Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US

Sep
01
2010

'Let's hear it for civilisation...'

2
01 September 2010
'Let's hear it for civilisation...'
Athens.  Day off.

My guts are still a little gun shy but I'm definitely on the comeback trail.  It's a day off for the whole crew today, so the rooftop pool bar saw some good use.  Given how hard these people work it is always good to see everyone be able to kick back and fool around.

I headed out to the new Acropolis Museum and, taking the advice of a good friend of mine, began my museum tour in the café.  The place is brand spanking new and very nicely designed, including glass floors through which you can see the ancient ruins of Athens streets below (dating back a mere 2500 years).  The café was nearly empty but felt gently refined, the museum's learned atmosphere being enhanced by two people at the only other occupied table having a conversation in English about 'the argumentative strategy of Cicero€™s speeches'.  Let's hear it for civilisation.  The museum very enjoyable, but I decided not to trek up the hill to the actual Acropolis as the potential lack of 'facilities' was a little disconcerting for a man less than 48 hours beyond food poisoning.

In the evening I took myself out for a light dinner in 'Plaka', the old town.  It's a maze of ancient streets groaning under the weight of tourism, but there's still good food to be had and the weather was perfect for sitting out.  I ate, still felt fine and was looking at the moon, the illuminated Acropolis, the swaying palms, etc.; and just thinking that this was about the most perfect scene imaginable when a giant cockroach run over my hand, up my arm and frightened the living shit out of me.  Well, not literally, so I guess I must now be over the Vienna food poisoning at least.

Our hotel is fronted by large marble steps, perfect for sitting on, which face onto a big public square.  The hotel has a few pet dogs that lie out on the steps and always seem to be asleep.  When I got back there, I joined a couple of the lads (and dogs) sitting out and chatting on this warm night.  As we sat, other crew members appeared, a curious number of whom seemed to have chosen to go out by themselves tonight.  Someone produced beers and it became quite the hangout, gentle, easy, very pleasant indeed.  It struck me that we were following the behaviour of many generations in this part of the world.  I could imagine the early Greeks hanging out in the (relative) cool of the evening after a blisteringly hot day talking about life and coming up with the idea of democracy.  An entire culture grew out of the Greek evening weather, as opposed to the weather further north in Europe, from which sprang football hooliganism and binge drinking.  Discuss.

Related Topics

COMMENTS

2
hjay
12 September, 2010
Just a Big Thanks
Willie, when I read about Mercy here I wanted to thank you. Just hearing them try it out in rehearsal was exciting to me. It is one of my favourite U2 songs and tonight while you were soaked in the rain I was a million miles away listening to it on a live fan feed and it gave me goosebumps even at that distance. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For all your hard work and for your diaries and for always thinking about us the fans. And for God's sake try to keep your pants on for the rest of the tour. (and your underpants as headgear...) Cheers! Heather in Edmonton
Germana
12 September, 2010
eeeewww and LOL
I just love your diaries. And I hate cockroaches.
Newer comments    1 - 2 of 2    Older comments

Current News

07 May, 2009
The opening night of the tour in Barcelona is only weeks away so no better time for a reminder of life on the road.
7
20 Dec, 2006
Rocko Reedy on the night his band opened up for U2.
20 Dec, 2006
How Come? Well, Tamara Kendall from the UK won the 'Hunt The Lyric' competition for those return flights and tickets ...
12 Dec, 2006
The one hundred and thirty first Vertigo show and it was one to remember. Report, photos.
11 Dec, 2006
Wonderful closing night with Pearl Jam in Hawaii and lots of surprise touches as Vertigo 05/06 comes to a close ...
06 Dec, 2006
The U2 support act you've never heard of. (Until Hawaii that is.)
05 Dec, 2006
New backstage shots before showtime in Tokyo.

Eric Clapton was at the final Tokyo show on Monday and chatted with Edge ...
04 Dec, 2006
Video of the band playing 'Window in the Skies' for Japanese TV at the weekend.

Current News

08 Dec, 2014
Additional dates confirmed in New York, Chicago, Boston, Montreal, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin and Paris.
08 Dec, 2014
11 Films of Innocence airing for 24 hours ... plus 12th, special to U2.com subscribers.
6
08 Dec, 2014
Tickets for the U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour on general sale this morning.
03 Dec, 2014
On the road in 2015, playing indoor arenas for the first time in a decade. Cities, dates, tickets, presales.
183
02 Dec, 2014
U2 Minus 1 hosted some pretty special guests to mark World AIDS Day.
17
01 Dec, 2014
Friends step in to save U2’s surprise World AIDS Day (RED) performance...
34
27 Nov, 2014
Live From the MTV EMA in Glasgow. Every Breaking Wave.
31
25 Nov, 2014
Rare live set from 1980, now on double vinyl and digitally remastered. Introducing our 2014/15 subscription offer.