I happened to be in Athens when the Greeks themselves were on vacation. This meant the city was a lot quieter and less busier than it normally is. While I embraced this softer side of Athens, it also meant that the cookery class and food tours I wanted to take weren’t being offered. That left me with time to explore the city organically; letting it take me where it wanted.
What I did appreciate was just how well it has integrated almost 3,000 years of history with everyday life. I loved watching commuters catch buses beneath the shadows of ancient ruins and how Acropolis seems to tower over the city even though it perpetually is always under reconstruction. I enjoyed the slow chameleon-like march of the Evzones – the Parliament Guards – each donning a fez and fustanella, and even more so the light conversations I had with the guards tasked with wiping sweat off their faces, adjusting their uniforms, and chaperoning tourists – each taking tons snapping themselves standing next to them.
From wandering through flea markets and past outdoor cafes around Monastiraki Square to digging into Amaretto gelato and taking in stunning night views of Acropolis from the rooftop of my hostel – AthenStyle, I felt like I was only skimming the surface of this city.
Did I like Athens? I’m not sure yet as I need more time. As in most places, we need more time to truly get beneath its skin.
But I did get my fill of Greek food…from Spanakopitakia (Σπανακοπιτάκια) which is spinach plus feta in flaky phyllo dough pastry to Souvlaki (grilled meat skewers) with Tzatsiki sauce and the freshest Greek salad with red onions, fat chunks of feta cheese and plump tomatoes.
Here are a few shots from my time in Athens. Beneath each category are links to relevant galleries with a lot more photos.
View more photos in the Athens – Icons imagebank.
View more photos in the Athens – Street imagebank.
View more photos in the Athens – Guards imagebank.
View more photos in the Athens – Food imagebank.
View more photos in the Athens – Markets imagebank.
View more photos in the Athens – People imagebank. There’s an entire gallery of photos from Athens if you’ve got time to browse through. Next up in the editing process -> Photos from Portugal before jumping back to the Balkans, specifically Albania.
Have you been to Athens? How was your experience there?