Summer 2014 saw a brief return to Athens for work. Spending more time in the city center than I normally have in the past three years, I got to take some snaps on my phone; things, places and people I found interesting. A year later, I have gone through those photos again and done my best to remaster this semi-random assortment into something coherent. So here we are, re-discovering parts of Athens I have either overlooked or forgotten, in the form of a tasting tour.
Old and New
Might as well start with something recognisable, such as the Acropolis. Still standing after thousands of years, it is one of the key landmarks in Athens though, in my experience, not often visited by Athenians, probably because we see it in the distance so often. Regardless, the “new museum” is a bit of a landmark itself these days, offering an interesting and polished view at the Acropolis and its history.
Athens is huge, and one can only get a sense of scale from high up, such as a hill or the occasional terrace of a tall building. The rooftop view can be quite stunning, if not scary due to how much concrete there is.
Transport, my other passion. Enough views of the Acropolis. How does one get around in this city?
There are three straightforward metro lines through the city; if they are on your way, count yourself lucky, as they are pretty good for the heavy-duty transfers. From the metro stops, or neighbourhoods not served by it, buses are ubiquitous, albeit more of a sauna simulator in the summer months. Finally, on the suburbs near the edge, the suburban railway is a good solution.
The good: tickets are extremely cheap compared to the rest of Europe; 1.20 for an integrated ticket that’s good for 1.5 hours.
The bad: probably overcrowded and occasionally late.
The ugly: I still don’t have an urban planning blog to properly phrase all this.
In closing, you might be wondering where people from Athens go for a nice view, if not on the Acropolis.But the rock formation next to it, of course!