Picture of the Week

8 April 2014

Week 14: Athens

Filed under: — Administrator @ 07:14

I spent much of last week in Athens, attending various meetings and speaking at a conference. Aside from Thursday afternoon, there was not much free time, but I still managed a few pictures.

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But the week started with the arrival of my daughter Monica late Saturday night. Sunday morning we walked Cheeta together, one of life’s simple pleasures:
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Tuesday I flew to Athens, changing in Rome. While waiting to board the flight from Rome to Athens, I noticed these girls photographing each other in front of a tourism advertisement:
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The hotel in Athens was a bit disappointing (see my review on Tripadvisor here), but the view from the 6th floor restaurant was nice:
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Akropolis at night:
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Some of my fellow meeting attendees. The women in this picture are Latvian, Estonian, German and English:
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Later that evening, a few of us were having a beer, and were approached by the ubiquitous Gypsy flower sellers. They take a very aggressive approach, like putting the flower in Phil’s lapel here. But she finally gave up and left, leaving the flower; we later joked that she must have liked Phil:
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Athens is a hilly city, and there are steep streets and stairs everywhere:
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Vespa and bird:
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Looking at me:
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Classic Cat. The neighbourhood around the hotel, a rather upscale one, had a large population of stray cats, most of which looked in good shape, and I also saw food put out for them:
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Thursday afternoon we went on a guided tour of the Akropolis Museum. This is a new and very impressive facility, built at the foot of the Akropolis hill:
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Looking through the glass floor at excavated items:
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All the items in the Acropolis Museum come from the site above:
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Face:
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Looking; this big room is exactly the size of the Parthenon:
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Original and copy. Much of the reconstruction is made possible by the existence of detailed drawings made by French artist Jacques Carrey in 1674, just a few years before the Parthenon was destroyed by an explosion during a bombardment by Venetian forces (the Turks, who occupied Athens, used the Parthenon to store gunpowder):
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After the visit to the museum, I walked 3-4 km through Athens to have a look at the city, knowing that this would be my only such opportunity during this visit. Traffic in Athens is heavy and chaotic, and understandably there are not many cyclists. In fact, this guy is one of only two cyclists I saw during 3 days in a city of 5 million people:
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Outside a small chapel, there were two graves outside. I was intrigued by the Russian inscriptions, rather than Greek. It turns out to be the tomb of a Russian ambassador to Athens:
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It’s all Greek to me, except the top part:
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I always look out for urban art, wherever I go:
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Syntagma square, in front of the Greek parliament, and the traditional site for demonstrations against austerity policies, which often morph into riots:
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Homeless dog sleeping outside a fancy hotel on Syntagma square:
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The afternoon sun was hot, and people were seeking shade:
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Real estate:
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Waking Up:
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Fruit and veg shop:
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Thursday night we went to eat at a restaurant called Kuzina. Highly recommended:
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Walking back to the hotel after dinner, I saw my favourite scene of the trip:
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Friday afternoon, the meetings are finished, and Nicki and Stephanie, who have been doing a lot of work around the organisation of the events, can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the feeling of job well done:
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We were flying back to Spain Friday night, so I had an hour to take a walk around the hotel. I spotted this loving couple:
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And I finish the walk with two more Athens kitties, both near my hotel.

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