Initial Vignettes


Our stomping grounds.

I don’t think there’s any better way to get to know a place than to walk all through it. That’s what I tend to do when I travel, because while many tourist attractions interest me, I also like to explore the places where people actually live their lives.

So yes: central Athens has plenty of attractions. But it’s also the center of a city of ~660,000 people. And aside from the streets near the Acropolis, most of the streets – and the shops in them – are obviously for locals. Like this one, which had a concentration of hardware stores:


…and pretty trees which I admired.

It also helped that we were there in the off-season. Yes, there were tourists, but their numbers were limited. Aside from the Acropolis, we didn’t see many. And I loved it. I didn’t travel to Athens to see tourists; I wanted to see the city itself, which is easier when it’s not being overrun. And I had less competition for the touristy things I did want to do.


They’re ornamental!

Orange trees fill the city, by the way.


And beautiful.

I kind of think it’s silly when people photograph the food they’re about to eat. And yet I do so myself, on occasion. The breakfast, looking out at the Acropolis, was delicious.


That’s Monastiraki plaza in the foreground.

And there’s the view.


Oh, is it the church that interests you? Read this.

This is such a pretty church in the middle of a pedestrian street. That’s another thing I loved about Athens, and Europe in general: the prevalence/existence of pedestrian-only streets like this one.


On the wall outside.

This was a stop worth making. Katherine and I shared a tasting of red wines, one of several options we could have chosen from. And the wines – every one of them – were all good. This was a nearly universal characteristic of the wine we had in Greece. It was exceptional.


Some of the colorful bottles to which the sign refers.


Some of the wine to which I referred.

On my second evening there, I happened to run into a march of striking workers. They were striking over curbs on their right to strike, and the protest was simply too large to photograph. This is a portion, but there were thousands of people, and the streets were eerily silent, aside from the march and the sound of bullhorns.


A protest.

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