Athens the capital city is in many ways the birthplace of Classical Greece and the cradle of Western civilization. As such, it is the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature and historiography as well as political science. Athens – related tο name of the goddess Athena – has been continuously inhabited for at least 7,000 years. So for a Norwegian who loves travelling, it has been on the top of my visiting list for a long time. I was lucky enough to be there this week together with my wife, combining EUCIP (European Certification of Informatics Professionals) business with pleasure. As always, we gladly take you along, so let’s start with an overview and landmarks:
The Athenian Acropolis is the ancient high city of Athens, a prominent plateau rock perched high above the modern city with commanding views and an amazing array of ancient architecture, mostly from the Classical period of Ancient Greece, the most famous of which is the Parthenon.
Historical monuments from centuries back:
The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by a number of ancient monuments and works of art:
Athens retains a vast variety of Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of remaining Ottoman monuments projecting the city’s long history across the centuries:
The city also contains a variety of different architectural styles, ranging from Greco-Roman, Neo-Classical, to modern. Many of the most prominent buildings of the city are either Greco-Roman or neo-classical in style:
Left: The National Library – Right: The Academy of Athens.
Walk in the Urban life and architecture:
Athens offers some great urban walking. Several major streets have been recently pedestrians, and a mostly car-free archaeological walk has been implemented connecting the Acropolis and nearby sites. We had a pleasant afternoon and evening walking around the Plaka and Kolonaki districts:
Walking stairs and narrow streets.
The Greece cuisine:
It reflects the Mediterranean style of cooking and diet. Fruits and fresh vegetables play an important role in making some of the most well flavoured and colourful Greek delicacies. Among them garlic, onions, fennel, zucchini, grapes, apples, dates and figs are widely used. Seasonings and herbs like dill, mint and oregano and lemon rind also form an important part of the recipes. Lamb is very common, of course moussaka the national dish is well known but the fish dishes are the best ones as Greece is a country surrounded by the sea and fishing is a main factor of the Greek agriculture. As a Norwegian and lover of seafood, I had to try when we where eating at the Plaka districts together with some Spanish EUCIP colleagues:
At an outdoor restaurant on a pedestrian stair walk.
Left: Kalamarakia (squids) and the Greek beer Mythas – Right: Tsipoura (sea bream)
Oslo Blog Gathering 2010.
We were only in the beautiful city of Athens for three days. I even attended a business conference in that period, but we really had a lot of good experiences and a feeling of a vacation. Like Oslo, the center of Athens is very compact and easily available on foot or by public transportation. We took a bus sightseeing trip to get an idea of where the important monuments were and the distance between them, and then we were able to pick and choose what was most important for us. This is really a good example of how one can have a lot of great experiences in a compact period of time, much like the planned Oslo Blog Gathering in 2010. So remember to click and check out the plan and maybe you will enjoy a similar experience with us as your host.