My Week in Athens… Jan 3

  • by XpatAthens
  • Thursday, 05 February 2015
My Week in Athens… Jan 3
Happy New Year to all! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and managed to get through the strikes and smog unscathed. (I think the over-eating will get me before any of that other stuff…!)

I had a friend visiting over the holidays – a Canadian-Greek buddy who was looking to escape frosty Toronto for a few days… He has been here many times before, but only in summer. So this was a chance to see what I promised him would be a very different city to the sweating, heaving Athens of July & August.

And he loved it. He said the city felt ‘real’ and ‘authentic’. We explored the usual spots (and some new little places!), and the whole time he kept saying ‘wow!’ around every corner… One day, after walking up to Philopappou hill for the gorgeous view of the Acropolis, we went to a little hidden part of the city called Anafiotika. While many of us have heard of Anafiotika, it seems most have never ventured into this tiny neighbourhood of Plaka. Anafiotika was first built in the 19th century to house workers from the island of Anafi, who came to Athens to work on the construction of the king’s palace. The neighbourhood was built in a cycladic style and today feels like being on the islands, in the heart of the city. It’s worth the stroll up the northeast side of the Acropolis hill – camera required.

Smog notwithstanding, my friend was struck with the ‘green’ of the city. Philopappou, the National Gardens, even the bright green grass and trees around the Acropolis hill – this was a welcome surprise and a change from the usual summertime look of the city.

I hope you find the time to explore the city over the coming months – while it still feels green and local and real.

Kali xronia! Until next time,


In this weekly space, keep up with ‘Jack’ as he navigates daily life in Athens… Anecdotes, stories, hits & misses, the good, the bad and, well, the rest…