Monthly Archives: July 2016

A 24 hour ticket for 4.5 euros and a city of 4 million people. I spent my time between Goudi, Kifissia and Monastiron. I have visited Athens several times by now, so I focus on catching up with friends rather than on sight-seeing.

Monastirion_1_July 2016JPG

That said, I always make sure to go for a walk around old Athens. When I lift my head to the view of the Acropolis rock and the Parthenon temple, I am reminded of how beautiful this city must have been before massive construction kicked in to kick out the picturesque. Monastirion_2_Juy 2016JPG
The very truth is that, whenever I set my foot in the Greek capital, I feel like I have a second home away from home, because I have always enjoyed great hospitality.

Greek salad in Goudi_July 2016JPG

veggie mousaka_July 2016JPG

Thanks to my diaspora of friends, I have explored different parts of the city that I would not have gotten to know otherwise.

View from a balcony in Goudi_4_July 2016JPG

Every place has its own energy. I find that there is a certain tinge of melancholy about Athenian neighbourhoods…Maybe that’s what happens when the memories and roots of so many people come together to form something new in an already historical and unique location.
View from a balcony in Goudi_3_July 2016JPG
View from a balcony in Goudi_2_July 2016JPG

Behind the masses of concrete however, there is a lot of warmth. I see it when I walk around the streets of Goudi with my friends and their pet dogs. We always bump into people who share their love of animals and who care for stray cats and dogs by feeding them, taking them to the vet, finding families to adopt them…

View from a balcony in Goudi_1_July 2016JPG

I do of course feel disappointment every time that I think of the unexploited potential in Greece – that I cannot deny. I take a note of the negative, while I try to cling on to the positive because I really believe in the importance of supporting what’s good, allowing it to grow and develop.

So, despite its gray facade and occasional unfriendly vibe, Athens is a city of colour and the home to some amazing people. It is a place that I will hopefully visit many more times in the future.


My triangle visit to Greece was rounded up in the continental south. I arrived to the port of Rafina on the boat from Mykonos and after an hour long bus ride into Athens I boarded yet another bus on a mission to reunite with a dear friend of mine. The trail of our friendship goes all the way back to 2001, when we were both much younger and innocent and living at the administrative heart of Europe. I still remember the time when I bumped into her at the super market. We had a short chat whereby she declared that she had to dash because she was hungry. I casually assumed that she simply didn’t feel like talking.

Lekouna beach 1_July 2016JPG

Lekouna beach 2_July 2016JPG

I don’t remember the turning point in our relationship, but very shortly after the super-market encounter we somehow became very close friends. My god have we talked since then! For some time we used to live just around the corner from each-other so we even bought a set of walkie-talkies!

Bay watch 1_July 2016JPG

It’s a luxury to have your friends nearby. The luxury I have now is to be able to visit them in different places around the world. It does not make up for the distance, but at least I get to discover new locations. Take the beach of Lekouna for instance…It is a spot on the map that I would probably never have explored if it wasn’t for our little reunion. Now I got to experience it through her eyes and emotional ties.

Bay watch 3_July 2016JPG

Bay watch 2_July 2016JPG

This was a very special visit, as I also got to meet her baby daughter for the first time. A little amazon that moved around the pebbly beach like a crayfish, climbed, crawled, walked with support… She never complained as she bumped into things. Sociable and easy-going. Time, distance and money can of course get in the way, but I really hope I’ll see them both rather sooner than later.

I could not be on Mykonos and not visit the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. The island of Delos became the safe haven for Leto to give birth to the offspring of Zeus and protected her from the wrath of Hera, Zeus’ official wife.

So says the myth, and I guess that was how the Apollonian cult on this 5 square km island, just off the shore of Mykonos.

I booked a package, a bit on the expensive side, but after visiting Pompeii on my own devices, I have concluded that it is really worth experiencing historical places through the narrative of a guide.

Many were the impressive facts, but I was mostly fascinated by the idea that Delos must have been in the Roman times what Mykonos is now. A pole of attraction for the affluent, a cosmopolitan, multicultural and…barren piece of land.

Delos was the home of 30,000 people before its decline. Compare that to the 10,000 inhabitants of modern 105,000 sq. km Mykonos and you will get my point.

I would most probably not visit Mykonos if it wasn’t for a standing invitation. I have a good friend, a  photographer, who works on the island during the extended summer period. This year, on his third season here, finally everything clicked. We arrived on the island last Monday, starting out from Thessaloniki via Chalkidiki.

Somebody commented on facebook that they did not expect me to choose Mykonos for a holiday. I would rather say that Mykonos chose me. This cosmopolitan place might be associated with parties, socialites, the lgtb community, etc, but once here, one discovers a quite diverse crowd of people.


Also, as my friend and I realised, lifestyle is something you take with you anywhere you go. A certain interaction between person and place takes place, certainly, but a new location is yet another backdrop to our temperament, habits and character.

