Journey: Italy – Greece

In late February I finally set forth on my journey to Greece. I boarded a train from South Tyrol (Italy) on Monday, 29th of February at 5am and arrived in Lesbos on Tuesday, 1st of March at 2pm.

It was a very exciting and lengthy trip, during which I had plenty of opportunity to think about my future experiences.

After air travelling to Athens, I took the bus heading for ‚Piraeus‘-harbor to reach the Island of Lesbos via ferry from there. At the harbor I came upon the same situation I had in Budapest: hundreds of refugees camping at the harbor.

Many of them had learned that the Greek-Macedonian border ‚Idomeni‘ is closed, which is why several decided to remain in Athens for the time being.

I saw the odd voluntary worker running to and fro to dispatch food and drink; there was however not enough for everybody and it all seemed very unorganized. Through some subsequent research I was able to learn that currently in Athens, apart from a few larger organizations and sole voluntaries there is no support whatsoever – resources are lacking. The city and the people are left to their own devices and entirely overwhelmed. Those who cannot afford a tent have to sleep outdoors and suffer the cold. A similar situation arose in Lesbos last summer, when people were camping right in the town’s center.

It was a very sad sight to behold and I strongly hope that there will be a solution for those inhumane living conditions in the near future.

Athens - Piraeus, February 2016
Athens – Piraeus, February 2016

When I had finally boarded the ferry, there was an announcement repeating every hour to notify us of a hold-up due to the restless ocean. With a delay of six hours we could finally start our twelve-hour journey. I constantly had to think about how dangerous this passage must be on a rubber raft, if it is so ‘dangerous’ even with a ferry.

Towards 2pm I was finally able to spot the Isle of Lesbos from afar. There was a simultaneous feeling of relief and excitement broadening in me.

Lesbos - Greece, February 2015
Lesbos – Greece, February 2015

 

Credits

Image Title Author License
Isabel Scharrer Isabel Scharrer CC BY-SA 4.0
Athen – Piraeus, Februar 2016 Isabel Scharrer CC BY-SA 4.0
Lesbos – Griechenland, Februar 2015 Isabel Scharrer CC BY-SA 4.0