Saturday 19 August 2017

A trip to Athens

We like walking through the National Garden in Athens whenever possible.

We were in the middle of a heatwave last week, so walking in the shade was extremely welcome.

The dappled light was a blessing after the relentless beating of the sun

this old tree sits between the toilets

absolutely enormous trunk and roots

We passed the garden's botanical museum

past the café.

I have never sat here, but it always looks so cool and inviting

one more photograph of this cool and relaxing space.

Just outside the gates stood this euzonas. Historically they were light infantry and mountain units of the Greek army. Today they are members of the Presidential Guard, a ceremonial unit that guards the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the presidential mansion. The unit is known for its uniform which has evolved from the clothes worn by the klephtes who fought the Ottoman occupation of Greece.

He did not even blink as I took this photograph.

A few metres up the road we came upon this klouva, (translated as cage), a police van used for arresting dissidents. There's been one parked here ever since I can remember. The so-called left-wing Syriza government had these removed when they first came to power, but now, unfortunately, everything is back to normal.

There was absolutely no need for this on the day we were in Athens as there were no demonstrations, but it's always parked here, as a reminder and a warning ...

We walked past the Cycladic Museum

across the road another klouva,

and arrived at the Byzantine Museum which was our destination.

After the exhibition we were ready for some lunch and chose Philippou as its cool interior was a welcome break from the heat.

The heat and the fact that a lot of people are away, meant that it was very quiet

like a lot of traditional tavernas you can see the kitchen and all of the 'magirevta' translated as cooked dishes (as opposed to grilled meats and fish) are on display which makes choosing easy

It's one of our favourite places, good food and good atmosphere.

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