The last month has been too busy to write any blog so I report my adventures with quite a long delay.
In mid October we spent some days in Athens. The fall has been quite dark and rainy so it was really nice to see the sun and enjoy the warm weather. And we had the both indeed, the temperature was over 20 celsius in daytime and over 15 celsius even in evenings.
We had booked a hotel recommended by Anette, a friend of my spouse. It was sort of alternative to normal commercial hotels on a hill near the center of Athens. It was rather modestly equipped but it had a nice terrace with a view straight to the Acropolis hill.
To get to the hotel we took a taxi at the airport. The taxi driver had serious difficulties in finding the way to the hotel – he obviously had never been there. My rather heavy suitcase has been damaged during the trip and it had only three wheels. The taxi couldn’t drive to the last narrow street to the hotel. So I started to push the suitcase along the steep street. But as I only started doing it the suitcase was taken by the young man who appeared to belong to the personnel of the hotel.
The neighborhood of the hotel was a bit shabby and the walls were covered with political graffiti. The people we saw were mostly young and looked like students, including the staff of the hotel. Sometimes we stopped to chat with people in the streets. We also noticed some black buses and policemen with extra equipment here and there. We heard there has been some clashes with police and tear gas has been used during the time we were there. Afterwards we heard the area was regarded as a no go area and not even a part of Greece! It seems it applies only to police and politicians, not us.
Our first trip in the city was to see the sunset on the Mount Lycabettus with Anette. We took a taxi and the funicular railway to get there. From the top we could see the whole Athens and see the sun go down with a colorful spectacle.
On the top of the Mount Lycabettus
The sunset seen from the Mount Lycabettus
We walked down the hillside to the city to get the first Greek supper with Anette.
Street food after the Mount Lycabettus trip
The next day we had a guided walk in Athens historical places. We had a very devoted guide Stavros who had very much information and interesting philosophical views – and naturally including some Greek patriotism. We started from Syntagma square to see some males in a skirt – this time I had pants. The main destination was of course the Acropolis hill and museum but we also saw the Zeus temple and some other minor historical places and parks.
This silly walking must have been an inspiration for John Cleese...
The Zeus Temple
On the Acropolis hill
Substituting the sixth goddess while it is given back by the British museum.
The Greeks have waited for it to happen some decades....
The third day was for swimming and sun bathing. We took a tram to the coast and chose a little beach with tiny egg-like stones. There had been a oil tanker crash in September and we were worried if it is possible to swim at all. But the water was clean and bright so we had no problems with that. Only later we noticed there were tiny droplets of oil in the stones that made our towels a bit black and brown spotted.
We spent some hours and swam some times until my skin informed me it was enough – there were so little tan left from the rainy and cloudy summer.
The fourth day was for some extra history walking, including the Panathinaikos stadium. The other thing was shopping. It seems my zeal of shopping has decreased and I mostly had items for my grandchildren in my mind.
The last breakfast at the terrace of the hotel
The next day was for the departure. I had accustomed to the friendly climate of Athens and had some technical and emotional difficulties to adjust myself for getting the car from the chilly car park. But maybe I got some sun rays as a souvenir to have energy for the cold and dark Finnish winter.
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