Tagged: kolonaki

Athens, GR

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While in Athens we stayed in an apartment in the Kolonaki area.  This area provided me with my favorite view from the top of Lycabettus Hill which is an undeveloped hilltop amongst a sea of low slung buildings in downtown Athens.  Seeing it from afar and seeing afar from it are both fantastic experiences as their is beauty each way.  The funicular will take you to the top for about 6.5 Euros but the walk up the path is not very taxing and can be done in 20 minutes.  The restaurants on top are open until 3am and are of the cosmopolitan variety.  A special time to go is at sunset when the setting sun provides a plethera of lighting shades on the white washed city below.  As the sun sets across Athens you will be able to see the lights come on the Parthenon which makes for a magical sight.

Elsewhere in Athens, the Plaka area is bustling and you should be able to find a restaurant that appeals at the base of the Acropolis. This is a maze of sidewalk cafes and winding streets and it is the most festive and lively area in Athens with a mix of both locals and tourists alike.

In some of the higher profile areas such as Syntagma you will be very likely to see a protest or demonstration dealing with a range of topics from political to social.  While they have the potential to get unruly most that I witnessed resembled a summer festival with a designated area, food vendors, and the crowd trained on the person on the other end of the microphone.  The cops are on standby but they do not seem concerned as they probably encounter this on a weekly basis.  Even the clean up crews are on alert and have the area swept clean within the hour.

Getting around is very easy as even the airport is connected by the Subway system or the X95 bus.  Subway tickets cost 1 Euro and are valid for 90 minutes.  This is the cheapest way to go and you may even get by without tickets as ours were not inspected for the entire week we were there (frankly I did not see any other people checked either).  However on the odd chance you do get checked for tickets the absence of one could cost you 80X the regular fare so it is safer to go through the motions and purchase one for each trip.

I did not find the women here to be as ridiculously hot as I was expecting (Amsterdam may have set the bar too high) and the men are ridiculously inappropriate with any woman that shows any leg.  This could be a society in line for the veil just to teach the guys some tact and let them know that they need to find some common ground with the way they ogle women in the streets.  It is natural to find beauty in a woman but subtlety enables the woman to walk around unharassed and comfortable in society.

While we were here the Turkish president was in town signing some Aegean Trade Treaty so the area around the Hilton (our area) was a swarm of Secret Service and Police.  It was quite a commotion and police coverage lasted 24 hours a day with police cavalcades taking the officials to and fro.

Tips:

  1. Do not visit the Acropolis at midday in the summer as you will be sorry guaranteed.  The place looks like it would be capable of handling major loads of tourists but the setup does not allow free access without crowding through multiple entrance ways throughout the entire structure.
  2. Do visit Lycabettus Hill and check out the sloped street leading directly down from the Funicular entrance as this stretch is very lively but not too crazy.
  3. Do pace yourself at the National Archeological Museum as there is a lot to see.

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