Athens, Greece

The City That Perpetuates the Metropolis

The church of Saint Demetrius Loumbardiaris
Changing of the Guard at Syntagma Square
Two Greek Ages
Figures of Time
hellenic shaft
Discussion with Acropolis View
Hellenic Winds
The Old Panathenaic Stadium
Clogs, skirts and pompoms
The Great Port of Piraeus
Greek Corner
Athenian twilight
After three and a half millennia, Athens resists and prospers. From a belligerent city-state, it became the capital of the vast Hellenic nation. Modernized and sophisticated, it preserves, in a rocky core, the legacy of its glorious Classical Era.

Like any other foreigner who enters the Greek capital, we feel the expected anxiety of admiring its most iconic set of monuments.

Fences near the Akropoli metro station prevent us from seeing it.

Even dazzled by the intense light of the almost Mediterranean summer, we noticed an unexpected sign, we reoriented ourselves and advanced along the southern slope of the plateau that housed the ancient citadel.

We wander into a forest of olive trees, stone pines and cedars. The Dionysiou Areopagitou trail reveals secrets kept by the foliage and time: the Roman cistern, the access road to the amphitheater Odeon of Herodes Atticus, hidden by the vegetation.

After the junction with via Rovertou Galli, the Sacred Church of San Demetrius Loumbardiaris, isolated in a providential clearing.

An Orthodox-Christian Morning

On this Sunday morning, life germinates like never before in the Acropolis forest. Being the orthodox Lord's Day of the week, the priest of the temple has hardly enough hands for the planned baptisms.

Believers, family members and guests enter the chapel, all of them in a trademark elegance that contrasts with the ascetic blackness of the priest.

Light candles.

This reinforces the light that yellows the images of saints and martyrs that adorn the brick walls.

When a new baptism leaves the temple to the pine cone, we feel in excess. We are back outside, green and fresh. And to the starting point.

A few meters to the south, the prison of Socrates remains, so named because it is believed that the philosopher was held there before his trial and execution by poisoning, in 399 BC, accused of rejecting the gods praised by Athens and of morally corrupting youth from the city.

We reverse. we get in the way Theories. Moments later, we find the plaque that exposes the sermon that the Apostle Paul gave to the Council and Supreme Court that functioned on the same hill of Ares that we were looking for.

It was 51 years after the birth of Jesus Christ. Paul spoke determined to make the Athenians exchange the idolatry in their idols for the Faith in God and the Savior. Some time later, as we had just seen in the Sacred Church of Saint Demetrius Loumbardiaris, his intention would be fulfilled.

The trail that leads to the rugged top of Areopagus proves to be slippery.

At last balanced and stable, we let ourselves be dazzled by what the hill reveals to us.

Acropolis of Athens, and the View to Classical Greece

To the east, highlighted above a wave of vegetation, overshadowed by dense but white clouds, loomed the Acropolis: the Parthenon temple, the sanctuary of Zeus, the temple of Athena and other sanctuaries and buildings that make up the historical core of Athenian civilization. .

A front of houses almost as white as the clouds invaded the adjacent forest.

It allowed us to understand what surrounded the Acropolis in almost all other directions: the modern houses of contemporary Athens, home to more than 600.000 citizens, if considered a mere municipality.

More than three million, if we take into account the urban area that surrounds it and that fills the region of Attica.

Satisfied with the new achievement, we returned to the foot of the Acropolis.

Plaka and the Neighboring and Discordant Neighborhoods of Athens

We point to the annexed and almost pedestrian neighborhood of Plaka, the best preserved in the Greek capital, a picturesque and colorful part of Athens that lifts the veil to what any visitor to Greece will find on the Greek islands of the Aegean and Ionian Seas.

There we come across a first showcase, not touristy at all, of the alphabet, architecture, gastronomy, moussakas, fasoladas, the other smells, colors and even tones of voices characteristic of the Hellenic nation.

This, noting that Crete to Macedonia, such characteristics multiply and differentiate in countless variants.

In the less polished times of the 70s, instead of cafes and restaurants, souvenir shops and the like, the Plaka neighborhood concentrated Athens' nightlife, full of suspicious and noisy nightclubs and nightclubs.

Too noisy and repellent for the reception strategy that the authorities outlined, aiming for a pleasant and harmonious city, grandiose, up to the age-old heritage that almost all outsiders yearned to contemplate.


This time, the authorities got the upper hand. Such triumphs are not always easy in Athens.

Echárchia, an Always Dissatisfied and Leftist Dominion

From what we know, over time, the Athenians – especially their young students – became contentious and irascible. Satisfied with the bougainvillea, the stairs, the terraces and the cheerful decorations of Plaka, we let ourselves go.

We move on to the neighborhoods of Monastiraki and Echárchia.

The streets become darker, dirtier and oppressive. Creative murals give way to fight paintings. We cannot remember any other place on Earth with such a concentration of graffitied protests.

For a long time now, Echárchia has welcomed the city's out of touch and nonconformist souls and minds. It preserves an old reputation as a leftist, socialist, anti-fascist and often anarchist stronghold. Unsurprisingly, it also became the preferred domain of Athenian intellectuals and creators.

