My trip to Greece 2017 – Athens
Man playing his Laterna on Ermou Avenue in Athens Greece
Written by Bianca May 2020
I visit Europe quite often and Athens is the city I always stop for a few days in Greece, regardless of where I will be vacationing.
During this trip I took photos from my airplane window arriving at my birth city, the view is spectacular, and photographs do not always reflect that., However they are a nice reminder of past experiences. After landing and picking up my luggage I took a taxi to my hotel, the Museum Hotel in Bouboulinas Street, behind the Archaeological Museum, one of my favorite neighborhoods in Athens, during the taxi ride I took some photos from inside the cab.
After I rested, I took the Metro to Monastiraki and begun taking photographs of my walk. It is all reflected in the photographic gallery down bellow. From Monastiraki I walked up Ermou Avenue, took Evangelistria Street to Mitropoleos Square , walked by the Cathedral, and after over to Pandrosou Street, then I turned on Venizelou Street to the three way corner to visit my friend Stavros Dimos at his Jewellery store, “Dimos Jewellers”. We had an enjoyable chat as usual, I said good bye and walked back to Venizelou street, turned left on Pandrosou to the “Metropol café” my favorite café in Athens because my giagia (grandma) used to take us to have ice-cream when we were little.
Soon after my lovely brake I began walking on Pandrosou towards Aiolou street, and then Adrianou street to reach “Adrian’s Bibliotheque”, I passed the “Romaiki Agora” I then went back on Adrianou street, to Mitropoleos to arrive to Syntagma Square. Once there I turned right on Filellinon Avenue to photograph the building where my papou (grandpa) had the “American Bar” in partnership with his friend Themo. Unbelievable as it is the building is still standing but is totally boarded. I remember visiting papou on parade days and he would put the bar stools out for us to sit and gave us “Visinada” I used to love that. Memories…
Back to Syntagma Square, the view of the Hotel Grand Bretagne is spectacular, it brought memories of the chapter written about my father by Xrhstos Tsoukas, in his book “Hidden Treasures of Greece”; Xrhstos relates in this book how my father Dimitrios Ghikas, captain of the guerrilla during WWII, normally fighting in and around the Zagori in northern Greece, (he was an avid skier, spoke several languages and was an expert in explosives and detonated the bridge near Albania to delay the German invasion in WWII) was chosen to blast the Grand Bretagne Hotel at the time that heads of States of the allies were meeting, including Sir Winston Churchill. He went with his crew underground Athens and walked his way to the Hotel Gran Bretagne location and he was ready to install the bomb and prepare it for detonation when he noticed ancient tombs, this particular one was dedicated to the Goddess Demeter; my father could not install and detonate the bomb after this discovery because he venerated ancient culture and their sacred grounds.
My walk continued to the monument of the unknown soldier and the change of guard; the Greek Legislature stands right behind this monument. Then I begun my walk towards my hotel taking Panepistimiou Avenue, passing the National Library of Greece and the National Kapodistrian University of Athens. These building are incredibly beautiful they emanate knowledge; I just love it.
I walked straight to 28 Of October Avenue, it later turns in Patision Avenue, and at the corner of Patision Avenue and Marni Street sits the Archaeological Museum. This area is very dear to me, my grandparents lived at 22 Marni Street (the original building was demolished a few years ago and a new one was erected in its place) at the time of my birth and that of my sisters, mom and our nanny used to take us the park surrounding the Archaeological Museum on a daily basis. At night there used to be a night club on the park were major singers and performers used to act. , but during the day it was a great place for kids, there used to be a photographer with the old fashion tripod and black box camera, he took hundreds of pictures of us and until his death in the early seventies he still had our photographs attached to his camera. I met with the old photographer’s son, at that park in the summer of 1975 and he told me that his dad had passed and showed me our old photos.
So now I am back at my hotel, time to freshen up and get ready for my friends, Lilian and Makis Harokopou to come and pick me up, What a lovely evening, they took me to Lycabitos Mountain, the views from there are breathtaking, after that we went to their home in Kifissia, had an amazing evening and then it was time to part. The next morning I left Athens for Peloponnesus.