Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Downtown Athens

Last week we went to Athens and visited an area who had not been to for quite some time. We started from Syntagma Square - you can see the Houses of Parliament in the distance.

We moved on to Karageorgi Tis Servias Street - Ken is eating a koulouri which he bought in Syntagma Square.

On the corner with Nikis Str. is Matsouka, the best nut and dried food store in Athens. They have several branches - this is one that sells chocolates.

It's all jewellery shops in the first section of this street, exclusively so. Zoulovitz is one of the oldest ones and sells mainly gold jewellery.

This one sells charms, and as this is Greece, there's lots to ward off the evil eye.

This one sells beads. There are several shops like that here, and when I used to make jewellery, this is where I used to come to buy beads.

The second part of the street is dedicated to selling fabrics

including fabric for curtains.

This used to be the commercial centre of Athens, and is still is, except that bars have started creeping in. A few years ago the area started becoming the place where trendies wanted to come and have a drink and all around bars have started springing up - in the evenings the place is heaving.

Basically, the area is being gentrified, and soon, all the shops will be gone, replaced by bars and expensive boutiques.

That's a new one!

At the end of Karagiorgis Tis Servias, is Aiolou Street. Coming here was the main reason for this particular visit to Athens as we wanted to buy an ice bucket. I thought this would be the best place to come, as it used to be full of kitchen shops. Last time we came here, a few years ago, most kitchen shops had been replaced by bars and restaurants, but there were still a few. This time, not a single one. It's all bars and restaurants, and because it's been pedestrianised, most people sit outside when the weather permits.

In the midst of all the bars, a shop selling religious paraphernalia

near this church.

In front of the church, this sculpture, which looks like it might be the work of Fasianos.

Next to the church, a small chapel

and next to that, another shop selling icons and other religious items.

These street musicians were very good and they were having such fun.

Another lot further down

We were getting near the end of Aiolou, 

and could see the Acropolis in the distance

This shop sign made me laugh: 'the Elmaloglou fabric shop is only here,  and nowhere else'.

We had reached the Monastiraki area, which is full of tourist shops: giant penises are popular (!) at the moment. 

We come here often. This is the ancient Agora

More cafes and bars

more tourist shops

Interesting gate at the entrance of this chapel

We walked past the old mosque which is a museum of folk culture now

and entered Adrianou Street, which again, is full of bars and restaurants.

We used to come to this bar a lot years ago, before it got gentrified. 

Basically, Greeks like three things the most: their cars, coffee and cigarettes (even though there's been a reduction of cigarette smoking in the last few years)

Bars fulfill the need for the last two

A church and the Athens Observatory in the distance

We turned right into a side street to go to Mon Coin to look at their ceramics exhibition

and then re-joined Adrianou Street.

The flea market was moved out of the area a few years ago, and now, some sellers exhibit their wares here

Past Diego

and its interesting seating.

And we ended up at Kuzina where we had a delicious lunch and people watched.

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