Travel article: Athenes

Travel blogger: Christelle & Cedric

Trip story: Sur les routes de la soie

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Athens, Grèce

Greece 8 days - August 2019






We start our Greek stay with  Athens. A week under the sign of antiquity, Street Art and the life of villages within a capital.


First discoveries, Exárcheia the neighborhood in which we sleep. Anarchist stronghold, high place of Street Art and revolts, the district is alive and arty and we particularly appreciate the shaded terraces, the numerous palm trees and the tradesmen who come to enrich this village life. "Village" animated mainly in the evening as it is hot in this month of August.


In the neighborhood we are surprised to discover an area where the police do not have the right to intervene ... One of the current struggles of the inhabitants, the fight against corruption and any form of government of course but also the prohibition Airbnb in the neighborhood. Neighborhood that gentrifies slowly, phenomenon that we found in many world capital unfortunately. Staying in Airbnb we don’t feel comfortable in this area of ​​no-right ... the machine gun drawn on the flyers being really clear!


During a free walking tour about Street Art, we see many works still very political. The dilapidated and abandoned buildings covered with anarchist or political symbols testify to the crisis that never ended in Greece ...


Then on foot, we reach the more tourist spots Plaka, Anafiotika, again the feeling of being in a village! Small paved streets, stone or white houses like in the Cyclades or pastel colors, it is very cute but not very authentic unfortunately.


Whatever our localisation in Athens, just look up to see the Acropolis!

The hill has long served as a citadel as well as a religious sanctuary-a tribute to Athena, goddess of wisdom, health and fertility.

The morning light sneaks between the columns of the Parthenon, it is splendid. Our favorite monument, however, will be the Erechtheum with many statues and an impressive view of the sprawling Athens. The Dionysos Theater at their feet is considered the cradle of ancient Greek theater and tragedy. Great celebrations were also held there and immediately we are projected;)


Then at his feet are the ancient Agora, the center of the ancient city where political decisions were made and intellectuals met. The temple of Hephaistos is incredibly preserved, the cicadas sing and the olive trees make us really feel on vacation. It must be said that the Greeks did not choose any landscape to install their cities and temples, they choose the best!


Our combined ticket also allows us to visit the Roman agora which has not marked us more than that and the library of Hadrian, Roman emperor. And yes, the Greek empire was conquered by the Romans rather quickly after its unification by Alexander the Great, hence the Roman influence on the city.


Not far are the Monastiraki Square which by the Panagia Pantanassa Church of Byzantine origin, the Roman Library of Hadrian, the Tzistarakis Mosque, neoclassical and more modern buildings which precisely remind us of the various takeovers and architectural influences that resulting !


Finally we pass the Parliament where the changing of the guard takes place in music. The poor military parade covered like to go skiing, shoes weighing 1.5 kilos on each foot. Picked apparently for their beauty, we will note only their discipline and no facial expression!

A few steps away, the Antique Olympic Stadium (or Panathenaic) that we reach racing, imagining the applause of the supporters, the Olympic flame, the adrenaline of the competition! (in reality it was 38 degrees so we mostly walk at a fast pace ;))


Finally Athens has many churches and we will see so many faithful people dressed in black praying surrounded by beautiful frescoes that remind us of Ethiopia! Our favorite Ayia Paraskevi.


That’s it for our stay in town. No crush, we enjoyed walking there but we find that the capital is polluted, dirty and dilapidated and lacks charm. We enjoyed exploring the ruins, a sign of a rich, millinery history!

Some recommendations:

# we rented a very nice apartment on Airbnb in Exárcheia. We did almost everything on foot. 33 euros per night.

# restaurants: on the advice of our friends, we tested the very good restaurant Ama Lachei, modern Greek cuisine on a beautiful terrace. And Feyroux, succulent sandwiches for 3 euros!

Also to recommend Cantina Rahanou in Exárcheia.

# visits:

-  Combined ticket for acropolis and 6 other sites: 30 euros valid for 5 days. (the Olympic stadium is not included)

- we realized two Free Walking Tour: one about the city, very good. And the other Street Art that we have not really interested us unfortunately.

- bus / metro in the city: 1.40 euros the ticket.

Leave a comment

Paul Mérouze
Sep 7, 2019 - 11:56 AM

Vous voilà donc en Grèce, pays béni des dieux nous adorons et vous rejoindrons bientôt pour notre dixième séjour dans ce pays que nous aimons tant, bonnes visites.


Christelle & Cedric
Sep 11, 2019 - 06:38 PM

Comme on vous comprend! Bon voyage!


Sep 21, 2019 - 08:11 AM

coucou, trop bea


Sep 21, 2019 - 08:11 AM

coucou, trop beau Angie