...ATHENS IS THE NEW BERLIN!
The last time i fell in love with a city was a long time ago in Berlin. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I felt that the energy of the city is sticking to my body. I was walking through the streets and everything i saw was inspiring. The city and me were in sync. I stayed and had some crazy few years of shared history with Berlin. Every time i go back, the feeling comes back as well, although it never hits me with the same intensity like the very first time.
On our way to Serifos, Ohad and me visited Athens. It was more of a taste sampling of the city actually, because we just stayed twice overnight, but it was enough for me to fall in love. Athens is rough and intense. It has so many faces, and each one of them could be a city of its own. The touristic athens with the souvenir shops where you can buy greek athletes statuettes and acropolis snowballs, the revolutionary athens with it's squats and cooperative coffees and bars, the party athens near the old gas factory, the upperclass residential athens with the posh little restaurants...and overlooking all this, the ancient, 2400 years old parthenon.
We stayed at the small very friendly Athens Quinta Hostel in the Exarchia neighborhood. We just went off walking in the streets and exploring the cafes and bars around. Exarchia reminded me so much of the Kreuzberg from 10 years ago...The neighborhood got famous in the news for it's political riots, but we didn't feel any kind of violent wibes, just tons of friendly creative people. Most of the walls in Exarchia are covered with graffiti. The ones in this post are all from along and off Benaki Street, stuff that i could spot while walking from the hostel to the subway. I wish i could have explored more, definitely on my list for next time! The architectural stiles that you can find in Athens just fascinated me. It's architects paradise. Lots of lots of beautiful staircases, elevator entrances, and everything much better preserved than in Tel Aviv.
Athens woke memories of Berlin and Ohad and me even played around with the thought of moving to Athens for a while, but then again, home is Tel Aviv for now...
Athens stole my heart for a few days, made me dream of crazy (unstable but exciting future) and i can not wait to go back.
Here is a short inventory of places that i liked: (all the bolded texts are links)
Place to stay:
- Athens Quinta Hostel, Methonis Street 13, Exarchia - Athens (+30 21 3030 5322)
Here is a map of Exarchia and the surrounding streets of the hostel:
Places to visit:
- Forget me not (greek designer store), Adrianou Street 100, Plaka - Athens (+30 210 3253740)
- Χυμοποιείο (juice store) Pandrosou Street 64, Monastiraki - Athens (+30 21 0325 4186)
- Apivita Experience Store ( greek cosmetics), Solonos Street 6, Kolonaki - Athens (+30 21 0364 0560)
Place to eat:
- Dexameni (outdoor restaurant), Plateia Dexamenis, Kolonaki - Athens
Place for culture and night outs:
- Technopolis, Pireus Street 100, Gazi - Athens (+30 210 3475518)
- Gazi neighborhood
Greek Music to listen to: Tango with Lions - In a Bar