There is something about the old historical quarter of Plaka that I never tire of, at least when I get away from the main shopping streets overrun by tourists browsing cheesy antiquity knockoffs and ‘humorous’ slogan T-Shirts.
Plaka always feels like being outside of Athens, or to be more accurate, a look how Athens used to be in the first half of the twentieth century.
In the background you can glimpse the Pillars of Olympian Zeus temple.
Given its location, this is not so much a traditional manaviko (greengrocer) as a reasonable facsimile thereof
Plaka has the highest concentration of neoclassical buildings in Athens, and unlike the rest of such buildings in the city, they tend to be inhabited rather that left in complete decay, like sad ghosts of past glory.
Nerium oleander bushes. They’re odourless and extremely toxic, but my favourite kind of vegetation aesthetically, and forever associated with summer in my mind.
The secret to enjoying Plaka is finding any stairs leading to higher ground and away from the crowds. You’ll still run into countless tavernas sporting original names like ‘Zorbas’ and ‘Socrates’ and at prices twice the national average, but you will also find mostly empty streets and the occasional moment of peace.
Sometimes I wish I lived in one of those old houses in Plaka. Imagine waking up to this every day. But then I remember I’d probably quickly get fed up with essentially living in a giant tourist attraction.
No matter how many times I see it, the Parthenon never fails to take my breath away.
The Areopagos rock has my favourite view of Athens, with its mixture of recent and ancient history bleeding into the monster that is modern Athens (though even the concrete buildings gain a certain beauty in the way they almost glow under the harsh sunlight)
It wouldn’t be the Internet without pictures of cats, would it?