30 Apr 2015

A Greek Love-Affair, Athens

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      Being married to a Greek, I quite feel 110% Greek. I could easily name this post 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' as Tom Hanks did with his movie. 
     Greeks are awesome.  Hospitable, welcoming, cheerful, curious, with the exception of one cashier who complained that i was the 100th person to pay for a souvlaki pita with a 10 Pound bill that day and outright refused to take my money, I've liked every Greek I met. 

    If you ever spend a night in Athens, you'll find that is a city that never sleeps. A huge city with over 3.5 million people who live here, but never feels crowded. If you go up to the Acropolis or another place that overlooks Athens, you'll understand the true scale of the city, houses go as far as your eye can see. The Greek language is fun if you try to listen to. As a foreigner, words and sentences seemingly blend together. I wouldn't know to tell when one sentence ends and the next begins.

I love walking down the many squares, narrow streets and busy avenues of Athens. It's so alive and filled with energy. One minute you are walking down an ancient ruin, thousands of years old and adjacent is a trendy area filled with street art and live performances that are free to enjoy. There's so much variety of places to explore old or new, art focused or ancient sites, or perhaps just a walk along an area that has antique markets mixed in with many cafes and pastry shops.

Greeks may not understand vegetarians but is enough diversity of food on the menu to satisfy everyone, more then many other countries. And honestly, why would you come to Greece if you are a vegetarian in the first place? 'if you don't eat meat, that's alright, i'll cook you lamb' a housewife would say.

Eating in Athens is an truly adventure, whether is a souvlaki pita (2 Euros for one in Athens), the famous kouluri(sesame pretzel), tyropita (cheese pie)  or a lamb chop you can't go wrong with food in Greece. Anybody can have a complete full meal just by crossing the cosy streets of Plaka.

 Many tourists complaint that everything in Greece is Greek, or that Greece is too Greek. Seriously? why would you come to Greece for a pasta?  rather get a trip to Italy. 
The country is a blend of tradition and modernism, with a rich culture and one of The Seven Wonders of the World, Acropolis. The people are easy-going and usually very rooted in their tradition, land, family and gastronomy. Their're all somehow philosophers, which explains the real fact that Greece is the land of philosophers and place of origin of the Ancient Olympic Games and Theater, as well as the exaggeration skills :)

Other noticeable thing is that greeks are blessed with best driving and parking skills. Cars have usually right-of-way over pedestrians, which explains why everyone is crossing the streets running :)
An average driver in Greece can easily out-beat the best in the rest of the world. The reason is the huge traffic which requires exceptional parallel parking skills. 

About the Greek Islands, as I said before in one of my previous posts, you cant go wrong, no matter which island you pick. Greece has an extremely large number of islands. Somewhere around 1200 to 6000 islands, which inhabited are between 166 to 227. They beautiful places to visit and live up to the hype. I've explored 17 by now and I'm planning all of them. 
Santorini Port, Greece

Mykonos Town, Greece

Amoudi Bay, Santorini

Vroulidia Beach, Chios Island

Going to Lesvos Island

I have visited Greece many times, and each time I felt at home with an extremely beautiful country and people that knows how to be happy. I love Athens, I love the Acropolis, I love their mythology and I'm crazy about their Islands. 

Recommended movies with a lot of greek character:
'Shirley Valentine' an 1989 movie , filmed in Mykonos Island 
'Captain Corelli's Mandolin', filmed in Kefalonia
'My life in Ruins' and 'My Big Fat Greek Weeding' both produces by Tom Hanks

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