Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A short trip to Athens

Before my visit to Athens I didn’t know what to expect but I knew it will be wonderful experience. And it was, now, when I hear Athens I see wide boulevards, clothing shops and of course – the Acropolis.

View from the Acropolis
Monastiraki market, photo by Cosmicadventure

After whole night traveling I arrived at my mom’s house and we spent all they enjoying the time together. The next day I was ready to walk around the huge city. And of course the first stop was the Acropolis. I was surprised not only of the ancient ruins but also of the city view too. It is better go there early in the morning when the sun is not so strong. On the hill where is the Pantheon temple are situated also the temple of Athens and the theater of Dionysus. In the past there used to be a statue of Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, female arts, crafts, justice and skill, which is named after the city today. The walk in the ancient history was great but I was pleased to move in another epoch - Monastiraki market in the foot of the Acropolis. It is a must see place for visit although it is very crowded, especially on Sunday when it’s full of tourists and the locals are also out for shopping. Maybe is better to go around again in the morning during the week when the crowd is still sleeping. Anyway we had a great time around the variety of shops – from local crafts through books and souvenirs till all type of clothes. Prices are different but you can always bargain to reach the price you’d ready to pay.

The Parliament at Syntagma Square, by Cosmicadventure
From the ancient times through the Ages we finally found ourselves at Syntagma square - the main and most central square in Athens (Btw it is named after the constitution of Greece). It is the most modern center of the capital and even the zero point of Greece. The square is popular for meetings of the Athenians and guests of the city. It is ideal place for taking a rest with a cup of coffee which was actually what we did after so much walking. Recently, most of the famous Greek protests take place ar the square. There is situated also the building of the Parliament, built in 19 century to be a Palace. Guard’s changing is something I saw the day before and it impressed me a lot especially because of the guard’s costumes and the tassels of the shoes. Another famous square in Athens we passed by was Omonia. It is located in the shopping are of the capital with a huge number of stores and cafes. Omonia is mainly famous as the square of immigrants. Lots of people from Eastern Europe are looking for their luck and work in Athens and Omonia is a great point to meet each other, chat on their own language, buy newspapers on their language or send gifts to their families as there are some transport companies located at the square.
A favourite boulevard, by Cosmicadventure
A park in Kifissia
On the next day we spend almost a whole day in Kifissia - is one of the richest neighbourhoods in Athens. There are wonderful houses built in a modern style, beautiful parks and gardens. The main square in the area was crowded the whole day mainly with young people spending their free time by meeting friends and having beers. Kifissia is the right place for shopping luxury and expensive clothes. Is not that such shops are missing in the capital center but this is where rich people go. Just be careful what time you’re planning to go shopping anywhere in Greece  - all the shops have very special working hours: from 9 to 19 with 3 hours break , they don’t work on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons at all and of course Sunday is day off. The first day of my stay (Sunday), one of my shoes was broken and we passed through a shop where the owner was arranging the shoes. I kindly asked to buy shoes and he refused me. I had to show him my problem, beg him and finally he agreed to sell me a pair of shoes. It really amazed me but I guess people just have principals.

the amazing octopus
The last evening we went out to say goodbye to my mom and she took me to a nice restaurant where I tried for the first time grilled octopus and I loved it. Of course we ended with a glass of ouzo as it wouldn’t have been a typical dinner without it. I left again with the pleasant sense that I’ll be back (although my mom is not living there anymore). Actually I visited it again but it was a business trip and I didn’t have much time to walk around.

1 comment:

  1. You can’t just miss the Acropolis when you go to Greece! My favorite temple in the Athenian Acropolis is the Parthenon. The structure is really stunning, and besides, the establishment is dedicated to my favorite goddess – Athena! =)

    Constance Todd