Tuesday 25 March 2014

Not as planned....

We decided to visit the Benaki Museum on Pireos Street last Wednesday but found it closed when we got there. I managed to get in and found someone who told me that the museum was now closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 'Are things that bad now?' I asked him. 'Worse than you could possibly imagine', was his answer. The Benaki, with 5 annexes in Athens, each catering for different kinds of art, is for me, the best museum in the city - it's the equivalent of the Tate in Britain. That it should be closed for 3 days a week is a tragedy, particularly as tickets for individual exhibitions cost between three and five euros - not an excessive amount, but then, who am I to judge?

So instead we walked along the railway lines on to the plateia in Gazi, across Odos Pireos up Irakleidon Street which affords good views of the Acropolis

and came up to Apostolou Paulou Street, which is full of cafes, bars and restaurants as well as a few remaining Neo-Classical buildings like the two above

loads of people about, lots of street sellers and Lycabettus hill in the distance


it's a nice area to walk around in as there's lots to see

We walked through Adrianou Street and came to Monastiraki, this dilapidated building being our destination

Metamatic:taf gallery, that I discovered last time we were in Greece - you can see more about it here

the courtyard with the café looks very different in winter, due to the tent that is erected above

One of the exhibitions that was one was Favela by Stigma Squad

and like last time, the building just bawled me over.

Back in the courtyard, up the stairs

and the second exhibition, Up by Create An Accident


Up being the appropriate word as the whole of the exhibition was installed on the ceiling, with cushions on the floor so that one could lie down and look up

the café looked good from the first floor


and the weathered terracotta roof tiles looked fabulous

We then walked back to Adrianou Street for a delicious lunch at Kuzina


it was still very early so most tables were empty

but we enjoyed people watching


as well as train watching - look at all that graffiti

and views of the Acropolis.

After lunch we walked towards Syntagma square and our bus, and saw another beautiful Neo-Classical building on Adrianou Street

part of the ancient Agora


the old Mosque which is a museum now

the mosque again

Monastiraki square which is always full of people since the recent restructuring, with the old Byzantine church at the end of it.


  1. Certainly a pity about the Benaki. Is that mosque in Monastiraiki the Museum of Textiles? Thinking back to the mid 80s there was a textile museum thereabouts, but it was closed when I visited. In those days being open or closed was based on a whim!

    1. It's the Folk Art Museum, Olga, and I think this must be the one you mean as I don't know of any museums specifically exhibit textiles: this one is textiles, ceramics and jewellery, I think, but I have never been inside. Maybe it's time I did.

      Were the 80s the last time you came to Greece?

      By the way, I followed your suggestion/ hint/ advice, don't know what to call it and made nerantzies marmalade yesterday - delicious. So, thanks for that.

  2. Eirene, I think you are right. I was remembering it as a textiles museum, but I think it was simply the textiles that I particularly wanted to see.
    1985 was the last time I was in Athens, for my brother's wedding - and we went to a fantastic concert by Miles Davis! My last visit to Greece was in 2009 when I brought my mother back from Thessaloniki when she had had a stroke.
    I'm delighted that the oranges went to a good use!

    1. So you still have family in Greece... I knew you had looked after your mother, but did not know that you actually went to Thessaloniki and brought her back. That must have been very distressing.

      I will make a confession now: I have never been to Thessaloniki, isn't it outrageous? I don't know how it's happened, and why I have done nothing to remedy the situation, but there you go....