Katerina Avgeri's favourite walk in her hometown, Athens.
Born and raised in Athens in a neighborhood downtown just under the Filopappou hill, I couldn’t write about anything else than my favorite walk. Usually I start walking from Thiseio a site named after the neighboring ancient temple dedicated to god Hephaistos that is decorated with images of mythological hero and founder-king of Athens Theseus.
Alongside to the archaeological site is the noisy pedestrian named Apostolou Pavlou. This is the place where I usually enjoy my Sunday afternoon coffee with my husband and our best friends together with a view of the Ancient Agora and the Acropolis.
Many summer nights at the open air cinema near the same pedestrian I cool the warm Athenian summer nights with an ice lolly. Going down I turn right to Ermou street, that is named after the Greek Messenger God of commerce Hermes, to gaze at the antique shops where you can always find hidden treasures like old books, vinyl records or any kind of vintage furniture and clothes.
I am going to Monastiraki square the oldest flee market of the city and I keep gazing at the small shops while walking from Avissinia Square.
After that, I turn right and by walking alongside to the Roman Agora I go upwards to Plaka. Plaka is the oldest quarter of Athens known as “the quarter of gods”. I walk between the fabulous neoclassical houses many of which have been restored by their current owners. Of course if I get hungry I can always have meal at one of many taverns. Even though the Athenians consider these taverns rather tourist they definitely visit them once in a while. Plaka is the living memory of old Athens, it‘s the place where you can let yourself to your daydreams.
I am already walking around the Acropolis hill from where Parthenon is watching the modern city around him. What I unfortunately do less often is to climb up as high as I can I get, to the last houses of Plaka -just under the ancient wall of the Acropolis- to a small area called Anafiotika.
Up there, houses are very small and white with tiny blooming gardens that remind you the Aegean architecture of Santorini or Serifos or Milos. After leaving the small island of the city center I end up to the pedestrian of Dionysiou Areopagitou in front of the New Museum of Acropolis the city’s brand new modern museum.
The New Museum of Acropolis is built just opposite to the “sacred cliff” to converse with the Parthenon, since all the architectural parts that have been separated from the temples of the Acropolis (except for those remaining to British Museum) have found shelter to this compelling and state of the art building. Finally by keeping walking I stand at the beginning of the stairs that lead to the entrance of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus known as Herodeion, where every summer I watch under the starry sky of Attica concerts and presentations of ancient Greek tragedies and comedies.
And yes this may sounds like a tourist guide and I guess it is indeed a tourist guide, because the city center of Athens is definitely the most charming part of the city especially for someone who grew up and still lives there. So I believe that you can justify my romantic spirit and I can assure you that I didn’t exaggerate about anything else apart from my love for this city.