Wednesday, 20 February 2019

On a bright sunny Sunday...

Five weeks of storms with the odd reprieve, and last Sunday was just that, a bright, sunny day so we decided to go to Athens and walk around the roads at the base of the Acropolis.

Dionyssou Aeropagitou Avenue is our starting point, and there is an atmosphere of celebration in the air: everyone is out, strolling along, enjoying the good weather.

The Acropolis on our right



and street sellers, abound.

The Acropolis Museum on our left

next to it, one of the few remaining Art Deco buildings in Athens.

Some very nice buildings on this stretch

on our left, Philopappu Hill with the ancient Greek mausolum dedicated to Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes, sitting on top

a  limited view of the Roman theatre of Iridou Attikou

where the Athens festival takes place every summer

We can see a small section of the Acropolis on our right,

and if we turned right here, we would reach the entrance to the Acropolis.

But we continue straight ahead onto Apostolou Paulou Avenue. Normally, the crowds tend to thin out from now on, but not today - it's very busy

and the whole of this section is lined with street sellers.

You can see how thick the crowd is - I have never seen it like this before

A good view of the Acropolis from here

the Church of St Marina

with the tiny Byzantine church in its grounds.

We can also see the Athens Observatory from here. This is where we saw the most wonderful exhibition, The Theatre of Disappearance by Adrian Villar Rojas, 18 months ago. It was truly memorable.

We have now reached an area full of cafeterias

and they are heaving.

The next stretch is full of street sellers

which enhances the festive atmosphere on this rare, sunny day

which includes a Salepi seller.

We turn right into Adrianou Street

and reach Kuzina, one of our favourite restaurants,

 where we have a delicious lunch, and watch the world go by.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Wolf in sheep's clothing

We saw them piling out of the police klouva (cage - as in vehicle in which to cage dissenters) in Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, with their guns, tear gas cannisters, grenades and shields. We wondered where they were going as there did not seem to be anything going on.

Later on we saw them in Voulis Street marching in line.

We decided to follow them

and finally found them in Ermou Street, the busiest shopping street in Athens. We still could not figure out what was going on, why they were milling around in the midst of Saturday shoppers.

And then they took up their positions,

because the Threat had arrived: a small group of people asking for higher wages.

This is the repressive arm of the State, a State led by a government that calls itself  left-wing, a wolf in sheep's clothing.

What is really sad and depressing is that four years ago, SYRIZA would have been at the head of this small demonstration, demanding justice. They did not seek justice for long, as they were voted into power with their lies and deception and now all pretence about equality and justice and fairness has been abandoned and the order of the day is the violent repression of working people who are asking for some crumbs off the big cake that SYRIZA and their cronies are devouring.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

On the way to Skippers

A sunny day with a temperatures around 18oC, in a period characterised by storms, rain, high winds and intense cold, so we had to take advantage. We decided to go to Skipper's, one of our favourite places in the winter months.

On top of the hill, looking down at our beach which is situated at the end of our road. Deserted now, not even a winter swimmer in sight

except for a lone surfer - an unusual sight in our part of the world.

Quite a few winter swimmers, and some sun bathers on the free beach, however.

The promenade is surprisingly fairly empty today

the marina, which is where we're headed,  in the distance.

Part of the promenade is collapsing into the sea.

This was fixed a few years ago

but a slightly different section is slipping down into the sea now and has been doing so for over three years

Our mayor wants to have it fixed with local council funds, but central government is refusing to give the go-ahead. Does this make any sense? Why the refusal? After the other repairs had been carried out, with local funds, I need to emphasize, central government instigated court proceedings against our mayor. Were he to give the go-ahead for the current much-needed repairs, he would immediately be taken to jail, so understandably, he does not feel he can do anything without central government approval. So, this dangerous situation is left to deteriorate. The incompetence, narrow-mindedness and folly of the Greek government and bureaucracy, never cease to amaze me.

This promenade is one of the few places that people can go for a walk by the sea. Sure, there is the marina, but it's not open like this space is.

We have now reached the marina, and it's very pleasant walking around here. I read somewhere that it's the biggest marina in Southern Europe and I can well believe it - it's massive.

On our right, the marina administration offices.

We have reached the area where they launch the boats

so many boats, and when it's windy you get this other-worldly wailing from the masts, it always makes me think of the Banshee. But not today, when the sun is shining, and all is calm.

We have reached Skippers, and have managed to get a seat at the front so that we can have unimpeded views

of the boats

and this galleon. Called Varthalabau, it was constructed in 1980 and is the property of Skippers bar.  The deck consists of three levels. The stern and the bow are located higher than the middle section of the boat which features a gunwale at each side of the deck. The ship is equipped with eight fully operational iron cannons. The boat is equipped with two Diesel engines that allow it to sail. It  has participated in various events and re-enactments.

We have lunch here, and an ouzo and two hours later we walk back home.