You’ve heard it on the radio, you seen it on tv; Athens is where you need to be. The land of eternal sunshine is a year round all-star burning an incandescent orange-red. From the glorious history to the spectacular beaches and all the gyros you can eat, Greece is the name of the game.
You may’ve seen the Acropolis, and you’ve possibly seen the Panathenaic stadium. You may’ve probably even eaten a gyro back home. But we’re pretty sure you haven’t experienced true Greek culture if you haven’t taken in a few of these assorted events. They are the quintessence of Greece, and like everything truly transcendent and visceral it is good and/nor bad. It is what it is. Plus, you can go back home and regale your friends with exciting stories as you hold court in some dingy pub. You’ll be drinking out of that one for months.
- Demos: I won’t wax lyrical, but the reality is that demonstrations are an everyday part of Greece. Even before the proverbial faecal matter hit the ventilation system things were just as rowdy. The truth is that a demonstration can turn into a riot faster than you can say ‘kalimera’, and even though things are unlikely to turn truly nasty, chances are you’ll probably have to scurry along. But fret not. You may make new friends, or even more. It’s been long said that demos in Greece are where many young people find their significant other. So much so, that it’s turned into somewhat of an insider joke. Yeah, Greeks love to protest. Even if its just 5 dudes and a guy on a speaker.
- The Farmers Market (or laiki): Theres a reason you can’t access your usual way to work on a given day every week. You’ll see trucks and carts and loads of people walking around what seems like a rolling fair. It’s the laiki agora, and every neighborhood has one. It is where you get to buy all that awesome nutritious (and pesticide free) produce. It’s also where you get to catch up on that week’s gossip.
- Graffiti and street art: In what can only be described as a total alignment, Athens is the last bastion of freedom for graffiti. ‘Graphein’ is the word for writing in Greek (of course it is) and graffiti is in fact a Greek concept. The first Greek writer in New York was Taki 183 (Dimitris if you will), ergo, when in Greece do as the Greeks would and leave your mark on one of the city’s modern walls (please don’t write or etch on antiquities). That is, if you can find a bit that hasn’t been painted already. In case you haven’t latched on, Greece is the mecca of graffiti and street art, and the sheer amount and penetration is staggering. 5 Pointz has nothing on this town.
Athens is steeped in history, with long traditions and even longer names. The things that bind together the people of this land under one sun are friendship, food and living a full and happy life. Oh and the occasional riot.