ATHENS, GREECE

During our month in Greece we went twice to Athens. First time because we wanted to see where civilization was born and second time because it was convenient regarding our flights out. I’m glad we went twice because we didn’t like it much in the beginning; we thought it was creepy and distressing at times. There’s a lot of poverty in Athens and you can see it all around as people of all ages and backgrounds are begging as well as the youth increasingly tries to destroy the buildings. On havecamerawilltravel.com it says: “The city is in the middle of a graffiti epidemic. It’s a combination of high youth unemployment and underemployment, a general sense of unrest, and authorities being stretched too thin to do much about it. Frankly, the police have bigger problems. The result is an artistic free-for-all on the city’s streets.”  But if you just try and ignore the surrounding graffiti, you’ll see beautiful Mediterranean streets filled with romantic wine bars and restaurants. So, the second time we went, we loved Athens because we managed to see behind its sad curtain.

Whilst in Athens we saw the Acropolis (of course), astonishing Ancient Greek theatres and temples, archeological museums and many, many breathtaking examples of how our civilization was created. The most unbelievable relic to see was Aristotle’s Lyceum, which is said to be one of the most significant places in the history of mankind as it was the place where Aristotle’s systemised the organisation of “cosmos” (beauty, world) amongst Morality, Psychology, Metaphysics and Physics. That garden didn’t have a lot left to see, but walking there you could sense the atmosphere of philosophical and scientific intellect.

Price-wise Athens was cheaper than Santorini but more expensive than Kos. We were lucky with our Airbnb booking as we stayed in a room in a penthouse with a good distance to the centre. We found a couple of good and fairly priced restaurants with veggie options, and we always cooked breakfast in the flat. I’d definitely recommend everyone to visit Athens mainly because of its history and archeological sites, but also as its beautiful in it own way.

Accommodation: Airbnb in Victoria area (25e/night)

Favourite restaurant: Avocado Athens (vegetarian and vegan)

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6 thoughts on “ATHENS, GREECE

  1. Why does everyone say to ignore the graffiti? It’s one of the things that makes Athens so unique and amazing. A lot of it is really high-quality work and even stuff that isn’t amazing adds to the colourful feeling of the streets. You know Athens is a tourist destination in its own right for the quality of its street art?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Morgan! And thanks for your comment! I know what you mean, I read a lot about it afterwords and I do somewhat agree. But in my personal opinion, there was way too much graffiti. I mean, I haven’t ever seen it in that extent, in any other place! And I personnally prefer old fashioned over modern, and graffiti is really modern for my taste! I do know now that it is an important part of the city 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand, it’s not to everyone’s taste. I live in Athens but I’m originally from Bristol which is also famous for its extensive street art so I guess for me it’s a little like a taste of home! Personally, I enjoy the juxtaposition in Athens between ancient ruins and modern graffiti – the last thing I want is for Athens to turn into a living museum and graffiti is away the inhabitants of a city mark it as their own and personalise it. I like to think about the work of Hundertwasser who argued that each person should be able to lean out their window and paint their house however they wished in order to break up the monotony of modern developments. Graffiti, although it appears modern, is to me a rebellion against the homogenisation of modernity and an attempt to reclaim public space. The majority of Athens was built between the 60s and the 80s and consists of rather dull concrete apartment blocks – without the graffiti it would look incredibly dull and grey indeed!
        Oh, by the way, check out my blog if you have time!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi,

    So sorry for the late reply, it was interesting to read your thoughts on this subject. I understand what you mean, I wouldn’t want Athens to be a living museum either, but I have to admit I did have a different sort of image of the city before arriving there and thus it was a little shock to us both (the amount of graffiti there). In the end we went there three times during our trip and realised that Athens is an extremely beautiful and unique city, and that it’s not wise to have certain expectations of places before visiting them, simply because then you’d have to match it to what you thought it would be and that rarely works. 🙂

    I have to say that the first area we stayed in was a rough area, which we didn’t realise until later on, and I felt really creeped out all the time (that’s the case in any big city, really, if you go to a dodgy area).

    I also have to admit I’ve never read anything by Hundertwasser, but you have intrigued me now! I can see your interest on the subject and your way of seeing the world and thus, developments. Without the graffiti Athens would look very homogenous. I will have a look at your blog too. 🙂

    x Nelli

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