Day 18 – Athens

Today I decide to take a walk around the Acropolis on Dionysiou Areopagitou, the pedestrian pathway designed to allow visitors to pass by many historical sites.

I start out early so I find few tourists on the beautiful walk past elegant buildings.

On this Sunday morning in Athens, I can hear the melodious chants of priests from many churches in the area. I step into this small church on the pedestrian walkway.

Perhaps twenty worshippers sit in the small church. Others come in to light candles and to kiss the icons.

Walking around the Acropolis, I find many ruins of buildings that once stood in the area.

Caves have provided shelter throughout centuries. During World War II, the Greeks stored priceless artifacts in this cave and others.

Graffiti covers buildings even in this more elegant neighborhood.

View to Lycabettus Hill.

I start encountering booths along the way from which vendor sell handicrafts and vintage junk of all kinds.

These men amuse themselves while waiting for customers.

Collectors hunt for that special treasure.

The railway passes through the ancient agora.

I end up at Monastiraki Square, a very large place filled with people, mostly tourists.

The fruit looks inviting , but I hold back to avoid carrying a package around through the crowds in the heat.

The Monastiraki Flea Market offers a vast array of vintage objects. In particular, I find an abundance of hand-wrought textiles and choose just one that I will repurpose to a embellish a blouse.

This artist is putting the finish touches on an attractive mural.

A sandalmaker sits next to a window looking into his shop.

I pass by a restaurant where people are eating some interesting dishes. I decide to stop for a sit-down lunch as the place looks promising.

I am not disappointed in the restaurant, called The Karamanlidikas of Fanis

The restaurant specializes in foods from the Capadoccia region of Turkey. The Karamanlides are Turkish-speaking Greek Orthodox Christians who were kicked out of Turkey in the ethnic exchange of 1923.

I order an eggplant pie. The waiter also offers me a small appetizer of some cured meats and a yummy dessert of yoghurt and apricot compost.

Across the street, a delivery guy gets ready to drop off some e-food, certainly not of the Karamanlides quality.

I hop on a hop-on hop-off bus to see parts of the city new to me. I had passed this square yesterday on the way to Athen’s wholesale market. It was filled with pigeons then too.

Out at Piraeus, the largest port in Europe, I catch glimpses of the cruise ship monstrosities that disgorge their thousands of passengers onto helpless tourist sites..

I did visit Piraeus in the past, but I recall a small fishing village. Could it have changed so dramatically? In fifty years?

The trip back into Athens passes one hotel after another.

Had I another couple more days, I would have ventured farther into the county side or off to an island, but perhaps there will be a next time.

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