Athens. – The view from my one-bedroom apartment overlooks a secret garden, one of many that Athens keeps between the pastel hues, burnt orange and warm greys that dominate the city’s skyline. There’s a generous balcony and I sit with freshly brewed coffee and a map, planning the next 48 hours in this iconic city that birthed Democracy. Around me my multi-leveled neighbours put out laundry, chat in their kitchens and water plants. I feel very much at home.
What I found is that Athens is an equal mix of ancient and modern, grunge and grace, iconic monuments and world-class museums. Past and present blends well here, as does the abundant street art with edgy fashion and the ancient landmarks alongside bustling cafes offering al fresco dining.
It’s a city that’s seen a few rough financial years, yet is visibly sophisticated and cosmopolitan, living up to that truth that out of hardship is born creativity. It’s evident in the people, their charm and friendliness. Athens is a happy welcoming city.
Read the full story as written by me for the Travelstart blog.
Changing of the Guards in Athens. Evzones arriving at Parliament for the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.
The Acropolis is one of the most important ancient sites of the Western world, crowned by the Parthenon it stands custodian above the city.
The impressive Temple of Olympian Zeus.
Syntagma Square is the starting point of the famous pedestrianised Ermou Street which leads to Monastiraki Square, an important shopping area.
The National Archaeological Museum with its unbelievable collections is a must see.
One of many options for transport.
I learnt that Greek yoghurt tastes better in Greece.
And street food is a very good option but there are restaurants, bars and coffee shops filled with locals and tourists
Everywhere there are dogs tagged and taken care of by the municipality, there for all to talk to and love. They are tagged with name, confirmation of inoculation and district.
Note: I was in Athens in October 2014 just off the 3-day TBEX Conference, where I joined travel bloggers and writers from around the world to learn about new trends, extending for a couple of days of exploration.
Arranged by Trafalgar Tours, who I had just travelled to Turkey with, I spent a day with the remarkable Anna Zora of Siva Travel touring the city. Anna has been guiding for 20 years and her knowledge and passion of her home were infectious and offered a true insider perspective.
Watch the video too – Walking Athens.