When I moved here nine months ago, I envisioned Athens as this beautiful, old city. Her history visible on every corner, ruins lining every street. Boy, was I mistaken. Turns out Athens is just like every other modern city. Packed with high rise buildings and a history that’s all but forgotten by her citizens.
Yet I fell in love. With Athens. With Greece. With her history and her modern mindset. Nine months isn’t enough to see all of her beauty, but I’d like to share what I’ve seen so far!
In Athens you breathe history like smog
God of the Sea
The Greek people seem to have forgotten that their once proud nation was the birthplace of democracy, of modernity, of a legacy that lives on till this very day. Nowadays they grimace at the ruins of old Athens – tourist traps, nothing but a way to make money.
But the old ways did not die. A few months ago I shared a cab with a friend and the driver showed us the tattoo on his arm. “Greece is a religious country,” he told us, tracing the ink on his skin, “but there are those who still believe in the old Gods.”
“Poseidon,” he continued, nodding at the sea before us, “he is my God.”
We drove along the coast line and I stared at the blue waves beneath us. The sea is definitely one of the reasons I fell in love with this city. One moment you are in the busy center, and the next you hear nothing but the waves crashing on rocky shores. Peace and calm and chaos and turbulence. It’s a paradox, this city, and that’s a very reassuring thought.
Halfway through the Iliad
In Athens you breathe history like smog. It’s everywhere. I can see the Acropolis from my office, there are historic sites on every street corner, and even if you miss the actual ruins, you’ll damn sure find a keychain version of it in one of the many souvenir shops.
Stuff like this makes me wish I actually finished the course I took on Ancient Greece in Uni. I got to the Bronze age and halfway through the Iliad before circumstances forced me to stop. Perhaps I’ll take it up again… What better place to learn about Ancient Greece than Athens?
Guess who’s back?
So I’ll put that on my To-Do list. Right underneath “figuring out what to do with my life,” you know, the low-priority stuff. Anyway, I’m giving this blog another try. No regular updates, just me writing about the stuff that’s going on in my mind.
Hope you’ll like it 😉