• by XpatAthens
  • Thursday, 05 February 2015
Jam Packed Sunday

To counter-balance the ‘do nothing’ days of the past weekend, Sunday turned into a jam-packed day… The day started quite early with an impromptu visit from a Greek friend. This friend lives in a small village a couple hours outside Athens, and was in town visiting family. She comes to Athens a few times each year, and we usually manage to meet for a quick coffee and a catch-up.

This time, she had an entire morning to spare, and we made the most of it. Since she considers herself to be very much a visitor in Athens, and has never really liked it here, I suggested that we take an easy stroll around my ‘hood: Thiseio, Philopappou, Plaka – the places I love and see every day. We walked towards the Asteroskopeion, up the hill and headed for the lookout near the Pnyx monument. (If you’ve never been there, I highly recommend it for the best views of the Acropolis!) We continued down the hill towards Plaka. Instead of heading into Plaka proper, we took a detour away from the crowds and went into the Anafiotika neigbourhood.

(Footnote: I have had many debates about the ‘tell’ or ‘do no tell’ approach to Anafiotika. Do we want everyone to know about it, or do we want it as our little secret? Not sure where I stand on that one…)

Then we descended into Plaka and stopped for a much-needed coffee at a curbside café, watching the crowds pass by.

It was her reaction to all of this that made my day. She said, unprompted, “All those people who say they don’t like Athens – it’s simply because they don’t know Athens!” I couldn’t agree more. After that epiphany, we said our goodbyes…

I went home, jumped on my bike, and rode (yes, all the way) to Marousi for a late lunch with family in my old neighbourhood. On the ride back home, I passed by the Philippino Festival at the Fokiano Gymnasium site near the Zappeion – lots of people, lots of food & music.

Full, exhausted and happy, I returned home later in the evening and spent the last moments of a great day entertaining those terrible thoughts of Monday morning… ☺

Until next week,


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…