Athens Taxi Ride Extreme Sports

Athens is​ a​ huge,​ congested city and the​ local taxis are your main means of​ getting around. the​ average Athens tax ride is​ inexpensive,​ just bring your helmet.

Living on​ the​ Edge

I had just arrived in​ Athens with a​ couple who’ll remain nameless. [He’s now a​ respectable doctor and married to​ someone else.] My buddy,​ “John”,​ had a​ Greek friend who lived in​ town named Stavos. We were going to​ stay with him and explore Athens before heading to​ the​ islands.

Stavos had gone to​ college with us in​ California and more or​ less been raised there. After experiencing the​ finer points of​ higher education [fraternity parties,​ etc.],​ he and his brother had started a​ snowboard company in​ Athens. Who could possibly be buying snowboards in​ Greece? it​ turned out Stavos and his brother were selling them throughout Europe,​ not in​ Greece.

Anyway,​ Stavos collected us in​ a​ friend’s car and took us to​ his small studio. We decided to​ catch some winks and then head out for a​ night on​ the​ town. Thus,​ we would experience an​ Athens taxi ride for the​ first time.

Taxi driving is​ a​ competitive sport. I am convinced there is​ a​ World Cup of​ taxi driving and drivers practice on​ the​ streets of​ their location. San Francisco and New York taxi drivers are an​ elite group,​ while taking a​ taxi in​ France is​ a​ good way to​ see the​ Eiffel Tower while going the​ wrong way down a​ one-way street. in​ Athens,​ it​ was all about speed.

Being an​ idiot,​ I yelled out “shotgun” as​ the​ taxi pulled to​ the​ curb. I should’ve guessed my triumph wasn’t a​ good thing when Stavos just smiled. in​ we went and Stavos gave the​ driver our destination. For the​ next fifteen minutes,​ I feared for life itself. Mine and others.

Our driver was apparently convinced he would get a​ bonus if​ he beat a​ certain time. We peeled out at​ the​ curb and the​ race was on. Through the​ tight,​ winding streets of​ Athens we went. as​ is​ the​ nature of​ chaotic Athens,​ the​ roads are packed with cars,​ buses,​ people and very brave cyclist. Considering this an​ obstacle course,​ a​ driver whipped through the​ throngs at​ over 80 miles per hour. Most of​ the​ time was spent in​ the​ SLOW lane,​ where less cars were. I still have nightmares about the​ faces of​ cyclist staring at​ me as​ we passed them with maybe 5 inches to​ spare. Frozen pictures of​ terror. Throw in​ cars starting to​ pull out in​ the​ road and you​ have the​ white knuckle event of​ the​ year.

When we finally pulled up to​ the​ club,​ I started breathing again. as​ I pulled my hand off the​ handle on​ the​ door,​ I left impressions. Standing outside of​ the​ cab,​ Stavos asked me if​ I wanted to​ sit in​ the​ front on​ the​ way home and started laughing.

It took two drinks to​ calm my nerves. Come hell or​ high water,​ I was walking home.

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