Finger tips of rose

 
October 29, 2016   Athens, Greece
 
 

When dawn spreads out her finger tips of rose the city of Athens looks her best. Problem is, even at her best Athens is largely chock a block grungy cement buildings separated by dirty streets filled with cars parked anywhere they can fit. And then there's the graffiti, the ugly icing on the ugly cake.

But if you can overlook these shortcomings, and maybe you can't, Athens is a perfectly nice place to visit, to eat good food and see some ruins and meet city people who are just as friendly as small town people.

We spent the morning doing the Rick Steves' city walk. I confess I like his guides: he's unashamably opinionated, and we often disagree with his opinions, but his maps are great and his city information useful. I especially like his history-filled city walks. A couple of highlights from this morning's walk follow.

In front of the nondescript Parliament building a pair of Evzones can be seen guarding the tomb of the unknown soldier. Their outfits and their marching is most curious. They even let you pose next to them for a photo though i didn't do that.

Another highlight was sitting in the small dark and completely frescoed Church of Kapnikarea. It's an 11th century Byzantine church, very dark inside like other Greek Orthodox churches we've visited, and the interior is completely covered with paintings of men who seemed to be looking at me. As I sat in the church (typically parishoners stand) I felt as if the men painted on the walls were watching me, perhaps judging me, as if to ask whether I was living up to their expectations. Not a bad experience, a thoughtful one.

After the walk we grabbed lunch from the friendly patisserie around the corner. The same young woman who served us the day before gave us some free cookies to go with our savory pastries.

 
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Dawn light can't make these look good      
 
Dawn light can't make these look good      
 
Dawn light can't make these look good      
 
Athens      
 
Athens      
 
Athens      
 
Cathedral Mitropolis, head of Greek Orthodox faith      
 
Cathedral Mitropolis, head of Greek Orthodox faith      
 
Cathedral Mitropolis, head of Greek Orthodox faith      
 
Archbishop Damaskinos stood up to Nazis during occupation      
 
Archbishop Damaskinos stood up to Nazis during occupation      
 
Archbishop Damaskinos stood up to Nazis during occupation      
 
Hadrian's arch      
 
Hadrian's arch      
 
Hadrian's arch      
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