A highlight from 636 Athens Neighborhoods; Digital Nomads; Venice Lagoon

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The city's neighborhoods are making the city a little more pedestrian friendly. Get more out of a visit to them by getting out into the lagoon that surrounds the city. Look at how the light changes look at churches vanish from you. Look when suddenly their seabirds for landing on the water and following your vaporetto. the nearby islands are worth a stop to attack is kind of an up and coming island for younger people and hear how a little tech savvy and good wifi can help you become a digital nomad in work from almost anywhere. You'd like to live a lot of people now are going to have trouble going back into an office because they realized so many benefits of remote working. It's all in the hour ahead on today's travel. With rick steves. Hey i'm rick steves. You can experience my favorite european people places and stories in my newest book for the love of europe or your copy today at rick. Steves dot com. Have you ever thought about trying to live abroad but didn't know how you'd make a living in just a bit. American makes a gun. Ski explains how he became a full-time digital nomad. He shares with us. How he's learned to make working remotely from overseas worked for him from his home base in tbilisi georgia the waters that surround us and sometimes inundated can a curse and a blessing. We'll get a view of venice from its lagoon with fred. Plotkin and american born artists stacey kubota. Who's made it her home for twenty years. Let's start today's travel. With rick steves increase hosting the olympics in two thousand four forced that famously chaotic and polluted city of athens to invest in more pedestrian and eco friendly alternatives tour guides cars and pastas doris joining us. Now to look at what you can expect when you scroll the neighborhoods their city by the way we recorded this conversation before the pandemic shutdown international borders things very much. What's it like when you hear. An american. say athens used to be terrible today. It's changed big low. We are old enough to remember what you mean. Because i grew up in the nineteen ninety s where we had these serious problem with his cloud. Above athens was pollution cloud. Yeah but then a they introduce measurement which was not. All cars are allowed to enter the city center the yukon enter Based on the you and your license plates so this improves the today. Absolutely yeah and athens benefited a lot from. That's an apostolakis. There's more sensitivity for pedestrian zones. I think from syntagma square. You can walk downhill on on. What used to be a very crowded traffic street and now it's like a park weekly unification for q logical sites so he can start working starting from sedan west and you can make your way old down to get me. Cost the asking symmetry of otherness. It's beautiful walk without motorbikes. And there's this beautiful pedestrian sort of park. That goes to me almost all the way around the acropolis also the hill that the city is built around. That just seems designed for people and it's beautiful in the evening. It's beautiful in the day. It is beautiful twenty four hours. It's very safe. Someone can walk and enjoy their coach kill sites they can grab an ice cream and walk for about thirty to forty minutes beautiful. Walk so when we think about athens. First of all of course. It's the city of the golden age with socrates. Plato and in of that and then acropolis means city on the hilltop. Acropolis doesn't mean athens acropolis. There's there's many a crop ally but athens has far and away. The most famous acropolis that travelers come to see at the base of that. You've got the ancient market but also the town that was two hundred years ago which is a town. Today's touristy shopping area called the plaka but then in modern times athens just went crazy. I mean what was it. Ten thousand people or something hundred and years ago and today four or five million. Greeks are packed into athens. Can you tell me phillips first of all if my thumbnail. History of athens was correct and then why grew so much in the last century. You are absolutely right about what you said. This is exactly the history when when we want to speak about athens i say yes. We all know about the classical times if six four fourth century bc. But let's go to what's going on now. Modern nothing starts in eighteen thirty four when it becomes the capital of greece because after four hundred years of turkish ocupation. We are liberated than they initially make. Enough play on as the capital of great. But then they say wait. A second acropolis is the place that everybody associated with the ancient spirit with democracy with philosophy so they decide to turn very unimportant whole town so nap. Leon was the more logical city because it was a real port a substantial town in a lovely town to this day. Fight as well but it had none of the Spiritual heritage that of course was athena. So sorry napoli on. We're going to make the capital. This almost nothing village. That has the great ruins absolutely and they decide to do that. And when athens becomes the capital the allied forces the big forces of that time. The english the french and the russians this okay. What is greece meeting aching. So they bring a king from very. His name is auto because there's so many princes that they have to find the kingdom for them because they will never become kings so when he comes he takes advantage of the fact that he's a king and they start building the historical triangle which is defined by the acropolis the cemetery of course and what we call the parliament today which used to be the palace it used as we're talking eighteen fifties or so yes. We're talking exactly about that. The okay so welcome. Modern european capital with a german prince. Our guides to happens on travel with rick. Steves are apostolate doors and philippos kind of cars so they also rex contemporary theatre troupe. And apostolos has been a presenter greek radio. They specialize in showing visitors the ancient and the modern attractions of their city. You can email us about your travels at radio at rick. Steves dot com a posthumous after world. War two athens all the sudden triples or quadruples in its population. Why did all that all of a sudden you've got sprawling city of millions of people after the war who have development first of all in the fifties and sixties and we have what we call her by nation should organization so what happened to people that were living in the countryside and villages. They were looking for work. The didn't want to work in the fields anymore and that's happening telling many countries in europe. We happen all over the world in france. You've got the depopulated little towns in the countryside a little towns were deserted increase Because we have a lot of young people coming to athens not only to study but find work and this is why we can see an expansion of the city and suddenly we have today for half million people. When you stand on the acropolis you can almost see half of all the people in the entire country. You have one of the most amazing views when you're up at the crew and now it's not going to be clouded in smog. Because you've done some serious work taken care of your pollution now. I remember athens was still pretty crazy and struggling and rough-edged but in two thousand four. You guys had the olympics. Philip was how is that Sort of a turning point. What's the heritage of the two thousand four olympics. I would say the main thing that has to do with us in the by saying i mean the athenians is the fact that we had the building of the metro the our ground we investment because we're apostolos lives which is the western suburbs of athens. The only way to access them. If you didn't have a car was to get it public transport bus which meant at best an hour and a half due to the traffic. Now you can be there in ten minutes ten minutes as opposed to an hour and a half and it would have been worse today. If you didn't invest in the underground way back then of course in two thousand eight Like much of the world you had the economic collapse and and greece. I just thought how you ever dig out of this whole pasta house greece looking now considering the very difficult economic realities of the country and its massive debt. It is definitely a challenge. Each a very complicated issue the crises to be able to analyze it now. But what i would like to say like a lot of young people. They come together and the opening small businesses in the city centre. I feel that. I feel that energy that creativity all of the small businesses for me as a tourist. It'd be boutique hotels and wonderful little foodi restaurants so certainly greece has some very serious economic challenges. But i've got to say as a as a traveler a tourist coming into town. You don't feel that he feel happy to contribute to the economy by enjoying all of the small

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