Travel: Athens

Thursday, 21 April 2011
The flight from London via Easyjet was surprisingly smooth. Parents with kids aged 5 and under were given priority boarding. The pilot gave an impressive performance landing the plane with nary a bump and was given a rousing applause by passengers.

Athens, as I remembered from 14 years ago is vastly different and in some ways, oddly similar. It is still as chaotic as ever with graffiti sprayed on any blank surfaces not witholding important ancient sites. Newly refurbished buildings with barely dried paint weren't spared either.

 athens - church

athens - church graffiti


Previously, it was mostly the Albanians seeking refuge and the families I knew would employ them as labourers at their orchards. These days, the new wave of immigrants come from Pakistan, Somalia and Iraq with dissimilar religious beliefs. I met a Pakistani immigrant who works near Thessaloniki but was on a short break with his friends in Athens. He told me that things aren't all that well in Greece especially with the recession. His firm used to employ 170 and recently retrenched all but 10. There are now well over 60 000 Pakistanis residing in Greece. When asked why his family settled in this country, he divulged that the educated ones would choose countries such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand whilst the rest had to make do with Greece and Spain.

Acropolis was a disappointment to say the least. The female officials at the Agora decided to shut the place down at 3pm without any explanation thereby closing the main route to the Acropolis. The young man at the ticket counter was mystified to find so many angry customers bearing down on him. After  much gesturing, shouting and the what I call "I don't give a damn" universal shrug, we were told to go through a different entry point only to be turned away and the whole process began again. By the time we managed to get to the Acropolis, it was almost it was late afternoon but the view from the top made it all worthwhile. As far as I can remember, the scaffolding is part of the relic attached to the Parthenon. At the rate they're going, it'll be another 50 years before the restoration is completed.

Silly me managed slip on a curb onto a busy road and sprain my ankle in full view of the cars. The great thing about traveling with a doctor is you'll never be short of medication, painkillers in particular.

athens - acropolis2


athens - view1


My nephew hates walking and if given the opportunity will gladly choose to vegetate in his stroller. My brother came up with an ingenious idea by telling the kids that the Agora and Acropolis are ancient playgrounds. The kids took off on a run and a field day climbing up and down the hill with their unfit parents save hubby who's very fit huffing and puffing trailing behind.

Athens - kids modeling shots


athens - L on hilltop2


Athens - Y & Z Acropolis

Little Brother with his son. My brother is one of those really cheerful individuals who wake up smiling and cracks jokes albeit REALLY strange ones all day long which I truly appreciate AFTER I have my coffee first.

athens - bread


athens - beggar


athens - corn

The kids decided to pretend that they were on a modeling shoot. Hmmm.... time to stop watching America's Next Top model when Little L's about.


athens - food restaurant plaka

The kids are like locusts and require food every hour. We decided to pop into this restaurant which apparently has been in business since 1895. Note the photo with a lady in white suit. She's Queen Sofia of Spain.

athens - food musicians


athens - food moussaka


athens - food gyros

Little Brother wanted to try the typical Greek cuisine meaning the standard fare - moussaka, gyros, stifado.


11 comments:

  1. Your niece and nephew are so cute ! And these pics are amazing !!

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  2. So glad that L and Z are such good playmates !!
    Hope your ankle is healing well to withstand heaps of walking . Love those fantastic photos !!!
    Do take care everyone . Have fun :D Love Mi
    p/s showed little La the pics and she proudly exclaimed my bapa ,my koko and L jiejie .

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  3. Thank you, Zanah for your lovely compliment about my photos. The two cuties can be a handful at times but thankfully, they're really good kids if I may say so myself.

    Mi, Good on Little La. Sounds like she hasn't missed the parents too much!

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  4. LoistheShrinkingWalrus21 April 2011 at 16:38

    How CUUUUUUUUTE is Little L!!!!!!!! You mean the kids weren't in a REAL photoshoot? I'm going to make sure Little A hangs out with Little L often so she can learn a few tricks ;)

    Great photos, as usual :) Glad to know the flight was uneventful. Enjoy your holiday and have a blast in Turkey. Can't wait to see more photos.

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  5. lol. Oh boy, does my kid know how to pose. She even acts as the creative director in her shots. How narcissistic is that??!

    Yup, can't wait for Turkey though I don't know how Y is going to survive the drive. He thinks Greek drivers are insane.

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  6. Hi, I just discovered your blog and Love it! I've never been to Greece yet (on the list for when the kids get older) but really enjoyed your pics! You have a new follower!

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  7. Make Mommy Chic, thank you for visiting my blog. Much appreciated. Greece and Italy are surprisingly easy to travel with the little ones. I've taken my daughter to both since she was 3. People here love kids so much that strangers stop to chat, smile and play with Little L and Little Z.

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  8. Hi ML,

    Got your blog address from your mom :). Seems like all of you are having a good time there, albeit the small travel hiccups. Love reading your travels and will check back often.

    Ah Tze

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  9. Hi Ah Tze, SA was just talking about you. You did an amazing job with their family photos. Thank you for visiting my blog. Send our regards to everyone at home.

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