late honeymoon

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

Greece #1 - Serifos and the Yellow Side B&B

Sometime last spring, we decided to make a late honeymoon in Serifos, Greece. We picked this island mostly because Ohad has been there a few years ago and always told me how beautiful it is. I had never been to Greece before and always wanted to visit, so it sounded like a great plan. And we were so right!

The island is a bit more than 2 hours away from Athens by ferry in the western Cyclades. Serifos is also called the island of the 1000 churches, although there is "only" about 300 of them. If you count that there is about 800 people leaving the whole year around on the island (the rest of the remaining 800 people are leaving during winter time), that makes 1 church for every 2.6 inhabitant, oh and i forgot to say that the island is 75.21 square kilometer big...You got the picture, lots and lots of beautiful white little churches with blue roofs. Till the 1960-ies, the island had busy iron mines. Then they probably shut down quite suddenly because on the southern part of Serifos, where the landscape is reddish-brown stone, there is rusty cars, bridges, rails and machines laying around aging slowly. I climbed up the hill to explore some of the ruins closer and was amazed to find some leather pouches and tools on the floor and wondering how fast the workers must have left to leave everything behind. On the top of hill above the port is the Chora - the traditional village, nested in the rock. When the sun goes down over Serifos, the last rays are always staying there a little longer, illuminating the Chora and making it shine while everything else is already welcoming the night.

Serifos is beautiful. But in the end what made our holiday truly amazing was Carolina and her Yellow Side B&B (link is in the bolded text). Her house is overlooking the bay and the harbour and has a small 2 room dependance, where we stayed. Everything about the Yellow Side is bright and warm and welcoming. The place is filled with calm good energy. The house is swallowing the sunlight and breathing with the waves. In the morning, Carolina makes delicious breakfast for her guests on the porch of her house (including the best lemon cake!). A lot of the things on the table are homemade or from local farmers that produce so much good stuff, like honey, chili, olives, cheese, capers, herbs, fruits. 

We rented a scooter and laid on the beach the whole day, just swimming, collecting beautiful stones, reading and doing nothing. Dolce far niente. Exactly what we needed. Yes, we are spoiled brats ;-)

Here are a few pictures for you: