An all expenses paid short stay where I got to see nothing...
Sadly this is not a tale of a lovely holiday to Greece, however it was just as much an experience as any holiday I've ever been on. Having been a PCS Union Rep for only a very short space of time, I was more than stunned to learn that I had been chosen as one of the Young Members Reps to join a 6-person delegation to Athens for the 2006 European Social Forum. Having no clue what I was going for, or more to the point what it was, I dutifully packed my bags and met the other delegates at a London airport (I forget which it was). The moment we stepped off the plane in Athens I was blown away with the heat.
We stayed in a lovely hotel, and every day we travelled to the Sports arena for the forum by bus and underground.
The underground in Amsterdam wasn't very appealing, and not a place I'd want to get lost in by myself. The days were long, starting at 9am and finishing at 9pm, and whilst we had two hours for lunch and two hours for tea, there wasn't much to do at the sight inbetween presentations. The nicest part of each day was travelling back to our hotel at night and seeing the Acropolis lit up against the dark sky.
The forum itself was an interesting experience, listening to debates on all different European campaigns, and talking to fellow reps about their involvement in them. I remember me and Dayna painting our hands and making our mark on the Amnesty International "Stop Violence Against Women" campaign. Another memory of Athens would be the sunburn I acquired on the first full day. Sitting in the sun for two hours at lunch time had seemed such a good idea at the time - my shoulders evidently didn't appreciate it much though. I spent a good hour having tea tree oil rubbed into them that evening...
I didn't see much of Athens whilst there - but having seen the Capital and more importantly the Acropolis, I don't think I would go back. It's not that I don't want to see more of Greece - I just want to see more Countries in general.