgrades done.

The subway was recently expanded from one line to three. Approximately 10,000 artifacts were found during the digging, and has caused significant delays while archaeologists document the finds. Some new stations contain archaeological displays or windows to ruins.

A new airport has opened at Spata, some distance from Athens. This caused the demise of Athens' existing airport. Few lamented that, although the old airport was charmingly small (One gate for International flights?). But it was also rundown. The new airport is much farther away, which is good for the Acropolis, but bad news for the prospect of getting into town. Name me another major city where in 2002 you could take a $1 bus ride from the airport to the city center. The new airport has played to good reviews from international travelers.

Last modified 2/2/10; posted 7/9/1999. Original content © 2010, 1999 John P. Nordin