"When I was walking home Monday night, I was shocked to pass building after building that had been damaged, " she says. "My bank was completely destroyed and the windows of my post office smashed in. But when I crossed into the neighborhood of Plaka, the city's historic district, the damage stopped. It was like an oasis of calm – Athens's ancient heritage is sacred even to the rioters."
Nicole says she's struggling to get into the Christmas spirit. Rioters even torched the city's giant Christmas tree. "I'd been telling friends how nice Athens was this time of year – festive but not overly commercial."
FOLLOW-UP ON A STORY
• Cuban Activist Says She Was Beaten: On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Wednesday, Belinda Salas Tapani, a leading Cuban activist, was beaten by Cuban police, she told staff writer Sara Miller Llana (see story).
Mrs. Salas says that she, her husband, and another couple were leaving the US Interests Section in Havana – where her group regularly went to send e-mails to Cuban activists based in the US and Europe – when two police cars pulled up and eight officers began to beat them on the street, just after 1 p.m. Tuesday.
– David Clark Scott