Using the public transport is a good way to get the feel of a place. €4.50 for 24 hours travel on any public transport in Athens is a good deal. Google Maps is also extremely helpful, with health warnings, in making suggestions. So we got to the National Botanic Gardens in good time.

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A developing oasis is the best description. The insects in harmony with the wild spring flowers diverted our cameras. The tortoises munched then for lunch. Yes of course there is a native Greek tortoise, everyone knows that! The laid out gardens were more fun than anticipated: frogs bellowing for mates was the unexpected sound tapestry.

The local supermarket gave a very reasonable lunch, though not enough sustenance for the return bus journey. 45 minutes waiting for a bus that never showed. It may have, were we to have stood at the correct bus stop. We’ll never know.

To get our money’s worth, the Metro beckoned. The last time I was pickpocketed was on the Moscow Metro I mused before getting onto the bustling train. Maybe the thought heightened awareness : this time despite being ‘dipped’ nothing was taken. Then to read the messages online about the plague of pickpockets on the Athens Metro.

Other observations: Very few joggers. Most of the motor cyclists without helmets are male. The Greek script takes getting used to, pay more attention in school!

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