During the 2008-2009 financial crisis, when Greece succumbed to its gigantic debt, suffered opposition from the countries of northern Europe and found itself in the controlling arms of the IMF, Echárchia and its residents and children, remained more active than Never.

Greece is still struggling to get around these times. She is guided, as always, by the European City of Wisdom and Reason. The city of Socrates, Pericles, Sophocles and Plato.

And of Athenian democracy, the form of government that allows the people of Echarchia, Monastiraki, Akadimia and beyond, to disagree, debate and often even – facts beyond any value judgment – ​​to exaggerate and damage Athens and the Greek state.

Ascent to the Historic Heights of the Acropolis

As a tribute to the respectful form of government in which we had the privilege of growing up, we undertake a new ascension. We had already admired the Acropolis from a distance. It was time for us to attend.

We go around the plateau again, this time along the Peripatos path, and along its northern foothills. We go up through the Portico Beulé, to the terrace between the temple of Athena Nice and the Monument of Agrippa.

We cross the monumental entrance to the Propylaea. The Doric and Ionic columns of the supreme temple of Athena, ordered by Pericles, appear.

At the opposite end of the plateau, in front of the Temple of Rome and Augustus, we notice that the stripes on a visitor's T-shirt almost emulate the blue and white stripes on the Greek flag.

We approach the wall that surrounds the rocky platform.

From there, we go back to praising the endless dirty white houses of Athens, as if pierced by the forested protuberance of Mount Lycabettus (277m), the zenith of the city.

And the Conquest of Mount Lycabettus, the Zenith of Athens

We would also conquer it, cheating on the convenient funicular that departs from half a hill in the Dexameni district.

Athens may not have seven hills, like Rome, the rival of the Classical Era, or like Lisbon. It has, however, ups and downs that keep us exercised, eager to mussaka and Hellenic specialties that are equally or more caloric.

The view from Mount Lycabettus reveals part of the old Panathenaic stadium, site of the pioneering Olympic Games of the Modern Era, in 1896. It reveals the north face of the Acropolis.

And, halfway down, the surreal view of the Parthenon overlooking a community of buildings carved into dozens of flowery balconies, protected from the sun by matching white and cream awnings.

Syntagma Square and the Most Famous Choreography in the City

Without quite knowing how, the descent leaves us at Syntagma Square.

We enter the political and social core of Athens and, consequently, of Greece, where, since 1934, the Parliament occupies the old, sumptuous and neoclassical Royal Palace, surrounded by the national gardens.

Over there, next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Presencial Guard carries out a unique changing of the guard, Greek and Hellenic to the very marrow of the bones. military who have the privilege to execute it.

The choreography is repeated from hour to hour. Lucky, we have little to wait.

Soldiers protected from the sun by caps with pendants, tucked into black-gold waistcoats, in white tunics-skirts that sway above high stockings and ocher shoes, with pom-pom tips, repeat steps, standing upright and angled shotgun.

One towards the other and then back to their lairs.

After the ceremony, in a marathon of exploration that we insisted on winning, we passed by Hadrian's Arch and the Olympic Temple of Zeus that Hadrian dedicated to the Father of the Greek Gods.

The next morning, we set sail from the port of Piraeus to the archipelago of the Cyclades.

Aware of the urgency of the return and of how much Athens still had to unveil.

Mykonos, Greece

The Greek Island Where the World Celebrates Summer

During the 1960th century Mykonos was once just a poor island, but by XNUMX Cycladic winds of change transformed it. First, at the main gay shelter in the Mediterranean. Then, at the crowded, cosmopolitan and bohemian vanity fair that we find when we visit.
Iraklio, CreteGreece

From Minos to Minus

We arrived in Iraklio and, as far as big cities are concerned, Greece stops there. As for history and mythology, the capital of Crete branches without end. Minos, son of Europa, had both his palace and the labyrinth in which the minotaur closed. The Arabs, the Byzantines, the Venetians and the Ottomans passed through Iraklio. The Greeks who inhabit it fail to appreciate it.
Thira Santorini, Greece

Fira: Between the Heights and the Depths of Atlantis

Around 1500 BC a devastating eruption sank much of the volcano-island Fira into the Aegean Sea and led to the collapse of the Minoan civilization, referred to over and over again as Atlantis. Whatever the past, 3500 years later, Thira, the city of the same name, is as real as it is mythical.
Nea Kameni, Santorini, Greece

The Volcanic Core of Santorini

About three millennia had passed since the Minoan eruption that tore apart the largest volcano island in the Aegean. The cliff-top inhabitants watched land emerge from the center of the flooded caldera. Nea Kameni, the smoking heart of Santorini, was born.
Chania to Elafonisi, Crete, Greece

A Crete-style Beach Trip

Discovering the Cretan west, we left Chania, followed the Topolia gorge and less marked gorges. A few kilometers later, we reach a Mediterranean corner of watercolor and dream, that of the island of Elafonisi and its lagoon.
Chania, Crete, Greece

Chania: In the West of Crete's History

Chania was Minoan, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Venetian and Ottoman. It got to the present Hellenic nation as the most seductive city in Crete.
Balos a Seitan Limani, Crete, Greece

The Bathing Olympus of Chania

It's not just Chania, the centuries-old polis, steeped in Mediterranean history, in the far northeast of Crete that dazzles. Refreshing it and its residents and visitors, Balos, Stavros and Seitan have three of the most exuberant coastlines in Greece.

Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Prayer flags in Ghyaru, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 4th – Upper Banana to Ngawal, Nepal

From Nightmare to Dazzle

Unbeknownst to us, we are faced with an ascent that leads us to despair. We pulled our strength as far as possible and reached Ghyaru where we felt closer than ever to the Annapurnas. The rest of the way to Ngawal felt like a kind of extension of the reward.
Colonial Church of San Francisco de Assis, Taos, New Mexico, USA
Architecture & Design
Taos, USA

North America Ancestor of Taos

Traveling through New Mexico, we were dazzled by the two versions of Taos, that of the indigenous adobe hamlet of Taos Pueblo, one of the towns of the USA inhabited for longer and continuously. And that of Taos city that the Spanish conquerors bequeathed to the Mexico: Mexico gave in to United States and that a creative community of native descendants and migrated artists enhance and continue to praise.
lagoons and fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
Ceremonies and Festivities

Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
Entrance to Dunhuang Sand City, China
Dunhuang, China

An Oasis in the China of the Sands

Thousands of kilometers west of Beijing, the Great Wall has its western end and the China and other. An unexpected splash of vegetable green breaks up the arid expanse all around. Announces Dunhuang, formerly crucial outpost on the Silk Road, today an intriguing city at the base of Asia's largest sand dunes.

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Efate, Vanuatu, transshipment to "Congoola/Lady of the Seas"
Efate, Vanuatu

The Island that Survived “Survivor”

Much of Vanuatu lives in a blessed post-savage state. Maybe for this, reality shows in which aspirants compete Robinson Crusoes they settled one after the other on their most accessible and notorious island. Already somewhat stunned by the phenomenon of conventional tourism, Efate also had to resist them.

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Great Ocean Road, Australia

Ocean Out, along the Great Australian South

One of the favorite escapes of the Australian state of Victoria, via B100 unveils a sublime coastline that the ocean has shaped. We only needed a few kilometers to understand why it was named The Great Ocean Road.
Navala, Viti Levu, Fiji
Navala, Fiji

Fiji's Tribal Urbanism

Fiji has adapted to the invasion of travelers with westernized hotels and resorts. But in the highlands of Viti Levu, Navala keeps its huts carefully aligned.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Victoria Falls, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Zambezi
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwee

Livingstone's Thundering Gift

The explorer was looking for a route to the Indian Ocean when natives led him to a jump of the Zambezi River. The falls he found were so majestic that he decided to name them in honor of his queen
Principe Island, São Tomé and Principe
Príncipe, São Tomé and Principe

Journey to the Noble Retreat of Príncipe Island

150 km of solitude north of the matriarch São Tomé, the island of Príncipe rises from the deep Atlantic against an abrupt and volcanic mountain-covered jungle setting. Long enclosed in its sweeping tropical nature and a contained but moving Luso-colonial past, this small African island still houses more stories to tell than visitors to listen to.
Correspondence verification
Winter White
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Mahé Ilhas das Seychelles, friends of the beach
Mahé, Seychelles

The Big Island of the Small Seychelles

Mahé is the largest of the islands of the smallest country in Africa. It's home to the nation's capital and most of the Seychellois. But not only. In its relative smallness, it hides a stunning tropical world, made of mountainous jungle that merges with the Indian Ocean in coves of all sea tones.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Impressions Lijiang Show, Yangshuo, China, Red Enthusiasm
Natural Parks
Lijiang e Yangshuo, China

An Impressive China

One of the most respected Asian filmmakers, Zhang Yimou dedicated himself to large outdoor productions and co-authored the media ceremonies of the Beijing OG. But Yimou is also responsible for “Impressions”, a series of no less controversial stagings with stages in emblematic places.
UNESCO World Heritage

icy blue planet

They form at high latitudes and/or altitudes. In Alaska or New Zealand, Argentina or Chile, rivers of ice are always stunning visions of an Earth as frigid as it is inhospitable.
Zorro's mask on display at a dinner at the Pousada Hacienda del Hidalgo, El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico
El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico

Zorro's Cradle

El Fuerte is a colonial city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. In its history, the birth of Don Diego de La Vega will be recorded, it is said that in a mansion in the town. In his fight against the injustices of the Spanish yoke, Don Diego transformed himself into an elusive masked man. In El Fuerte, the legendary “El Zorro” will always take place.
View of Casa Iguana, Corn islands, pure caribbean, nicaragua
Corn Islands - Islas del Maíz , Nicaragua

pure caribbean

Perfect tropical settings and genuine local life are the only luxuries available in the so-called Corn Islands or Corn Islands, an archipelago lost in the Central American confines of the Caribbean Sea.
Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
On Rails
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.