At least a dozen new places have popped up every time I return to Athens to see my family and friends. So much to see and do – so little time. Blame it on me being a creature of habit or growing old and lazy, most times it’s simply because I’ve discovered a handful of places that I truly enjoy that I rarely deviate from them.
If you’re visiting Athens, either for the first or hundredth time, these urban spots are always in my let’s-do-this list. [To-do lists can be a tad stressful when on holidays.]
Kythera (also transcribed Kythira) is a picturesque Greek island lying opposite the southeastern tip of Peloponnese, between the Greek mainland and Crete. Despite having fewer than 4,000 permanent residents, the small island is spangled with dozens of small villages, some consisting of only a handful of houses. After driving around the island for a couple days, there was a definite winner for me: Avlemonas.
Serifos is like an introductory class to the typical landscape of the Cyclades islands, a small group of Greek islands in the middle of the Aegean Sea, southeast of mainland Greece. The name refers to the islands around (κυκλάς) the sacred island of Delos.
Steep mountain slopes with low, scarce vegetation that end abruptly in mesmerizing blue sea. Long sandy beaches with nowhere to hide from the bright, ruthless Aegean sun but for a few tamarisk trees here and there. Low, square buildings in the unmistakable white and blue that sets Cyclades architecture apart and narrow unruly streets that resemble a maze. Continue Reading
Marseille felt effortless.
Marseille felt like going back home.
Bathed in sun and caressed by the sparkly Mediterranean sea that haunts the dreams of all south European expats, life in Marseille moves at its own slow, calculated, resilient pace despite being France’s second largest city after Paris. Continue Reading
What are weekends made for? Short escapades, you guessed right. This time we’re heading to Brussels, the capital of Belgium and beating heart of the European Union, to practice the ancient art of retrouvailles with an old uni friend.
First tip to visiting Brussels: Pack a Frenchie with great negotiations skills. You can thank me (and them) later.
For Brussels, I left the camera home as I did not want anything to stand between the city and me; I wanted to soak in the city vibes and focus on the details: the way people talk, walk, dress, drink, the different architecture styles, the smell of fresh waffles in the streets, the store fronts, the murals. Continue Reading
“Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.” ― Angela Carte
When I told my family and friends that I was going on a trip on my own, a short pause of silence always followed my statement. They would look at me with a mixture of suspicion and alarm. ‘Like, completely on your own?’, they would ask.
To put this in context (as translators and linguists often feel the need to do), I come from a culture where mundane instances of everyday life are often turned into opportunities for socialising and doing things on your own is usually looked down at as some sign that your social life (or mental health) is suffering. Didn’t I have a friend that would like to go with me? If I couldn’t find company why was I going in the first place?
Truth is sometimes the stars (along with friends’ schedules and budgets) do not align and one is faced with the following life-or-death question: How badly did you want to visit Copenhagen?