City Life, Life of adventure, Travelling between housesits

Wandering the streets of Athens – Part 1

Wandering around a city is one of our travel pleasures.  With no set agenda we start exploring.

We loved strolling around the narrow labyrinth streets in the Plaka area.  This, of course, was repeated throughout our time there and this part of our story about Athens is not focused on the massive amounts of archaeological sites, it’s on the streets and the quirky, what captured our imaginations and the desire that drove us to see what was around each and every corner.

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Tables and chairs were scattered outside traditional kafeneio and other food establishments which were occupied by tourists and locals who all seemed to be enjoying their meals. With most having at least one local grasping their worry beads, which I thought at first were rosary beads.

Athens was one city we did not find that easy to explore once we moved out of the Plaka area.  The only city we have visited where we had changed our opinions regarding it, on a daily basis.  To be honest, it was more me than the Squire who changed their mind.

 

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Yes, it did seem to have more graffiti and street art [Who decides what Art is?] than we had seen in other European cities we have explored.  Though what was lacking was the litter on the streets, it was, in fact, a spotless city if compared to other well-established cities such as Rome or Paris.

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It was a massive space of streets that went in all directions with a language that was hard to understand making finding landmarks even harder to sort out.  I became frustrated.

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With the Squire out of action for about 3 days due to his back, it was just me to capture moments around the city and MapsMe to direct me in the right direction.  The capturing of photos was fun which I was looking forward to sharing with the Squire.  What didn’t go so well was my relationship with Mapsme, we did have some one-sided conversations I can tell you, with most not being of the pleasant variety.  How many times can someone get lost in Athens?  Apparently quite a few times if I am anything to go by!! Enthusiasm and getting engrossed with what was around just one more corner had me walking many kilometres from our apartment.   So, I had a few options, turn off Mapsme, flag down a taxi, or use the public transport, I opted for the last option, and that was to ask a couple of young women where the heck I was and how do I get back to the Plaka area.  They smiled and said follow us.  And I did.  Four blocks later I recognised a landmark just a corner or two from where we were staying.

 

 

 

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I gave my unofficial personal guides a big smile, thanked them, and we went our separate ways.  By this time I was really looking forward to a cold drink, feet up and chat with the Squire, not necessarily in that order!

While most of us visitors “tourists”, are marvelling at all the historical sights many local Athenians are becoming battle weary and to be honest, Greece is in for another fight if their financial state doesn’t change anytime soon.

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As we were heading back to our apartment, there was a noticeable police presence, and streets were cordoned off, yes we could’ve come to an automatic conclusion that there was another violent clash.  No, there wasn’t, it just happened to be more talks between France and Greece, hence the full-on police force.  Then further down the street were armed guards with riot gear, walking alongside protestors.  Yes, it would seem the Greeks are still battling on as they have done for many thousands of years, just for different reasons.

 

Wouldn’t it be grand if everyone was “nice”, it is a very undescriptive word though it is one which most of us understand the meaning as either courteous, kind, pleasant, or even ducky [a new one for me]!

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Below photo was taken outside the entrance to our apartment [AirBnB] which was situated on the first floor.  This was in the Plaka area where we chose to rent an apartment, it was a great location and one we recommend to stay in.

 

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With our last impression being that we did indeed enjoy our time here after we got the hang of the layout and to actually just go with the flow.  How could we not when we have clutched in our hand a mouth-watering ice cream, as we wander around the streets!

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The whitewashed homes of the Anafiotika neighbourhood do give the small enclave a Greek-island vibe.

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Part 2 - historical sites of athens

44 thoughts on “Wandering the streets of Athens – Part 1”

  1. The Plaka area looks very cute, colorful and attractive. Good tip for staying there. Getting lost can be exciting and adventurous at first, but when it drags on and you have no clue anymore which way to go, frustration and sometimes slight panic sets in. I’m glad you found some helpful people to get you back on track. And, I hope the Squire’s back is better now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Liesbet, he is okay now, just a being caution and sometimes rest is needed when fulltime travellers! Yep, the panic feeling can happen, though now very infrequently as long as I have cash for a taxi all is good 🙂 Though generally people especially locals are more than helpful. The helpfulness just might be due to the fact that I am now classed as an older woman, not that I see that, as I am more like a recycled teenager with wisdom 🙂

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  2. It’s always nice to see the “local” side to well-known tourist destinations! Greece is definitely in for a challenge. It feels somewhat stuck in a bygone era, so what makes it charming is also what holds it back. It’ll be interesting to see how things unfold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lynn, you have just written what Les [the Squire] was saying the other day when we were discussing Athens. I think that is why my opinion kept on changing on whether I enjoyed this city. It is not one I would return to, and it is one I don’t regret exploring. The Greek Govt gave their people an easy life with many subsides then basically overnight took them away. France will be the next country for many changes, as they try to put policies through Parliment for a later retirement age and a longer working week. Unsettling times for many countries!!

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  3. The word ‘nice’ is hugely under-valued. People tend to try to avoid it, preferring to use more blousy and effusive words and even apologising for saying it. Niceness should be celebrated and in that spirit, despite my comment on your Street Art (or not) post, I embrace that daub. And I loved this post. I feel for Greece. Really feel for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ‘Nice’ is the most undervalued of words. People will avoid using it because they think it not descriptive or effusive enough but niceness is something we should all embrace and value so contrary to my comment on your Street Art (or not) post I actually rather like that daub!

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    1. Unfortunately, the media seems to focus on the negative! Isn’t it wonderful that we as bloggers can give a different perspective. P.S. Still lots of traffic, and, unfortunately the unrest is still simmering underneath ready to explode every now and again. Due to the economic situation and the corruption within the political system.

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      1. Its true isn’t it…about the press…and I have to say I do admire the Greeks for getting up and shouting about the corruption…we don’t do that much of it here in Ireland and we are up to our oxters in corruption and gouging….though then again I wonder how much good it would do as everyone in power seems to be of the same tribe…but thats another conversation!!Thanks for the different aspect Suz 🙂

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