Athens, the capital of Greece, has a special place in my heart. I lived and studied in Athens from 2001 to 2002 and the city and its people have become a sort of third home to me. Whenever I return to Athens, even after so many years, I instantly feel like ‘back home’. Like in the days when I was a student and I walked passed the Acropolis to get the metro and go to university. In September I spent one day in Athens en route to the island on Astypalaia. And I returned to three dear places that I love in particular.
Going to Athens and not visiting the Acropolis is like a sacrilege to me. Consider it super touristy, but for me climbing the marble stairs to the Parthenon is something like entering the city’s navel, the city’s birthplace and its chiseled marble heart. It is here where you understand Athens, its relevance, its being, its past, present and future. It is the place where you grasp the Greek soul and its timeless beauty. For me a visit of the Acropolis is the first thing on my list when in Athens. Cliché or not – it is my way of embracing the city in one moment.
A visit to the Acropolis can perfectly be combined with a stroll through an island village in the city of Athens. The quarter named Anafiotika (after the island of Anafi in the Aegean from where the inhabitants come from) lies just underneath the Acropolis and resembles an island village more than a city quarter. Narrow, winding paths, lined with plants, white washed small houses – you really have to remind yourself you’re in Athens, not on a Greek island. It is also what I call the perfect place for Urban Jungle Bloggers – plants are abound and it seems that the people here pay equal attention to their immaculate white houses as well as to their beautiful and thriving plants.
Since I only spent one day and night in Athens this time, I will only share one great restaurant tip with you: Ama Laxei (read Ama Lahi). This wonderful traditional Greek restaurant has a beautiful courtyard that is so typical for Greek taverns and serves some of the most delicious food in town. It is located in a rather rugged area called Exarcheia but I love it a lot. Why? Because I spent some of the best dinners as a student right there. With international friends, lots of laughter, good wine and food. It is a place to share food and drinks with people you like and love. This time I also used the opportunity to meet up with Iro, one of my friends and fellow bloggers currently based in Athens. Side note: I didn’t take any pictures this time as it was too dark already, but above you can see a few other lovely Greek restaurants not far away from the quarter of Anafiotika.
I also discovered a brand new hotel in Athens, but I will share a hotel report with you in a separate blog post. Until then, have a great and successful week my friends! And remember: Traveling nurtures our minds!
Photography by Igor Josifovic