For at least a year, the above Fiat has been sitting in the very same place on Leof. Irakliou (Irakliou Avenue) in Nea Ionia, Attica, Greece. Actually, it’s probably been at least two years since I first observed the vehicle, and Irakliou Avenue would be like an equivalent of a major street in Toronto, like Yonge St in North York. It’s not as long as Yonge Street, but it is the street that most of the major shops are located, and if you’re heading to Nea Ionia from Nea Filadelfia, there’s a good chance you’ll take Leof. Irakliou.
I’m pretty sure I first observed the Fiat sitting there back in about 2018. It might have even been my first trip back in 2017. The first time I saw it, I thought it was a bit odd – and now, even more so as it’s been such a long time that this car, that is filled to the brim with junk inside, and has even more stuff sitting on top of the roof, has just… existed there and has never moved.
I can’t imagine that this would ever happen with a car parked on the main street of some place in Ontario, for a year or more. In fact, I’m pretty sure a car wouldn’t even sit on a street like this for a week. But there it is, and every day, when I have reason to walk along Leof. Irakliou, there it is.
It’s not like the police here must not know about it or see it themselves as I’ve regularly seen police in the area. So it’s puzzling to me how an old abandoned car filled with junk can sit on a street for 1+ years. It’s actually taking up very valuable parking space, which you would understand if you could visit the area during the day time, and see the traffic and the number of cars that will even be double parked.
And while you will find, at times, abandoned vehicles in Greece, they are usually off the well beaten paths and not on main thoroughfares.
The other day though, when I was out walking in a different part of Nea Ionia, I came across a similar Fiat, but in much better condition! It shined and obviously the owner really liked their car! This was also in Nea Ionia, but parked on a side street during the COVID-19 pandemic. When I returned to the same area the next day on a walk, the car was gone. But I thought it was an interesting contrast to what seems to be the abandoned Fiat just a few blocks away, and took a photo of it when I saw it.
There are a lot of old cars in Greece, and that have very low mileage on the odometer. I didn’t try to look inside this car to see how many kilometers were on it, but I do know when I tell people in Greece that my 2003 VW Passat has done over 300,000 km, they are shocked.
Here in the Athens area, a drive of 15 km is often considered a “long drive” and often not something people want to do. And yes, it actually can be a long drive, with traffic, and weird (to me) roads, that are sometimes barely wide enough for three people to walk on if they are not in single file.
My old 1995 Cadillac DeVille that I owned for ten years would be pretty much useless in Greece. Although, I would like a Land Rover here, or maybe a Jeep Wrangler.