Monday 30 March 2015

A wonderful day

We had a wonderful time on Saturday. We went to Athens and walked around the areas that surround the Acropolis, the oldest parts of the city: Plaka, Monastiraki, Thisio, Psirri. We walked for hours, saw three exhibitions and had a delicious lunch.

We started with Lembessi Street which is near the Acropolis Museum.

Marnerigalerie was our first stop. If you look on the pavement by the railings in this photograph

you will see this ancient mosaic which has been preserved beautifully under glass

the pavement on the side of the gallery building.

As we left Lembessi Street we could see a section of the Acropolis Museum

which you can see here.

Pedestrianised Dionyssou Aeropagitou Avenue with the Acropolis on the right is a meeting point, always very busy especially at weekends - people like to wander and look at the sights.

We then headed towards Plaka starting with Byronos Street


which is full of shops and some beautifully restored neoclassical buildings


Leaving Byronos Street we entered a little square at the end of Lysikratous Street where the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, erected in 335 BC stands. In 1669 the hollow monument was acquired by a Capuchin convent and used as a library, when it became known as the Lantern of Diogenes.  It's a circular structure raised on a high square podium, and is the first Greek monument built in the Corinthian order on its exterior. Its frieze sculptures depict episodes from the myth of Dionysus.


Behind the Lantern of Diogenes is this neoclassical building with two statues on the roof

By the time we entered the shopping part of Adrianou Street it was raining, but not for long

Off White is a new bar


and I really liked the interior

with its beautifully preserved stone walls and painted blue and white ceiling


We walked down Pandrossou Street, arrived at Monastiraki Square (note the gorgeous Byzantine church) and then walked up Athinas Street to Kappatos Gallery where we saw the Martin Creed exhibition.

Retracing our steps we came back to Monastiraki square.


There was a political gathering in solidarity with the political prisoners who are on hunger strike. Twenty four people have been on hunger strike since the 2nd of March demanding: the appeal of the so-called 'koukoulonomos' where the police have the right to stop and search anyone wearing a hoodie; the abolition of Type C prisons which are designated for political activists; the abolition of DNA testing without consent; the ending of intimidation of the friends and relatives of political prisoners; and finally, the immediate release of Savvas Xiros, who has been a prisoner for 13 years.

A lot of people about, some demonstrators, some bystanders - impossible to tell which is which

Tzistrakis Mosque dominates Monastiraki Square. An Ottoman mosque, built in 1759, it now functions as an annex of the Museum of Greek Folk Art.


We then walked towards Abyssinias Square, where the flea market is


Up pedestrianized Apostolou Paulou where you can find all kinds of street sellers on both sides of the street.   We were on our way to Bernier/Eliades Gallery on Eptachalkou Street, a gallery we had not visited before. We wanted to see Robert Wilson's video portraits of Lady Gaga.


Another gorgeous neoclassical building painted in stylish grey

looking closer


This is a nice, quiet neighbourhood


I always look closely at the ironwork on the balconies

We found Eptachalkou Street where a church dominates
 looking closer

and then, next to it, this tiny church which is perching on a rock. There is also a large crucifix on a second rock

looking closer

the rest of the church does not look interesting at all but we were intrigued by the façade which is built on the rock.

Some of the buildings in this quiet neighbourhood are gorgeous


here's another one

this frieze decoration is stunning.

After the exhibition

we passed this little park


and walked to Psirri, a rundown area that became very fashionable a few years ago. The bars and tavernas were very popular for a while, and people used to flock here in the evenings.


The square is lovely


The rain had stopped by then, the sun was out and people were out sitting in the cafes enjoying the sunshine

We saw our third exhibition of the day, paintings by Nikos Kessanlis at the A. Antonopoulou gallery

and then we retraced our steps,

back towards Monastiraki

to Adrianou Street,

 and stopped at Kuzina for lunch

our food was delicious

I like this place, and I like the décor, even though we always choose to sit outside

note the waitress climbing down the stepladder.

They've refurbished the toilets, and this is where you wash your hands - interesting.

We then walked up the lower part of Ermou Str. which is quite rundown, but they have started restoring some of the old buildings

neoclassical style again,

this one is not finished yet,

such a shame about all the ugly graffiti tags

the pavements are full of stalls selling everything

from books


to clothes, bric-a-brac

and antiques.


We ended up back at Monastiraki Square, and it was time to go home.