athens

Greece #2 - Family holidays on Serifos

I was literally counting the days to return to Serifos, our beautiful cycladic gem island, and to meet Carolina and stay at her Yellow Side B&B again. This time, we visited Serifos as a family and both Ohad and me were wondering how it would work out to be on an island with a 3 year old for a week, without any entertainment except the beach and some donkeys and goats. Honestly, never would i have imagined that it would be so perfect. Alva was very excited to fly, stay in a hotel in Athens, take the metro and the ferry and finally stay at the Yellow Side.

We prepared him weeks before, telling him over and over again what would happen, what we would do, where we would stay. Over time, we found out that mentally preparing Alva for big events and changes long in advance is the best way to keep our family balanced and synced. A minimum of surprises and a similar schedule every day fits us best. So we thought it would be a good idea to try this routine recipe during our vacation as well. Straight from the first day on the island, we figured out the best everyday schedule for the week. Get up at 8:00am, having Carolina's amazing breakfast at 9:00am, then beach time till around 2:30pm (every day a different beach though), nap time till 4:30-5:00pm followed by cake & coffee and play time then at 6:30pm going out for one of the amazing greek restaurants and 8:30pm bed time for Alva. We kept this consistent during our whole stay and it worked wonders. You might think it is boring and doesn't sound like fun but i am convinced that this helped us having no frictions, everyone knew what's happening right now and what would happen next, we could concentrate on being together and appreciating each others company instead of getting lost into figuring out about the most exciting program for the day. 

At the beach, we read some books, collected stones and made some sand paintings, Alva climbed trees and learned about letters and numbers (his big interest of the moment).

The only surprise we had is that there was no ferry to Athens on the day we planned to get back (we were not prepared to the off season ferry schedule) and we ended up taking a cabin on a night ferry one day before, which was a big and cool adventure and gave us a whole day to get around Athens and enjoy this fascinating favorite european city of mine.

Thanks Carolina for this week of perfection, we will be back for sure!

The Yellow Side links (click on bolded text to open link) - facebook ::: airBnB ::: and on instagram @theyellowside

just saying...#12

...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:

Here is a map of Exarchia and the surrounding streets of the hostel:

Places to visit:

Place to eat:

  • Dexameni (outdoor restaurant), Plateia Dexamenis, Kolonaki - Athens

Place for culture and night outs:

  • TechnopolisPireus Street 100, Gazi - Athens (+30 210 3475518)
  • Gazi neighborhood

Greek Music to listen to: Tango with Lions - In a Bar