My Week in Athens… Apr 11

  • by XpatAthens
  • Thursday, 05 February 2015
My Week in Athens… Apr 11
Settled into my new place, with everything unpacked and unscathed, I welcomed my first houseguests for a long weekend in the city. Their first time in Greece, they were prepared to see all there is to see…

We did the required site seeing, the necessary museums, and the expected tavernas. We walked everywhere, spurred on by frequent coffee stops. We even made it down to the waterfront – for a great lunch at Rakadikon in Vouliagmeni (well-worth the trip!)

But here’s the strange and incredible part. Over the course of the weekend, my friends made a huge discovery.

Throughout their childhood, they had believed that their ancestry was partly Turkish. Their parents thought so, and apparently their grandparents thought so too. But after some interesting conversations, clarification of some historical facts, some name checking and eating Greek food which tasted ‘exactly like their mother’s’ – my friends concluded that their ancestry is, in fact, Greek! As it turns out, their (Greek) great-grandmother fled Smyrni (Izmir) in 1921, moved half-way across the world and completely closed the book on that part of her life. Her passport was Turkish, hence…

So this weekend went from a city-break in Athens, to a full-fledged discovery of roots, connecting with a newly-discovered past and adding a fantastic new layer to a family’s complex identity. Needless to say, it was a special few days.

And needless to say, they loved Athens. Especially the food ;)

Until next week,


Poseidonos 17, Vouliagmeni

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…