Thursday, August 2, 2012

Goodbye Athens, Hello Limnos

It's 7.30am and still cool, perhaps about 25 degrees. "Cool?" I hear you say? For mid-summer Greece it's cool. The humidity in Limnos can be high at times which makes it feel warmer than it really is, but in the mornings the air is relatively dry, and at 25 degrees it's quite pleasant. It's a good time to be writing on the blog.

We've been here in Limnos almost a week and we've only just started to unwind after our 6-day action-packed stint in Athens. We spent part of our last day in Athens taking the train to the leafy outer suburb of Kifissia, at the foothills of Pentelli Mountain. This is one of the most affluent areas of Athens, traditionally the home of politicians and their families.

At Kifissia train station:



Botanical gardens in Kifissia:




After a couple of frappes under a giant Plane tree, we took the train back to Omonia Square and walked up through another fancy part of Athens, Kolonaki, to visit the Hellenic American Union adult education centre. Tony has been learning Greek through their online tutorials and he wanted to see the place in the flesh and buy a couple of books. Unfortunately the books were not available on campus and can only be ordered online, but he was pleased to be able to put a "face" to the website!



Many of the streets of Athens are lined with nerangia trees which is a type of very bitter orange. The trees provide shade for pedestrians and the fallen nerangias provide entertainment for the pigeons.




It was the hottest day we'd spent in Athens, reaching 39 by 2pm, and we headed straight for the grape-vine shaded pergolas of Hermion Restaurant back in Plaka. My dad took me there the first time I came to Greece when I was 16 and it was exactly the same, only this time there were a couple of guys playing some lovely live music – one on classical guitar, the other on mandolin. I will write a separate review about our lunch there in the coming days, along with some more reviews from Athens that I still haven't had a chance to enter into the blog.

After our relaxing lunch we had just enough time to drop into the t-shirt printing shop to finally get Tony's t-shirt printed before getting back to our hotel to prepare for our departure from Athens.



We flew into Limnos that night, greeted at the airport by my dad, and my friend from my workplace in Melbourne, Tony Whitefield and his wife Despina. They also have a house in Limnos where they spend a few weeks every year; this year an extended stay for a few months. I will tell you more about Tony and Despina, as well as our other friends and family members here in Limnos, in a special blog entry about the people of this wonderful place.

It's warming up now and given the beach is only a 5-minute walk from the house, I really must make my way down there now. I will write again soon about our first week in Limnos but for now it's time to get my pegs into those cool Limnian waters ...