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