This post is a mishmash of photos from different Districts in Athens. The heat and intense sun were too much for walking, so I jumped on a “hop on, hop off” bus and rode around the city – stopping often to explore interesting places.
The buses look like London’s red double-decker buses. The bottom level is enclosed and air-conditioned and the top-level is fully exposed. Riders get a headset and a map handout indicating numbered major points of interest. As the bus passes by each point an audible commentary (in multiple languages) describes the site and its significance. It’s an easy way to familiarize yourself with a new city and figure out how and where you want to spend your time. A ticket is good for 24 hours and during that period of time you can hop on and off the bus as many times as you want.
The many colorful faces of Athens are impressive and visually striking. It’s an exciting, cool place! Several neighborhood took my fancy – including the Acropolis and Plaka, Monastiraki, Psiri/Gazi, Metaxourgio, Kolonaki, Exarchia, and Omonia Districts.
I will visit some of the museums – archaeological, ethnic, folk-lore, art, anthropological and more. Museums are a good place to avoid the afternoon heat.
Athens is rich in street art and graffiti, especially in Psiri and the port district, Piraeus. There aren’t many tall buildings and most of the newer “boxy” buildings were built years ago to accommodate an influx of immigrants.
A group that leads “alternative tours of Athens” focuses on street art and architecture, so I plan to sign up for one of their outings. You can visit their website for details.
There were more demonstrations last night around Syntagma Square and the Parliament Building. You could hear the commotion inside the hotel. I have limited knowledge of Greece’s economic issues, so I will do more research. The demonstrations are sometimes violent and recurring and this one included thousands of people. Likely protesting high unemployment and unpopular austerity measures required for the release of more bailout funds from the European Union.