Saturday, April 16, 2022

April 12th-13th – A Room With a View in Athens

Athens is the kind of city that looks great from some angles, and fairly unimpressive from others. Rather than focusing on the grime and graffiti, you can concentrate on views of the few classical splendours and architectural marvels that have survived the millennia.

Our highlight was a wonderful lunch at the rooftop restaurant in the Hotel Grand Bretagne – Athens’s most venerable hotel. The food and company were wonderful, but the backdrop just couldn’t be beaten – a stunning view across to the sublime Acropolis overlooking the sprawling city below it.

Our couple of days here were all about trying to see Athens at its best – enjoying the choreographed theatrics of the Changing of the Guard in Syntagma Square; sampling the grand Neo-Classical buildings of 19th century Athens once it had become the capital of independent Greece (the University, the National Library, the Academy of Arts); and even doing a pleasant walk around the waterfront in Piraeus (a place that sometimes finds it hard to look good!).

When you travel the world, you get to choose which view of a city you take away with you – it’s much more pleasant to accentuate the positive.