We have been kicking off our days with a good breakfast, quite necessary when planning long days filled with both business and pleasure. “It is important to eat a solid breakfast” has become one of our mottos these days and we have been swearing by it…

Birthday breakfast_Mykonos2016JPG

People around us say that the turnover is not as good as it usually is this time of the year. 

Bad tourism some say, referring to visitors that do not spend much while on the island. 

Bad tourism” we jokingly comment to each other when eating our home cooked meals on the beach, or the house patio without any sense of remorse. That’s what you do when you’re a hybrid between a tourist and a local.

Gemista on the beach_Mykonos_2016JPG

Infinite donut_Mykonos_2016JPGJPG

The biggest paradox about this barren island is actually the flow of money. On the one hand there is the affluent elite, the expensive brands, the luxury villas and exclusive entertainment. On the other hand, the folklore museum is falling apart, the archeological museum is closed for restoration in the middle of the summer, roads are quite badly maintained.  


 In an ideal world, sustainability and infrastructure would be a priority. We are not there yet-sigh.

Cloth drying_Mykonos_2016JPG



In the meantime however, I am a grateful recipient of what my stay here has to offer, and that is distraction, variation and great company.


Oh, and I forgot to mention mosquito bites. 

I may not have come here with an intention to party, but my winged tormentors are feasting on my blood all night long leaving me sleepless in all the wrong way!

Mykonos chora by night_Mykonos2016JPG

 Mykonos never sleeps.Why should I be an exception?

My five days in Thessaloniki – between a Monday and a Friday – were just enough to get acclimatized, run errands and re-connect with family and close friends.


The heat was kind to me with temperatures around some comfortable thirty plus degrees Celsius. After midnight of my second day in the capital of Makedonia it poured down with amazing intensity. The roar of thunders sounded as if Zeus was standing on a nearby roof. I fed off salads, fruit and very simple food most of which I bought at my favorite grocer’s, a hole in the wall kind of place where you can find everything from soy-milk and organic vegetables to glutenfree foods, conventional vegetables, nuts and cereals.


On Saturday I spent the morning cleaning up the apartment and packing before I had lentil soup for lunch at my aunt’s. After hugging her goodbye I took a bus downtown to meet up with a friend. Before hopping into the car to drive to Chalkidiki for a christening, we went for a walk, a talk and a coffee at the heart of the city center and the very streets I used to roam as a student, almost a lifetime ago (the above picture is that of Pinakoti, a bakery where I used to buy wholemeal pita pastries stuffed with soy cheese or wild greens as a student….)


We set off around 17.30 with the mission of finding our way to the mountainous village of Megali Panagia. We drove past almost dormant villages through lush nature in smooth traffic. We arrived at our destination at 650 m. above sea level safe, sound and a bit hungry.


Our hosts welcomed us in the garden of their beautiful home overlooking a small vineyard and surrounded by hills in different shades of green. At the background the soaring peak of Mount Athos

Freshly baked pizzas were coming out of the oven and trays of grilled souvlaki and fries from the local tavern were served on the big table. The whole family was working like the parts of a well-oiled machine to accommodate the guests who were slowly dropping in.



It was a great weekend and a special occasion. I got to spend time with some of my dearest friends, meet some interesting new people and get acquainted with the little toddler who was at the center of everybody’s attention.



We got up at five am on Monday and after the rudimentary morning grooming we set out on our southbound trip before six o’ clock. We drove for more than 700 km with two-three stops to stretch our legs and fuel up. We arrived at the port of Rafina ahead of schedule, which gave us enough time to have a nice lunch and take a walk to the little church of St Nicolas to admire the view before boarding the ferry to Mykonos.



We arrived on the island at around 7 pm, 14 hours and 3500 calories later. The driver efficiently compensated lack of sleep with calories and kept afloat with a triple breakfast consisting of a big bowl of yoghurt, sesame bread and a cream stuffed bougatsa pastry, 1 litre of milk in various forms, a cold coffee, three slices of cheese pizza, a portion of briam, a big piece of milk chocolate coated chocolate mousse and an espresso.


After some grocery shopping at Delos Super Market we arrived at his solitary abode at the rocky outskirts of the village of Ano Mera, and rounded up the day with a big salad and Cretan rusks.


I slept on the sofa with the sound of wind in my ears, knowing that tomorrow was going to be a new day at a new place…













I am  in the land of myth which is plunged in deep crisis. This must be the sandbox of a capitalist experiment, because no matter what is said in the media there is ni will to help this country come out of depression and develop.

I landed well however, and I have had the time to see people I really care about and do some useful stuff before setting out on a road trip to the south with a very important pit stop in Chalkidiki -worth googling.


Clockwise, otherwise & likewise

The Chick on a Pea

Clockwise, otherwise & likewise

Sadness Theory

Music with passion for the environment

zee pause café

taking a moment, having a coffee, writing down some thoughts