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:

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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.
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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:
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Hadrian’s Arch

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:
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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:
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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:
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Walking stairs and narrow streets.
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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:
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At an outdoor restaurant on a pedestrian stair walk.
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Left: Kalamarakia (squids) and the Greek beer Mythas – Right: Tsipoura (sea bream)

Oslo Blog Gathering 2010.

visitOSLOWe 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.


  1. Oh I just loved Athens! I have been there several times and loved walking the streets and visiting the shops. My favorite Moussaka is so enjoyable too. Glad you and Diane had a good time!

  2. Hi!
    I wish I will go to this places one day. Its hard to find a car free places nowadays. I will remember to bring a very good camera with me. What camera do you used? Great pictures.

    I mostly used my Nokia Coolpix S2 cam. Thanks for the compliment!

  3. Lovely photos Renny! I can’ t wait to travel soon to Greece. Odd and I have been making plans in travelling to Athens to visit a dearest friend.

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  6. Oh now that trip was a real treat and I bet the weather was all so perfect! I was just thinking about travels. Maybe a business of my own will help with that… Otherwise I’m grounded for a while…

    Lovely pics! I love the one of “walking the stairs”.. :)

    Next week we move into a more sensible living arrangement. It’s been a long while!

  7. I imagine the good time you had with Diane visiting Athens!!! It is a place I will really visit one day! It is a so rich culture!! And the food! I love Moussaka and seafood!!! I thing you had the best Ouzo!!!

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  9. Gorgeous pictures!

    I visited Greece in 1997 or 98 I believe and I remember it was quite foggy and grey over Athens.

    I remember being so confused by the alphabet… in the back of our mind, we are used to reading latin letters, even if written in a foreign language.

    I hope you enjoyed the food, I have excellent memories of it.

  10. I adore Greek food and on planning my trip to Oslo, I am going to arrange extra time to visit those places I’ve read about in your blog along with others’.

    I can’t wait!

  11. I’ve read a lot about Greece and Athens and would like to see it someday. Thanks for sharing your photos with us, Renny.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend! :-)

    Love and hugs,


  12. Thanks for sharing, Renny.

    Long time since my last visit to Athens.

    Have a good weekend,

  13. Besides the Acropolis and the little streets around, I found Athenes a rather ugly city. Except the tube, that’s a beauty and worthwhile to take !! It’s like a museum there are lots of antiques exposed in there.

  14. This makes me envious! :-)

  15. Renny, you don’t know how lucky you and Diane are to be able to travel like this! As I said to Tor, it is through you that I get to see these places! My husband was in Greece in the 70’s when it was dirt cheap and he was a very young student.
    No snow here yet, but my husband has already gone to the ski swap to pick up brand new Solomon boots for ski-skating at a good price of $275 CDN. (They were $375) He can’t wait for snow!

  16. OMF – thanks to EUCIP you have brought us to several different historical places around Europe.
    This comment will be short. due to very special event, you know….

  17. I’m gald you enjoyed Athens as much as I did last time I was there in August. It’s such a beautiful place and is rich in history, and would like to go back again.

  18. I love your photos! You reminded me of the time that my family and I visited Athens back in 2005, as a graduation present for me for finishing my undergraduate education. Athens was such as beautiful city that I was drunk with the sights and sounds of it.

  19. finally got the chance to see you here Renny..i got envious with your travel in Athens. why you did not invite me? wink!just kidding!

  20. i love all your photos here but I guess, the last ones are my that kalamarakia..we also call it just made me go to the greek restaurant tomorrow!

  21. very clear photos and very inviting..hope to visit this city next time!

  22. awesome photos renny!
    keep sharing such wealth to all of us! :)
    take care,

  23. wow great post thanks for share

  24. It looks like such an interesting place!

  25. I love the look and the charm of the old cities. It feels like you could just sit and sip some coffee with old friends and have a great time. Lovely photos, it looks so wonderful. I really liked the food, I love fish.

    Love and Blessings,

  26. wow, Athens is just a lovely historical city. I want to go there too! :D

  27. I did not like Athens at all. It certainly did not live up to what I thought it would be. Greece is ok, Athens is not!

  28. Tks for that lovely report. It seems that you caught a nice season to be there – not too many tourists. Did you see the ceremonial start of the Olympic fire, departing for Canada?

  29. Great photos and mini tour of Athens! I agree with everything you’ve said, apart from the food information:
    Dates aren’t widely used in Greek cuisine, figs are only around for a couple of months a year (mid August to mid October tops), lamb isn’t very common except at Easter (pork, chicken and beef are much more widely consumed during the rest of the year) and moussaka is a Turkish dish and not really a national Greek dish by any stretch of the imagination – just popular with tourists, as is lamb.

    Thanks for taking you time to correct my assumption about Greek food. It’s good to hear an experienced opinion and it enriches the post and the subject too!

  30. You’re welcome! I hope you didn’t mind me jumping in like that. I’m quite sensitive to the lamb issue, as the belief that Greeks eat lamb all the time is too prevalent for my comfort. I’ve been subjected to several lamb dinners here in the UK – cooked specially for me because I’m Greek! Unfortunately I hate lamb with a passion and never had this problem when I lived in Greece, where lamb is considered very much an acquired taste, not to be enforced on a guest without first checking that they eat it.

    The most popular “take away” type dish in Greece is souvlaki/gyros, made with pork or chicken. Two of the most popular home cooked dishes are gemista (vegetables stuffed with rice) and pasticcio (oven baked pasta, minced beef and tomato sauce, topped with bechamel sauce). Greek salad, made with tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers, onion, black olives and feta cheese is the most popular side dish in the summer months.

    Got to stop as I’m making myself hungry!! Apologies for the long post :-)

    • I don’t mind you ‘jumping in‘ at all! On the contrary: I think it’s great that you take your time, as a local, to tell us about your food traditions.

      I always want us to learn something from my post and try to pick up things when travelling as well as doing some research. However, I’m just a happy amateur and are happy when others gives correction and straighten things up!

  31. If I had still been with Donica in April, I would have joined her on a cruise of the Greek isles, including time in Athens, Renny. Another year, another time, another partner…but one day I do hope I can visit. You have whetted my appetite…again.

  32. greece is top of my list in places i want to see. and i want to be able to spend a long time there seeing the city and the islands and so much in between.

  33. Lovely. I can feel the greek atmosphere. Mmmm… .the smell of Ouzu…. and so much from their delish food…

    Must go there some day to see all this historical sites. I adore the old architecture.

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  35. Enjoyed reading about your trip to Athens and all of the pics too. Just returned from Greece earlier this month. I travel to Greece annually and post about the more unusual aspects of Greek life on my blog: http://www.itsallgreecetome. I’m also starting up a new page for anyone who would like to share their own Greek travel stories. Thanks for sharing!

    Rebecca Elia

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  37. Athens is so beautiful! Love the historical sites. I wish I have the time to visit it when I’m in Europe.

  38. Thanks for your lovely posting. I really enjoyed it.


  39. that seeafood right ? i love seafood

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  41. Really Good Information. Thank you.

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