No Love Connections Here


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Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens
September 20th 2018
Published: September 25th 2018
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What is it that keeps us from falling in love? Is it just our initial judgment of looks? Maybe just a needed haircut or a couple fewer tattoos would have made a difference. Is it just a bad first impression? Perhaps it's just a little too loud or the crowds of people that seem to always be hanging around. Was it just too soon after a previous affair that you weren't quite over? Maybe you just couldn't stop comparing to that recent favored love. Was it just the season? Were you so burnt by the summer heat that you just couldn't motivate yourself to see beyond the obvious exterior characteristics?

Perhaps it is was just bad timing. You just weren't ready to start a new relationship. Perhaps it is actually something within your own self. You find yourself in a bad mood and look for something to blame it on. Perhaps you are just being unfair. If you aren't willing to put in the effort, how can love ever develop?

It's difficult to understand why, but I never developed a love connection with Athens. Judging by the number of people in the full-to-the-brim cafes in the Plaka neighborhood or the excited crowds of people shopping in the famous flea market or the endless tour groups making their way up Acropolis Hill to see the wonders of the Parthenon, I am willing to accept that it had more to do with my sad mood after having just left Paris.

Judging from the way the people gather at the top of Mt. Lycabettus to watch the city light up as the sun sinks into the not too distant sea or the excitement showed by the tourists that gather to watch the changing of the guard in Syntagma Square or the happy faces of the young backpackers who gather every night on Areopagus Hill to watch the Parthenon brightly bathed in light until it appears to hover over the city, I am willing to accept that maybe my lack of love was due to my weariness that comes with traveling too much.

Judging from the way the music flows from the cafes and bars every evening in the Psyrri neighborhood or the smiles on the faces of the young people who gather in Monastiraki Square to watch the commotion or the enjoyment of the couples in the romantic cafes along
BrettosBrettosBrettos

Athens Bar/Distillery
the alleys just down the hill from Anafiotika, I'm willing to accept that it was probably just me.

We had a nice apartment, top floor of a 10 story building, with a balcony and great view over the northern part of the city. We only had a couple of block walk to the great metro system that takes you anywhere you want to go quickly and efficiently. We had the convenience, as seemingly everyone in Athens does, of great bakeries that sell all fashion of delectable goodness on every corner in the city. Prices of all manner of items were definitely fair and smiles were abundant everywhere we went.

We did have good days. We climbed the famous hills around the city, always looking for the best spot to enjoy the view of the green hills and bright white buildings below. We enjoyed ourselves touring the Olympic stadium area in the north of the city. We walked along the sea in the port city of Piraeus and loved the rooftop views from the beautiful National Library. The museums we went to were good and the remnants of great civilizations that are visible around every corner and under every
Roman AgoraRoman AgoraRoman Agora

Gate of Athena Archegetis
step kept us interested daily.

Probably the heat was a major problem. Blazing late summer temperatures made walking unpleasant. Probably the end of season crowds diminished our enjoyment of areas that with a few less tourists would have been better. At times it seemed like all of Europe must be roaming the narrow streets of the historic downtown area. Probably our tiny budget made it impossible to escape the heat and commotion of the city. If we could have managed to board a ferry out to some of the beautiful islands Greece is so famous for, I'm certain our mood would have brightened.

Whatever the reason, Athens won't be remembered as my favorite place I have visited. The Acropolis alone makes this a must-see destination for every serious traveler, so I doubt the city needs or cares about my opinion. As I observed, too many other people come here every year and have a great time. The city has 3 millennia of history waiting to be discovered and Athens will continue to draw crowds to see its wonders no matter what I thought for the relatively short time I visited.


Additional photos below
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AnafiotikaAnafiotika
Anafiotika

Athens neighborhood
Changing of the GuardChanging of the Guard
Changing of the Guard

At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
PlakaPlaka
Plaka

Colorful Athens Neighborhood
ZappeionZappeion
Zappeion

Athens, Greece
Athens City ViewAthens City View
Athens City View

As seen from Mount Lycabettus
Hadrian's LibraryHadrian's Library
Hadrian's Library

Roman Ruins
Changing of the GuardChanging of the Guard
Changing of the Guard

At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


25th September 2018

I'm not in love
I fully understand your lament; I felt the same way about Morocco. Most travelers I know love Morocco, and gush about Fes and Marrakesh. Me - not so much. I know that being there in the heat of summer and during Ramadan dampened my enthusiasm. Maybe someday I'll go back in a better frame of mind. At least you had some beautiful scenery. Your pictures are stunning, as always.
25th September 2018

Not in love...
Marrakech and Fes were a little tough on us too. The heat can wear you out for sure. It definitely got to us in Athens. Next time we will go to the islands instead and probably pick a different season. Thanks for reading and the nice compliments, Karen!
25th September 2018

Always enjoy your writing and the marvelous pictures of the areas you visit.
25th September 2018

Thanks!
Thank you, Maudie for the nice compliments. Thanks for reading and commenting, we really appreciate it!
28th September 2018

2004
We have not been to Greece since 2004 but loved our time there. Yes, I suspect you are not emotionally prepared to fall in love again. Although the crowds would have been too much. The country economy has changed a great deal since we were there and probably has had an impact on the personality of the city.
28th September 2018

2004...
I always hate to say I don't like a place. Even though we spent a month in Athens, it is still not enough to really make a fair opinion. The country has really had financial problems and it shows in the care of monuments, parks and streets. The people we interacted with were great. Even with the difficulties, they have high spirits and great pride. I did not like the crowds or the heat. Neither had anything to do with Greece. I visited in 1980 and wasn't much of a fan then, either. I haven't been out to the islands for an extended visit and would love to get a chance someday. Thanks for writing. Looking forward to your Africa trip. Maybe we'll run into each other!
2nd October 2018
Acropolis

Athens isn't loved by me either
I am actually happy to read that you haven't fallen in love with Athens. Now I know that it isn't only me. Athens should really be a place I ought to love but I don't. I don't dislike her, I can't put a finger on anything that is wrong, but there simply isn't that magical connection that I would expect. /Ake
2nd October 2018
Acropolis

No Love...
Athens won't be remembered as our favorite place, however, we did meet some very nice people. They are having a very difficult financial time and I hope they can recover. I would like to go back and visit the islands someday, perhaps. Thanks for reading and commenting, Ake!

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